sábado, 18 de enero de 2014

Over 200 killed in Caracas in fortnight

The principal morgue in Caracas was reported to have received 210 bodies in 2014 up to midday on 16 January, or roughly 12 a day and including seven policemen, Venezuela's El Universal reported, confirming the city's reputation as one of the world's deadliest. Caracas was recently cited as the world's second most dangerous city in 2013, with a murder rate of over 134 killings per 100,000 inhabitants. Insecurity has become a chief point of dispute between the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro and liberal opposition forces, and reportedly one of the reasons why many Venezuelans were emigrating. President Maduro urged political actors on 17 January to exclude security from politics, saying it was "criminal" to make "economic and political capital" out of people's grief, El Universal reported. He urged state governors and mayors to join the Government's efforts to curb crime but also to help change a pervasive media culture, which he said "adulated" drugs and violence. The opposition he alleged, had engaged in a policy of "throwing stones" at his government, but he also denounced the "death statistics" or polls that publicised crime rates in the country. The Mexican NGO Citizens Council for Public Security and Penal Justice recently reported 4,364 criminal killings in 2013 in Caracas, which has just under 3.248 million residents.

Rebels end ceasefire in Colombia, Army shoots, detains guerrillas

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ended their Christmas ceasefire with two attacks on different targets on 16 January, killing a civilian and injuring 61 in one attack. The victim died after suspected FARC operatives left a bomb-laden motorbike outside the municipal government of Pradera in the Valle de Cauca department, while an attack on a military post in the southern district of Puerto Asís caused no injuries, Cali's El País and El Espectador reported on 16 January. President Juan Manuel Santos denounced the attack in Pradera as an act of "infinite clumsiness," saying it would only prompt "the entire country" to turn against the FARC, El País reported. Separately, Colombian troops and Police arrested eight suspected members or collaborators of the FARC's Front 25, in operations in the districts of Cunday, Dolores and Villarrica in central Colombia, the Army and Defence Ministry reported on 17 January. The detained were suspected of a range of offences including attacks on vehicles travelling between cities and extortions. One detained, identified as a former guerrilla dubbed Jackson, was reported as having demobilised in 2012. The Army reported on 16 January that it had shot dead a veteran fighter of the other guerrilla force the National Liberation Army (ELN), in fighting in the district of Aguazul in the Casanare department, east of Bogotá. The victim was identified as Iván or Camilo, a 17-year ELN veteran and deputy-head of its José David Suárez Front.