martes, 21 de enero de 2014

Army kills seven FARC fighters in central Colombia

Seven members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were said killed and five arrested, after Army and Air Force troops bombarded a command base in the southern part of the Tolima department in central Colombia on 21 January, Caracol radio reported. Army and Police operations were said to be continuing that day. Spain's EFE agency cited the Army headquarters as stating that the victims were from the Heroes of Marquetalia and Alfredo González columns, gathered at the camp to plan guerrilla actions. The Army separately put at 14 the number of guerrillas killed in earlier operations in the district of Tame in Arauca, with two arrests, Radio Santa Fe reported on 21 January. In the south-western district of Toribío, a suspected mortar attack by the FARC killed a 24-year-old woman and injured two in the locality of Tacueyó, El Colombiano reported on 21 January. The daily cited an army colonel as saying that the target, the victim's house, had been "indiscriminate" for the "home-made" and imprecise nature of the projectile.

Over 20 reported killed as week begins in Mexico

Five people killed in the state of Michoacán in western Mexico and four men shot dead in the northern state of Chihuahua were among 23 people the review Proceso reported as killed in Mexico on or around 20 January. The five included a one-month baby and a two-year-old child; they were found shot in or near Susupuato in the Tierra Caliente sector of Michoacán where state forces recently arrived to curb crime and public anger, Proceso reported. The four were found in a mining district in Hidalgo del Parral in southern Chihuahua, Proceso reported, observing it was not immediately clear if these included three individuals reported as kidnapped in that district a day before. The 23 also included five criminals shot in a gun fight suspected to have been between rival drug cartels near the Villa la Venta in the south-eastern state of Tabasco, and three men whose charred bodies were found in Texcoco in Estado de México. Another victim of crime was the 22-year old singer Gibran Martiz, found dead on 18 January with another dead "minor" at the back of car earlier pursued by police in the district of Huatusco in Veracruz. Police said they shot dead three individuals driving the car, identified as the young victims' presumed kidnappers. But media cited on 21 January the singer's father as effectively accusing police of participating in his son's kidnapping in the city of Xalapa on 7 January. Efraín Martiz said his son was taken in three police cars - before eight or more witnesses - and that he duly informed the judiciary of the incident. He said he was certain one of the three cars did not have "cloned" or fake identify numbers, and must have been a real police vehicle, Proceso and Milenio reported. Milenio cited Martiz as telling a radio interview that the chief prosecutor of Veracruz, Felipe Amadeo Flores Espinosa, admitted to him in a meeting that investigators had indeed taken part in the "arrest" or kidnapping, but he promised his safe return; now said Martiz, "it's his word against is accepted that state policemen took him away and then my son appears dead. How can that be?"

Chief minister says Argentine President's absence of no concern

The Argentine Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich asked media and personalities not to speculate about the health of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who underwent surgery on her head in October 2013 and returned to work on 8 November, but had yet to attend a public act in 2014, La Nación reported on 21 January. Mr Capitanich said the President was doing her work "with the same enthusiasm as ever...wherever she may be.. There is no need for any speculation there." He said he met with Mrs Kirchner in the presidential palace on 19 or 20 January. One of the country's leading industrialists was cited as expressing concern on 20 January about her whereabouts and wellbeing. Mrs Kirchner was not expected to seek another presidential term, for which special legislation would be needed, and following some disappointing election results last October. The daily Clarín observed on 21 January that the President's timetable remained a mystery to many, including many government officials. It stated there was no certainty yet as to whether or not Mrs Kirchner would attend the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, to be held in Havana on 28 January, nor a meeting of heads of state of the South American trading group Mercosur, scheduled for mid-February 2014. Mrs Kirchner was said also to be concerned with the health of her mother Ofelia Wilhelm, who recently had surgery.