sábado, 1 de febrero de 2014

Daily counts cartel killings in Mexico for January 2014

Mexico's Milenio newspaper reported 720 killings "related to organised crime" across Mexico in January 2014, about 10 per cent more than in December, but less than in January 2013. The count was apparently based on its own reporting, and translated into a rate of 24 killings a day. The daily's count of gang and cartel killings for December 2013 was 643, and 956 for January 2013. It presented its latest figures in a map and diagram, which showed the most murderous states in January 2014 to be Chihuahua with 105 murders, Estado de México with 74 killings and Sinaloa with 68 killings. Next came Michoacán, the western state become the setting of fighting between the Caballeros Templarios cartel, troops and self-defence militias, with 59 killings. The lower figure could have been for the increased presence of federal forces as well as patrols and car checks set up by the militias, which were recently given recognition by the Government. The daily counted a single "organised crime" killing in January in seven of the country's states.

Over 60 gangsters held around El Salvador over extortions, murders

More than 250 policemen swept in to arrest 67 suspected members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang suspected to have run an extortion racket in the capital San Salvador, after months of investigations that followed complaints lodged earlier with the Police. The operation involved the country's anti-gangs squad, policemen from outside the capital and officers of the state prosecution service; arrests were made in the capital and in peripheral districts including Soyapango, Mejicanos, San Martín, Ilopango and Sonsonate, all recurring names in the daily litany of criminal reporting. The extortion gang, dubbed Los Centrales Locos Salvatruchos, exacted sums of between USD 20 and 100 from a range of shopkeepers and street salesmen, the Salvadorean daily El Mundo reported on 1 February. A policeman was cited as saying that the Centrales was one of the capital's most dangerous gangs. Police also confiscated notebooks detailing how much was to be taken from whom, and how the money was to be spent. Police separately arrested on 1 February two presumed members of the Mara 18 gang suspected of involvement in killing six people outside a church in the western district of Tacuba, where they were detained, Elsalvador.com reported. The country's anti-gangs police were reported as seeking three other accomplices in the crime, which the report did not date. The same website cited Police as counting 230 criminal killings nationwide in the period 1-30 January, compared to 193 cited for those days in 2013.

FARC mine kills two soldiers in Colombia, Army maintains weapons ban in Cali

Two Colombian soldiers died on 31 January, reportedly after falling into an area mined by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), while two soldiers were injured in fighting in the area. The two were killed in the northern district of Tierralta where the Army was pursuing operations against the FARC's Front 58, La Vanguardia Liberal reported. A farmer was also reported killed on 31 January or just before after stepping on a mine in the district of Yarumal in Antioquia. Authorities suspected members of the FARC's fronts 18 or 36 to have mined parts of that area, Caracol radio reported on 1 February. In the western city of Cali, the Army declared it would prolong an arms ban that had helped reduce killings in the city in preceding weeks, ending earlier doubts about whether or not the ban would continue. The Third Brigade, which issues arms permits in Cali, stated on 30 January that a ban on carrying firearms in 16 districts or communes of Cali, due to end on 31 January, would continue to 31 May, Cali's El País reported. The daily cited the city's Government Secretary, in charge of security affairs, as saying that the 105 homicides reported in the city in January 2014 were 55 cases or 34 per cent less than in January 2013. The Army and Police were also to continue joint patrols of the city's most dangerous neighbourhoods, a strategy begun some two and a half months before, which also had helped reduce crime, El País reported on 1 February. The patrols had reportedly led to arrests of 35 suspects and confiscation of illegal items. Police also detained on 30 and 31 January 22 suspected drug traffickers in Medellín, in the north-central department of Antioquia, all described as local dealers and said to include students of the University of Antioquia, El Colombiano reported.