domingo, 23 de febrero de 2014

Seventeen bodies found in graves in western Mexico

Seventeen "dismembered bodies" were found in the state of Jalisco in western Mexico and between two and "at least 20" may have been killed in a gun battle in the western state of Guerrero, media reported. The Jalisco judiciary reported the discovery of the bodies in three clandestine graves in the district of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, after police interrogated a local drug dealer, Milenio reported on 21 February. Agents began unearthing the bodies on 19 February. On 20 February, police in the northern state of Chihuahua found the bodies of four young men aged 19 and 20, reported on 14 February as missing in the locality of Bocoyna. Their bodies were found at the back of a car on the road between Bocoyna and San Juanito, the review Proceso reported on 21 February. It observed that the day the boys went missing, police shot dead three presumed criminals in a gun fight in Bocoyna, though it was not immediately clear if the incidents were related. On 21 February, a gun battle between suspected criminals in the district of San Miguel Totolapan in Guerrero may have killed between two and 20 or even 30 gunmen, though officials and media were apparently not agreed on the victim count. Proceso reported that shooting erupted with the arrival of 50 gunmen in the village of Linda Vista in that district, as local residents hid in their homes for the best part of the day. The chief prosecutor of Guerrero Iñaki Blanco Cabreras told the press on 22 February that two, not 20 or 30, had died in that gun fight, and dismissed reports of a massacre. He said police and troops only found two bodies when they went to Linda Vista and no injured suspects, though he admitted locals had said that more were injured in the shooting, La Crónica de Hoy reported. Gangs often take injured members away after gun fights.

Mexico, US detain leading gangster "Shorty" Guzmán

Mexico arrested on 22 February the country's premier drug trafficker Joaquín Guzmán Loera, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, in a joint operation with US agents. Mr Guzmán is one of the world's prominent criminals and was often included in the Forbes list of global multi-millionaires. He was detained in a rented flat in the tourist resort of Mazatlán in Sinaloa, north-western Mexico, along with another person, then taken by helicopter to the Altiplano high-security prison in Estado de México, the daily Milenio reported. Reuters news agency cited locals as expressing concern over instability and violence that could follow the arrest as rival groups or traffickers jostle for power and territory, a habitual consequence of the arrests of crime chiefs. Milenio cited security specialist Eduardo Guerrero as saying on 22 February that Mr Guzmán's deputy, Ismael Zambada would likely take over the cartel within "a month or two," and rival cartels like the Caballeros Templarios, Gulf Cartel and the Zetas might well seek to encroach on some cartel territory or fight its local partners in parts of Mexico in the transitional period. Mexican navy had troops arrested two other members of the Sinaloa Cartel in the state on 20 February, one being described as security chief of the cartel's number two Mr Zambada. Jesús Peña and a collaborator were arrested in the state capital Culiacán, apparently in the house of Peña's sister; troops confiscated a range of assault weapons, ammunition and cars in that operation, Milenio reported. It was not immediately clear if these arrests provided key information helping track down the cartel chief.