lunes, 24 de febrero de 2014

Colombian state detains 27 criminals, FARC rebels

Colombian authorities reported on 22 February the capture of 11 collaborators of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and 12 suspected members of the one of the country's main criminal gangs, the Urabeños, in operations in different parts of the country. In the western Valle de Cauca department, state forces caught 11 presumed FARC operatives said to be "planning terrorist actions" and "acts of intimidation" against civilians in the districts of Tuluá and Bugalagrande, the Ministry of Defence reported. The detained included a guerrilla dubbed Alex, identified as a FARC chief or head of its backup operations in south-western Colombia, the Ministry stated. Police caught 12 suspected Urabeños in Agustín Codazzi, Riohacha and Ciénaga de Oro, including in the latter district a presumed "finance chief" for the gang, a man dubbed Barrigón. Three suspects thought involved in 11 kidnappings in eastern Colombia were also detained though it was not immediately clear if these too were in the Urabeños; the Ministry put at 80 the number of suspected members of the Urabeños caught in the preceding week. Recent operations led to the confiscation of six tonnes of marijuana, 500 kilograms of cocaine and 26 fast boats, the Cali daily El País reported, citing EFE agency. The Army separately reported on 23 February that troops shot dead a FARC guerrilla in San Pablo in the department of Bolívar. The 24-year-old victim was identified as the guerrilla dubbed Severo, and described as involved in "logistical" tasks in several districts of Bolívar and Santander, including seeking out state informers among local civilians, acting as the FARC's go-between with ELN guerrillas and drug traffickers, and some killings. The Army also arrested a suspected murderer in the district of Barrancabermeja.