domingo, 9 de marzo de 2014

Traffickers, kidnappers reported caught around Mexico, six shot

Police caught three suspected drug traffickers in Mexico City on 8 March, confiscating USD 4.7 million in cash from them and Mexican pesos worth over USD 75,000, media reported. The men were found in three cars in the southern, residential district of Coyoacán, the vehicles also yielding 10 kilograms of cocaine, Proceso reported. The newspaper Milenio observed that the sum confiscated was equivalent to half all the dollars the Army has confiscated from traffickers since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December 2012. The Government of Mexico City intermittently declares drug traffickers do not operate in the capital. In the western state of Michoacán, authorities declared they had detained 21 suspected kidnappers in two operations, possibly in the localities of Nocupétaro and ZamoraProceso reported on 7 March. In Culiacán in the north-western state of Sinaloa, Mexican marines detained on 5 March three suspects and found six private planes on a ranch suspected as belonging to criminals, Proceso reported, citing declarations by the Mexican Interior Ministry (Gobernación). The Army also confiscated 1.5 tons of marijuana in two operations in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, Milenio and Notimex reported on 9 March. In the central state of Estado de México, six men were shot dead in two bars on the night of 8-9 March, Milenio reported. It was not immediately clear if the killings were related; in one bar, gunmen left a sheet signed EFM , interpreted as a reference to one of the drug cartels.

Gang members arrested in El Salvador, others flee prison

Fourteen or 15 gang members fled one of El Salvador's prisons on 7 March, two days before the second round of presidential elections in which crime and insecurity were likely to be of concern to those casting ballots. The convicts, identified as members of Mara-18, were said to have fled through a tunnel from a prison in Aguilares north of the capital San Salvador. Police later declared it caught five of them the same day, the website elsalvador.com reported. The country's Police Chief Rigoberto Pleités also declared that seven policemen were detained and being investigated for possible collusion in the breakout. Police separately arrested early on 6 March, 16 suspected members of a local branch of Mara-18 sought for a range of crimes including murder and kidnapping, in the district of Apopa north of San Salvador.

Colombians begin voting in parliamentary elections

Colombians began voting on 9 March in elections for 102 Senators and 166 members of their House of Representatives, who would serve a four-year term. One of the first to vote was President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, accompanied by his wife and three children, casting his vote at 08:14 near the presidential palace in Bogotá's historic district. He then urged Colombians to vote to "strengthen democracy" in the country, El Colombiano reported. "I have just exercised my right and done my duty to vote, because the vote is a right we Colombians have, and a duty. I call on all Colombians to come out and vote and for voting to be quiet and normal. Let everyone vote for whomever they want," the presidential website cited Mr. Santos as saying. The Defence Ministry assured the country elections would be held in a safe environment. The Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzón, said 2,773 knives or cutting instruments had been confiscated around the country in the hours before voting and three people were detained early on 9 March for unspecified electoral offences, El Colombiano reported.