viernes, 28 de marzo de 2014

Mara gang members arrested in Spain, Nicaragua

Spanish authorities arrested on 24 March 35 suspected members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS), one of El Salvador's main gangs, in what Spanish papers described as the first large-scale action against the gang in Spain. The Civil Guard or gendarmerie stated that some 300 agents detained the suspects in districts including Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona, Alicante and in Madrid, El Salvador's La Prensa Gráfica reported on 26 March, citing EFE. The raids were said to be the culmination of investigations that began in 2012, after a stabbing in the coastal district of Alicante. The detained, aged between 17 and 25, included nationals of Morocco, Rumania, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Spain, Honduras and El Salvador. Two of the detained, caught in Barcelona and Alicante, had arrived from El Salvador and the group was described as a branch of the MS from that country, involved in drug trafficking and money laundering, Spain's El País reported on 25 March. Nicaragua detained on 27 March another presumed member of the MS sought for murder in the United States, the Nicaraguan daily La Prensa reported. Juan Elías García was believed to have killed his girlfriend and her two-year-old son in the state of New York on 2010, and was placed on the FBI's list of wanted criminals on 23 March. He was arrested in the US Consulate in Managua, while possibly applying for a travel visa.

FARC kill two Colombian soldiers, Army detains fighter

A bomb attack by suspected guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killed two soldiers on 26 March and injured a soldier and a civilian in the southern town of Puerto Santander, El Colombiano reported on 27 March, citing EFE. The Army was presently engaged in operations in that part of the department of Amazonas, directed especially it stated at the head of the FARC's Front 63, a fighter dubbed Wílmer el Burro, sought for offences including drug trafficking. Another bomb attack on 27 March injured three soldiers on patrol in the town of Sucre in Cauca, Cali's El País reported. It was not immediately clear if the attack was the work of elements of the FARC or the National Liberation Army, the smaller communist guerrilla force. Also on 26 March, the Army caught a commander or the head of the FARC's Vladimir Steven Front, a man dubbed Willintong, in the district of Mesetas south of Bogotá, the Ministry of Defence reported. The Armed Forces commander General Juan Pablo Rodríguez said he was sought for his role in several "terrorist attacks" and engaged in recent months in attacks on Army targets in an area in the department of Meta that included Mesetas, La Uribe and La Julia.

House prices rose over 10 per cent in Colombia

House prices rose by more than 10 per cent in Colombia in 2013, according to the state statistical agency DANE, with the capital Bogotá registering the highest rate of increase per square meter. Colombia has seen a steady rise in property prices for several years now, though officials intermittently insist there is no property bubble, partly because Colombians pay up front a significant part of their home price and mortgage lending has restrictions. Property prices rose 10.59 per cent nationwide in 2013, with appartment prices rising 10.3 per cent and houses 11.51 per cent, El Espectador reported on 27 March, citing DANE. Prices per square meter rose most in Bogotá, 11.02 per cent, followed by Bucaramanga in north-eastern Colombia with a 10.59 per cent increase. El Espectador cited Bucaramanga as the most expensive city for buying an appartment, presumably comparing prices per square meter.