martes, 22 de julio de 2014

Mexico City recycles asphalt to cut pollution, costs

They used to throw it out, but now the Mexico City government is recycling the asphalt and pavement material it removes from roads, to produce a cheaper, less polluting and more abundant "asphalt mix" to repave and repair city roads. The head of the recycling plant making the material in the district of Coyoacán, Mariano Plascencia, said the mix produced 90 per cent less dust and pollutants, without elaborating, Milenio newspaper reported on 22 July. It consisted of a mix of crushed stones, cement and "additives," merged in temperatures of 120-151 degrees celsius. The plant had most recently produced 57,900 tonnes of the asphalt mix, which the city government distributed between the capital's delegaciones, the larger city sectors or districts, to meet their stated needs. The use of the new asphalt was made obligatory in 2010. The new material was described as requiring little maintenance, which produced a further "40 per cent savings," the daily cited city authorities as saying.

Colombia holds FARC's "drug chief"

Colombian authorities caught at an unspecified date five fighters and collaborators of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), including a head or the head of Front 30, the guerrilla dubbed Richard, described as the communist rebel force's capo or number-one drug dealer. Richard was caught in a "luxury country house" in the district of Alcalá in Valle de Cauca, which the authorities will proceed to confiscate alongside its contents, including estate cars, 60 cattle heads and Colombian money worth around USD 880,000 found wrapped and hidden on the premises, El Colombiano reported on 21 July. Authorities described Richard as the captain that provided the FARC with most money from drugs, produced and sold in south-western Colombia but also shipped onto Mexico and the United States. Said to have handled 60 per cent of the FARC's drug monies and been in charge of arms purchases for various fronts, Richard faced 28 arrest warrants on various charges. He was apparently engaged in land purchase operations at the time of his arrest. Authorities separately arrested a member of the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel force sought for several counts of kidnapping, extortion and for "sedition," Caracol radio reported on 21 July. Herminio Manuel Oviedo Domínguez, already sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment, was said to have operated in areas close to the Venezuelan frontier; police stopped him in the district of Villanueva, in Bolívar.

Report sees fewer homicides in Colombia in 2013

"Violent deaths" in Colombia including murders, suicides and accidental deaths declined 9.12 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012, with criminal killings falling from 15,727 to 14, 294, papers cited the coroners' office as stating on 21 July. The Institute of Legal Medicine counted a total of 26,623 "violent deaths" nationwide in 2013, 1,873 less than in 2012, El Espectador reported. Its Forensis 2013 report also counted 6,219 deaths in car accidents, 1,810 suicides and 1,657 deaths from uncertain causes, El Espectador reported. The report put the nationwide murder rate in 2013 at 30.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, described as the lowest in the past 10 years. The most violent regions in Colombia were named as Valle de Cauca and its capital Cali, where murders rose a little in contrast with a declining overall rate in the department, the Cali newspaper El País reported. Cali with a population of just over 2.3 million, had the most criminal killings in 2013 - 1,989 compared to 1,861 in 2012. Next came Bogotá with 1,283 murders and a rate of 16.72 murders/100,000 inhabitants, then Medellín with 924 homicides and Barranquilla with 319. The head of the Legal Medicine Institute declared during his presentation of the report in Bogotá that firearms had been used in the vast majority of murders, that Sunday was the most violent day in the country and a third of all deaths from violence had occurred during "leisure activities," which the body found had become "an explicit risk factor of death."