domingo, 22 de febrero de 2015

Dozens killed in Caracas in a week, 21 policemen so far in 2015

The "majority" of the 73 corpses brought into the main morgue in Caracas from "the afternoon" of 13 February to early 18 February were thought to have been homicide victims, the daily El Universal reported on 19 February, citing figures from the Bello Monte morgue. These were likely informal figures as the government restricts news on crime, to mitigate public despair in one of the world's most violent cities. Some of the dead were related to carnival festivities that week, though the daily also mentioned a policeman shot - apparently about 40 times - late on 17 February "as he went to visit his mother." He was cited as the 21st police agent shot dead in Greater Caracas so far this year. The NGO Observatorio de la Violencia gave in January the "conservative" number of 24,980 for all homicide victims in Venezuela in 2014, with a rate of 82 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The categorization apparently included a range of circumstances - such as violence leading to killing or shooting during arrests - and not all were murders. This it stated, made Venezuela the country with the second highest homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants, after Honduras (104), and observed that the slightly increased homicides since 2013 indicated the government had failed to curb crime. Several Latin American states were among the 15 most violent states in the world - as indicated by the figures of three UN agencies - though even these had far lower homicide rates than Venezuela. The third country with the highest homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants was Jamaica (45), the fifth and sixth El Salvador and Colombia (44), with Brazil in 10th position (32) and Mexico 13th (22).

Worst crimes in Mexico at "steady" rate in January, kidnappings "declined"

The Mexican interior ministry counted 1,287 registered criminal killings (homicidios dolosos) nationwide in January 2015, which was less than January 2014 but broadly similar to monthly murder figures given for 2014, Milenio reported on 21 February. The daily cited figures given by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SNSP), a ministry agency. The SNSP counted 1,272 reported homicides for December 2014. All registered crimes for January 2015 were numbered at 118,207, though such figures always exclude numerous, unreported crimes. The daily provided a comparative monthly chart of murders, kidnappings and extortion for 2014 and January 2015, showing a more notable fall in kidnappings and extortions than murders. Earlier in February, the Citizens Council for Public Security and Penal Justice, an NGO that monitors crimes in Mexico, issued its latest, extensive report on crime trends, with explanations on methodology. The report outlined crime trends in 223 districts with 100,000 or more residents, which in total encompassed about 68 per cent of the Mexican population. Findings included: the district of Cuernavaca south of the capital became the most violent in Mexico, based on an amalgam of criminal activities; for the third year running, Acapulco was the district with the highest murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants (69.6), followed by Chilpancingo (62.95) then El Fuerte (55.17). The national murder rate was 13.3/100,000 inhabitants. El Mante in Tamaulipas was cited as the district with the highest kidnapping rate per 100,000 inhabitants (21,05), about 18 times the national rate, given as 1.19.

Dozen shot around Mexico, police find "drug graves" in Juárez

Seven were shot dead around the Pacific-coast resort of Acapulco on 21 February, while authorities discovered five "drug graves" in northern Mexico that initially yielded at least three corpses. The graves were found following the 18 February arrests of seven suspected gangsters thought involved in local crimes including extortion, kidnappings and murder, media reported. The dead in Acapulco were shot in different incidents that day, which injured one person, Milenio reported on 22 February. The drug graves were found outside Juárez in the state of Chihuahua, apparently for revelations made by the seven detainees, Proceso reported on 19 February. Authorities are to send 500 troops to the Juárez area in response to a recent rise in violent crime, Proceso reported on 20 February. Authorities were looking for more drug graves in the western state of Jalisco, following the shooting death on 18 February of a man identified as a cartel chief in Puerto Vallarta. The man, identified as El comander or El Chispa, a head of the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel, died after a 10-hour standoff with state forces. A soldier died in that operation, Proceso reported on 20 February. The graves if found, were expected to reveal some of the gang's suspected victims. In separate incidents, two men were shot dead on 19 or 20 February in Chapala outside Guadalajara, two were shot dead in Técamac outside the capital, and a policeman was killed in Zihuatanejo in western Mexico during an operation to rescue a 22 year-old who had been kidnapped on 5 February.