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El huevo de la seguridad pública salvadoreña

February 20, 2013

by Carlos E. Ponce

Las cifras policiales oficiales indican que durante los últimos meses la cantidad de asesinatos registrados en El Salvador ha disminuido en aproximadamente 50 por ciento. Esto es especialmente significativo considerando que un informe elaborado por Naciones Unidas, publicado el año pasado, ubica a dicho país como el segundo más violento del mundo.  No obstante, atrás del aparente logro se identifican elementos que pronostican una crisis en el aparato de seguridad gubernamental del país centroamericano.

La reducción en homicidios antes mencionada se deriva de una brumosa iniciativa que implicó negociar el cese de hostilidades entre las principales pandillas rivales que operan en El Salvador, pacto desarrollado bajo condiciones desconocidas y mantenidas en total secreto por el Estado. El decremento, por lo tanto, no es el resultado del fortalecimiento del sistema de justicia penal o de la ejecución de una estrategia integral implementada para controlar la criminalidad, sino que está en función de la buena voluntad de las estructuras delictuales por mantener un acuerdo ajeno a la institucionalidad estatal.

Contrario a la interpretación ordinaria que provocaría una reducción tan acentuada en la incidencia de homicidios, la fuerza policial salvadoreña está en su peor momento. El Gobierno, en medio de una crisis fiscal, mantiene al personal policial trabajando en condiciones precarias, según consta en diferentes reportajes periodísticos publicados el año pasado, con equipo e instalaciones deterioradas. La falta de liquidez del Ejecutivo también lo ha llevado a retrasar varios meses el pago de los salarios complementarios devengados por policías, quienes denunciaron públicamente la situación a finales del 2012.

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Tags: El Salvador, Gang Violence, Crime and Security

Bus Bomb Kills Six in Guatemala City

January 4, 2011

by AQ Online

A fire bomb, possibly homemade, exploded on a passenger bus in northwestern Guatemala City on Monday, killing at least six people and injuring 17 more. Witnesses told police that a woman came aboard the bus, placed the bag that presumably held the explosive on the luggage rack, and then got off the bus.

An investigation is underway but representatives of the bus driver’s union said that drivers had received repeated threats of violence from local gangs if they failed to pay protection money. According to Guatemalan news station Noti 7, the gang members were asking for a one-time payment of 60,000 quetzals, or about $7,300.

Attacks on public transportation officials are not uncommon in Guatemala, though past attacks rarely involved passengers. Human rights group Grupo Apoyo Mutuo reported that 175 bus drivers were murdered in 2009 alone. Guatemalan police estimate that bus drivers paid out more than $1.5 million in extortion money to organized crime groups over the course of 2010.

Tags: Guatemala, Gang Violence, Extoriton, bomb

Weekly Roundup from Across the Americas

November 10, 2010

by AS-COA Online

From the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. AS/COA Online's news brief examines the major—as well as some of the overlooked—events and stories occurring across the Americas. Check back every Wednesday for the weekly roundup.

Sign up to receive the Weekly Roundup via email.

Cholera Outbreak Worsens in Haiti

In the wake of tropical storm Tomás, the number of cases and deaths related to cholera continues to climb; the outbreak officially reached Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, according to the Pan American Health Organization. The Miami Herald offers a collection of AP videos about the outbreak, the storm, and preparations on the ground.

Argentine Junta Leader Massera Dies

Emilio Eduaro Massera, one of the main leaders of Argentina’s 1976 military coup and subsequent military government, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on November 8. Many see Massera as the brains behind the junta’s Dirty War, which led to the murder and disappearance of between 13,000 and 30,000 people. “Over his tomb will fall the spit of an outraged public, like intermittent rain,” said biographer Osvaldo Bayer, according to the Canadian Press.

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Tags: Mexico, Argentina, Haiti, Gang Violence


 
 

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