- Son of prominent Mexican politician shot dead
- Colombian drug boss turns himself in to U.S. officials
- Blast outside Nigerian bar kills one, wounds 11 - witness
Posted: 04 Oct 2012 08:32 PM PDT
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A son of the former chairman of Mexico's most powerful political party was found shot dead in a town south of the U.S. border notorious for drug traffickers, as the violence dogging the country struck the ruling establishment.
The body of Jose Eduardo Moreira, son of the embattled ex-chairman of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and former Coahuila state governor Humberto Moreira, was discovered near Ciudad Acuna, across the Rio Grande river from Texas, late on Wednesday, the state's government said on Thursday. He had been reported missing several hours before his body was found.
The centrist PRI ruled Mexico continually between 1929 and 2000 and is due to retake power in December, when Enrique Pena Nieto will assume the presidency.
Military reinforcements were sent into Coahuila to assist investigations into the killing, which hit one of the most prominent political families in the PRI and sparked outrage among party leaders.
A funeral service was held for Jose Eduardo on Thursday evening and television pictures showed his father breaking down in tears as he bore his son's coffin in Ciudad Acuna.
"I've had to put up with a lot of things, but I can't bear this," Moreira told reporters. "They killed my son. They shot him twice in the head. I expect justice," he added, calling his son a victim of Mexico's struggle with criminal violence.
Around 60,000 people have been killed in turf wars between drug gangs and their clashes with security forces since President Felipe Calderon of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) took office at the end of 2006.
Calderon staked his reputation on a military offensive to bring the gangs to heel. He has captured or killed many of the top bosses, but the violence has increased on his watch.
Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, who replaced Moreira as PRI chairman, said there could be no impunity in Mexico. "We need a crusade against violence with all tiers of government, society and religious organizations taking part," he said.
Pena Nieto has vowed to quickly reduce the violence after he takes power on December 1. He called the killing an "irreparable loss" to the Moreira family in a Tweet, and said the "murder should not go unpunished."
Critics of the PRI, which became a byword for corruption during its long domination of Mexico, say it is partly to blame for the impunity in the country, accusing it of having made deals with drug gangs in the past to keep the peace.
Jose Eduardo, who was in his twenties, worked for the Coahuila government now led by his uncle, Ruben Moreira.
Ciudad Acuna is a key transit point for cartels running drugs to Texas. It was not immediately clear if Jose Eduardo Moreira's murder was linked to organized crime in the city.
Some media reports said the killing may have been a revenge attack by the brutal Zetas gang on the Moreira family for losses suffered in recent clashes with security forces.
Humberto Moreira stepped down as PRI chairman in December due to a scandal surrounding a massive increase in Coahuila's debt when he was governor between 2005 and 2011.
Coahuila has become one of the states worst hit by drug violence. Though the number of killings nationwide linked to organized crime has eased somewhat this year, the death toll has surged toward its highest level under Calderon in Coahuila.
Calderon also condemned the killing, saying that he "deeply regretted this cowardly murder."
(Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez, Tim Gaynor and VerÃ³nica Gomez Sparrowe; Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Shumaker)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 04 Oct 2012 08:00 PM PDT
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Suspected Colombian drug trafficker Luis Enrique Calle has surrendered to U.S. drug enforcement officials in Panama, Colombia's defence minister said on Thursday.
"These criminals have no option. The pressure by the security forces leaves them no room and that's why they end up handing themselves in," Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon told a press conference in Bogota.
Calle, 36, is considered the leader of "Los Rastrojos" (The Leftovers), a violent criminal network that controls some smuggling routes and sends several tonnes of cocaine to the United States annually.
High-ranking Colombian police officials said several drug traffickers in the Andean country are in talks to turn themselves in to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. The DEA is offering lighter jail sentences in the United States if the traffickers provide officials information about other drug kingpins and their smuggling routes.
Luis Enrique is the third Calle brother arrested this year for drug trafficking. The U.S. government was offering $2.7 million (1.6 million pounds) for his capture.
Javier Antonio Calle surrendered to DEA agents in Aruba in May. His brother Juan Carlos was arrested in Ecuador in March.
As leaders of the Rastrojos, the brothers gained control of critical routes along Colombia's Pacific coast and cemented ties with Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel.
Aided by billions of dollars in U.S. aid, Colombia, one of the world's biggest cocaine exporters, has made strides in recent years against Marxist guerrillas and paramilitary groups that finance themselves with drug sales.
(Reporting By Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing By Eduardo Garcia; Editing by Stacey Joyce)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 04 Oct 2012 07:57 PM PDT
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - A bomb at an outdoor bar in a remote part of eastern Nigeria killed at least one person and wounded 11 on Thursday, a witness said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast in the town of Jalingo, Taraba state, an area which has been occasionally targeted by Islamist sect Boko Haram.
The sect is waging a low level insurgency against President Goodluck Jonathan's government and wants to impose sharia law on the northern part of Nigeria, a country whose 160 million people are spilt roughly evenly between Muslims and Christians.
The group has been blamed for hundreds of deaths in bombings and shootings this year.
It usually targets members of the security forces or government officials, though churches and bars are also frequent targets.
Witness Sadiq Adamu said the blast shook the area in the late evening.
"I saw one dead body and three people were critically injured and taken off to hospital," he said.
Police in the area were not immediately available for comment. In April, a bomb blast struck a police chief's convoy in Jalingo, killing 11 people, although it has been largely quiet since then.
(Reporting by Ibrahim Mshelizza; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
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