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Guatemalan security forces capture gang members carrying improvised bombs

first_imgJust outside of Guatemala City, a man and a woman allegedly carrying improvised explosives were arrested August 27 by investigators from the Department of Crimes against Life, of the Specialized Division of Criminal Investigation. Both suspects were carrying cellphones which had been rigged to donate improvised bombs, as well as instructions on how to make such weapons. By Dialogo November 06, 2014 Conde, 38, is an alleged hitman and leader of the Pequeños Sicarios faction of the Barrio 18 gang. Since 1999, police have arrested him for 11 offenses, including aggravated robbery, death threats, and carrying explosive devices, according to Pablo Castillo, spokesman for the National Civil Police. The PNC suspects that he has carried out multiple attacks in Guatemala City against businesses, delivery trucks, and civilians. Barrio 18 and other gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) often use the threat of improvised bombs to commit extortion against bus drivers, business owners, and individuals. During the arrest, police seized two other cellphones that La Serpiente and Jordan were carrying. The devices held incriminating video and photos of the suspects killing two women the day before they were captured. Gangs use explosives to commit extortion “The authorities cannot allow these criminal groups to have those capabilities because it would be a danger to society,” said Sandino Asturias, director of the Center of Guatemalan Studies. “The authorities are using criminal investigation and specialized systems to dismantle the gang’s structures.” Barrio 18 and other gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) often use the threat of improvised bombs to commit extortion against bus drivers, business owners, and individuals. The arrests of the alleged Barrio 18 members demonstrate that Guatemalan security forces are cracking down on criminal groups which used improvised bombs. The threat of gang members with explosives Just outside of Guatemala City, a man and a woman allegedly carrying improvised explosives were arrested August 27 by investigators from the Department of Crimes against Life, of the Specialized Division of Criminal Investigation. Both suspects were carrying cellphones which had been rigged to donate improvised bombs, as well as instructions on how to make such weapons. The Ministry of Government identified the two suspects as Yesenia Sofía del Águila Hernández, 26, also known as “La Serpiente,” and Luis Alejandro Morataya Sicaja, 23, who also uses the name “Jordan.” They both allegedly belong to the Vatos Locos faction of the Barrio 18 (M-18) gang, which is also known as 18th Street. “The gangs have found extortion is a good mechanism to finance their activities, in particular, the extortion of public transportation,” Asturias said. “The authorities have acted quickly and have dismantled dozens of gangs dedicated to extortion thanks to the good use of intelligence and police investigation.” During the arrest, police seized two other cellphones that La Serpiente and Jordan were carrying. The devices held incriminating video and photos of the suspects killing two women the day before they were captured. “The authorities cannot allow these criminal groups to have those capabilities because it would be a danger to society,” said Sandino Asturias, director of the Center of Guatemalan Studies. “The authorities are using criminal investigation and specialized systems to dismantle the gang’s structures.” A little more than two weeks before that arrest, agents with the Guatemalan National Civil Police (PNC) — in cooperation with the Army’s Citizenry Security and the Maya Task Force — also arrested Denis Aníbal Conde in northwest Guatemala City. During that operation they also seized a backpack filled with eight ounces of explosives, a shotgun, and two cartridges for an anti-aircraft machine gun. The arrests of the alleged Barrio 18 members demonstrate that Guatemalan security forces are cracking down on criminal groups which used improvised bombs. Guatemalan police are cracking down on gang members who use explosive devices to carry out their criminal schemes. In two separate operations, they captured three alleged gang members who were carrying improvised bombs before the weapons could be detonated. The threat of gang members with explosives For example, in July, police agents captured suspected Barrio 18 members Álvaro Elías Xocoy Alvizures, 20, and José Misael Shin Muyuz, 20, for allegedly threatening a shopkeeper with a grenade. The two were arrested less than three weeks after a grenade attack, against a water truck, killed one woman and injured 11 people; police captured four alleged gang members — three minors and one adult — in connection with the attack. A little more than two weeks before that arrest, agents with the Guatemalan National Civil Police (PNC) — in cooperation with the Army’s Citizenry Security and the Maya Task Force — also arrested Denis Aníbal Conde in northwest Guatemala City. During that operation they also seized a backpack filled with eight ounces of explosives, a shotgun, and two cartridges for an anti-aircraft machine gun. Guatemalan police are cracking down on gang members who use explosive devices to carry out their criminal schemes. In two separate operations, they captured three alleged gang members who were carrying improvised bombs before the weapons could be detonated. Conde, 38, is an alleged hitman and leader of the Pequeños Sicarios faction of the Barrio 18 gang. Since 1999, police have arrested him for 11 offenses, including aggravated robbery, death threats, and carrying explosive devices, according to Pablo Castillo, spokesman for the National Civil Police. The PNC suspects that he has carried out multiple attacks in Guatemala City against businesses, delivery trucks, and civilians. The captures of La Serpiente, Jordan, and Conde are just the most recent in a series of successful operations conducted by security forces this year against gang members in possession of explosives. Gangs use explosives to commit extortion The Ministry of Government identified the two suspects as Yesenia Sofía del Águila Hernández, 26, also known as “La Serpiente,” and Luis Alejandro Morataya Sicaja, 23, who also uses the name “Jordan.” They both allegedly belong to the Vatos Locos faction of the Barrio 18 (M-18) gang, which is also known as 18th Street. “The gangs have found extortion is a good mechanism to finance their activities, in particular, the extortion of public transportation,” Asturias said. “The authorities have acted quickly and have dismantled dozens of gangs dedicated to extortion thanks to the good use of intelligence and police investigation.” The captures of La Serpiente, Jordan, and Conde are just the most recent in a series of successful operations conducted by security forces this year against gang members in possession of explosives. For example, in July, police agents captured suspected Barrio 18 members Álvaro Elías Xocoy Alvizures, 20, and José Misael Shin Muyuz, 20, for allegedly threatening a shopkeeper with a grenade. The two were arrested less than three weeks after a grenade attack, against a water truck, killed one woman and injured 11 people; police captured four alleged gang members — three minors and one adult — in connection with the attack.last_img read more

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Majority of Indonesian public favors direct presidential elections: Survey

first_imgOf those who favored direct regional elections, 41.2 percent agreed they preferred to directly elect regional heads – governors, regents, and mayors – because it meant they would retain the right to vote and be voted for.The survey results seem to have clearly illustrated where the public stands on the issue of direct elections as the government floats the idea of so-called “asymmetrical elections”.Home Minister Tito Karnavian created controversy late last year when he suggested that the government should only hold direct elections in democratically “mature” provinces. Regions that were deemed prone to political instability, such as Papua, would instead host indirect elections, he said.Read also: Arguments against direct elections spurious: CSIS“With direct regional elections, besides the potential of conflict in some regions with shootouts happening between tribes, identity politics is also on the rise,” Tito said. “Maybe the evaluation will find [that we should hold] asymmetrical regional elections.”The idea of abolishing direct elections has been periodically floated since their establishment in 2004, with the last major attempt in 2014 overturned by a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) issued by then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.Topics : Belief in democracy among the Indonesian public remains strong despite the political turbulence that dominated last year’s headlines, as reflected by a survey from pollster Indo Barometer.The survey, which was conducted from Jan. 9 to 15, found that the overwhelming majority of respondents favored democratic political practices, which in theory grant the public rights such as direct elections, over practices that would revert electoral power to centralized bodies.The report showed that 89.4 percent of the 1,200 respondents were in favor of a direct presidential election, whereas only 4.1 percent of the respondents supported an indirect election, which would effectively grant The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) the sole authority to elect country leaders. Meanwhile, 6.5 percent of survey respondents were ambivalent on the issue. Of those in favor of direct elections in general, 42.5 percent said they were in favor of directly electing the president and vice president specifically because it meant they would retain the right to vote and be voted for.In contrast, of those in favor of an indirect election, 32.7 percent said they preferred such an option for the presidency because it was more likely to prevent conflict among the public. Others – 30.6 percent of the respondents – said indirect elections would be cheaper than direct elections.Read also: Indonesia plans to keep direct elections in democratically ‘mature’ provinces. Papua may be left out.The report also showed that the overwhelming majority of respondents reached a similar consensus on the matter of regional elections, as 88.2 percent were in favor of direct regional elections. Only 5.9 percent favored regional elections through Regional Legislative Councils (DPRD), while the remaining 5.9 percent remained ambivalent on the issue.last_img read more

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