Lone Police Officer In Northern Mexican Town Still Missing After Four Days
December 29, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — The Mexican border town of Guadalupe remains without any police supervision, as its lone of officer was kidnapped five days ago.
Erika Gándara, 28, was the village’s entire police force in an area that has been plagued by violence related to Mexico’s drug cartels. She was abducted by gunmen who stormed into her home five days ago, but the Chihuahua state attorney general’s office said Monday that there was still no official report of the kidnapping.
The attorney general’s office said the case started as a missing person’s report.
Gándara has held out from leaving the police force despite the resignations and killings of her colleagues. She had patrolled the town of 9,000 inhabitants on her own since June.
Assailants also set fire to the home of a Guadalupe town councilwoman on the same day that Gándara disappeared.
The rural valley where Guadalupe is located is across the border from the Fabens area east of El Paso, TX and is a busy smuggling corridor for the cartels. The Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels have been battling for control of the valley, which has lead many residents to flee across the border to Texas or to other Mexican cities.
The town itself has become a direct target for the cartels, with several town council members murdered and three heads, one of a former police commander, being left in an ice chest in the town’s central plaza.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim will announce his mining and real estate companies next week, which are two sectors expected to expand his business empire.
- More U.S. states are pushing for tough immigration legislation similar to a controversial bill introduced in Arizona earlier this year.
- A diplomatic cable from 2008 made public by WikiLeaks highlights problems in Cuba’s healthcare system.
- Haiti has granted full access to the Organization of American States to verify the results of a recount in the country’s disputed presidential elections.
- Unidentified gunmen shot and killed radio reporter Henry Suazo, the 10th journalist to be killed this year in Honduras, the most dangerous country for members of the media, Radio HRN said Tuesday.
- Gunshot victims overwhelm Guatemala City’s largest hospital, San Juan de Diós.
- More than 100 people on Tuesday paid their last respects to former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Pérez, during a wake held in Miami, where Pérez spent his final days.
- The Colombian peso hit its weakest level this year Tuesday as the central bank’s hefty purchases of dollars in low-liquidity holiday trading caused the greenback to soar.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales defended an 83-percent hike on gasoline prices, saying previous subsidies were a “drain on the economy” after bus drivers announced an open-ended strike.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales delivered over 50 tons of rice as humanitarian aid for those left homeless by recent heavy rains and flooding on Venezuela’s Guajira peninsula.
- The Times of London named the 33 rescued Chilean miners the “Team of the Year” on Tuesday for their “grace, discipline and humor” while trapped underground.
- A Rio de Janeiro court ordered Air France to pay 727,000 dollars to relatives of a Brazilian family that died in the airline’s deadliest air accident in June 2009.
- Egypt bought 180,000 metric tons of soft Argentine and U.S. wheat in a tender, according to the country’s vice chairman of the General Authority for Supply Commodities.
- Uruguay will adopt a Japanese and Brazilian digital TV standard known as ISDB-T, instead of European rival DVB-T, citing a need to be in line with its partners in the South American trade bloc Mercosur.
Image: Gobierno Federal @ Flickr.