Colombia: Army destroys six cocaine laboratories By Dialogo November 03, 2010 SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Bachata singer Jimmy Bauer was detained after attempting to board a flight at a Dominican Republic airport bound for the United States on Nov. 1, officials said. Bauer, whose real name is Jaime Vargas, became ill at the city’s international airport when a couple of pellets of cocaine he had swallowed are suspected of rupturing, Ramón Alcides Rodríguez, spokesman of the country’s drug control agency, said, according to The Associated Press. Bauer was stopped during the boarding practice because he was “acting strange,” and an X-ray of his abdomen showed dozens of capsules in his stomach, Rodríguez said. Bauer was taken to the hospital, where 88 capsules of cocaine were allegedly discovered in his stomach, Rodríguez said, adding two of them had burst. Bauer’s medical status wasn’t immediately available. He’s being guarded by three officers from the counter-narcotics agency. TIJUANA, Mexico – The Mexican army said it has confiscated about 13 tons of marijuana in the border city on Nov. 1, close to where authorities seized a record 134 tons of the narcotic about two weeks ago. The seizure was made near a rehabilitation center where gunmen fatally shot 13 recovering addicts on Oct. 24, an army spokesman said, according to The Associated Press. Officials said the shootings at the rehabilitation center could be linked to the record bust and may have involved suspected members of the Sinaloa drug cartel, whose massive amount of marijuana was seized on Oct. 18. More than 28,000 have been killed in drug-related attacks nationwide since 2006, according to government data. Dominican Republic: Bachata singer Jimmy Bauer detained on drug charges Argentine, Chilean officials make major marijuana bust The marijuana, which had a street value of US$2 million, was found hidden in a truck’s tires, according to the Chilean website Emol.com. The bust culminated a two-month operation in which authorities arrested three in Chile and five in Argentina. The seizure was made at Paso Los Libertadores, an Andean mountain pass connecting the two nations, according to the Argentine website Elsolonline.com. Peru: Police capture suspected Shining Path’s Leader BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Army troops have dismantled six cocaine laboratories suspected of belonging to organized crime groups this past weekend in the departments of Chocó, Nariño and Putumayo, officials said. The first raid in the municipality of Linares, department of Nariño, ended with the destruction of three laboratories suspected of belonging to the criminal gang Los Rastrojos. The military also eradicated 455 gallons of coca leaves, 170 gallons of sulfuric acid, 120 gallons of gasoline, 332 kilograms of chopped coca leaf and 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of ammonium sulfate, according to the Colombian website Caracol Radio.com. The second raid in the municipality of Puerto Asís, department of Putumayo, occurred at a facility suspected of belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) 48th front. Soldiers discovered 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of coca leaves, 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of cement, three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of baking soda, 100 gallons of gasoline, two storage tanks, seven plastic containers, a metal press and a scale. In the municipality of Medio Atrato in the department of Chocó, the military raided a laboratory suspected of belonging to the FARC’s 57th front that contained plenty of materials used to produce cocaine, including 250 gallons of gasoline and 13 kilograms (28.6 pounds) of caustic soda, according to the Colombian website El Espectador.com. In the municipality of Orito, department of Putumayo, the army dismantled a complex allegedly belonging to an unidentified group of narcotics traffickers. Soldiers seized 120 kilograms (264 pounds) of coca leaves, several bins and a metal press. LIMA, Peru – Julio Váldez Loya, a suspected leader of the Shining Path, was apprehended this past weekend in the Upper Huallaga Valley, where he allegedly served on the terrorist group’s regional committee, Fernando Barrios, the country’s interior minister, said. Váldez, who goes by the alias “Comrade Franklin,” is the third suspected Shining Path member taken into custody in less than a month, Barrios said, according to the Peruvian website Peru21.pe. Barrios said Váldez was “one of the bloodiest” members of the terrorist group, and his arrest “certifies that the government has emphasized the fight against narco-terrorism,” according to the Peruvian website La Republica.com. TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Five gunmen broke into a military base at the La Mesa International Airport in San Pedro Sula on Nov. 1 and stole a twin-engine plane that officials confiscated during a counter-narcotics operation last year. The gunmen assaulted three security guards stationed at the entrance gate before proceeding to the military hangar near a runway. The men started the plane and soared away toward an unknown destination, Security Minister Oscar Álvarez said. The military had been given possession of the plane while the government decided whether to give it to a state agency, Álvarez said, according to The Associated Press. “It was really a temptation for organized crime or drug traffickers to have the plane there,” said Álvarez, adding the gunmen’s identities are unknown. The theft occurred at around 3 a.m., and military officials immediately launched an investigation into the crime. The base commander has been suspended indefinitely, Armando Calidonio, the vice minister of security, said. “We are fighting a struggle against organized crime and drug trafficking,” Álvarez said, according to the AP. SANTIAGO, Chile – An initiative involving Argentine and Chilean law enforcement officials seized 271 kilograms (596 pounds) of marijuana, a major blow to a network moving the narcotic across the two nations. Gunmen steal plane from Honduran military base
Authorities are investigating the Los Angeles Police Department response to unrest at the end of an immigration rights march Tuesday evening. A day of mostly calm rallies in L.A. and nationwide ended with a clash at MacArthur Park in which officers fired rubber bullets and used batons against demonstrators, including members of the media. Police promised to review the use of force. Several people, including about a dozen officers, were hurt during skirmishes at the park. About 10 people were taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries including cuts, authorities said. None of the injuries was believed to be serious. At least one person was arrested, Officer Mike Lopez said late Tuesday. “Any time that our law enforcement officials employ force, the public has an absolute and unqualified right to expect and demand an aggressive review of the facts. This review is already under way,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. The incident started after 6 p.m. when police tried to disperse demonstrators who had moved off the sidewalk onto the street. Authorities said several people of the few thousand still at the rally threw rocks and bottles at officers, who fired rubber bullets and used batons to push the crowd back onto the sidewalk. “(Police) started moving in and forcing them out of the park, people with children, strollers,” said Angela Sambrano, director of the Central American Resource Center. Maria Elena Durazo, the executive secretary-treasurer at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said the trouble was instigated by “a group of anarchists, not associated with the rally.” She also criticized the police response, saying the rubber bullets were fired on a peaceful crowd with little warning. Bratton said “certain elements of the crowd” started the disturbance, but the “vast, vast majority of the people who were here were behaving appropriately.” Late Tuesday he promised an investigation to “determine if the use of force was appropriate.” In an interview early this morning with KNX radio, Bratton said “some of what I’ve seen as chief of the department does not look appropriate.” The department said it would review the incident at a news conference later today. The Los Angeles Police Protective League issued a statement saying the incident began when officers tried to disperse demonstrators who has moved off the sidewalk and onto the street. “Several people at the rally threw rocks and bottles at officers,” league President Bob Baker said in the statement. “Our officers gave a legal dispersal order and were met with violence. In the coming days it will become clear what transpired. Until then, there should be no rush to judgement.” The Radio and Television News Association of Southern California called for an investigation into “violent treatment of journalists.” “There is evidence that officers knocked reporters to the ground, used batons on photographers and damaged cameras, possibly motivated by anger over journalists photographing efforts by officers to control the movements of marchers,” an RTNA statement said. Spanish-language TV station Telemundo said one of its reporters and three camera operators had been injured and taken to the hospital by police. Fox 11 aired video of a station camerawoman apparently being struck by a baton-wielding police officer in riot gear. A reporter for KPCC public radio said on the air this morning that she was hit twice by police, even though she was wearing a press pass and told the officer repeatedly that she was with the media. She was treated at a local hospital.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As images of the marchers and journalists being pushed and prodded by Los Angeles police officers flashed across television and computer screens today, the City Council called for an investigation and account of what happened. Concerned the incident could trigger more violent confrontations with police, the council passed an emergency motion asking the Police Commission and Chief William Bratton to come to City Council chambers and publicly share the results of the investigation. “The urgency is that we need to step up and show that we are taking this seriously and we are going to look at this thoroughly,” said Councilman Jose Huizar, who co-sponsored the motion with Councilmen Ed Reyes and Jack Weiss. “If we don’t, there’s a possibility that other incidents, such as the one we saw last night on TV clips, may occur again. I don’t want that on my conscience. I don’t want anybody else to get hurt.” From San Salvador, where he’s traveling for city business, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he is also deeply concerned with the images he has seen from the incident and has asked Police Commission President John Mack and Chief William Bratton to oversee and ensure a thorough investigation.