By Dialogo April 18, 2011 Colombian authorities have arrested Leonardo Chaux Hernández, alias Simón Bernate, whom they accuse of being an ideological proponent of the FARC guerrilla group, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and military commanders announced on 14 April. “Simón Bernate was apprehended by Army personnel on Tuesday [12 April], in a rural area of the municipality of Natagaima (in the province of Tolima, in the southern part of the country), where he appears to have been engaged in indoctrinating members of the subversive organization,” the Public Prosecutor’s Office indicated in a statement. According to the agency, 51-year-old Chaux was a member of the Adán Izquierdo Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which operates in western Colombia, and is accused of the offenses of rebellion, extortion, kidnapping, and forced displacement. At the time of his arrest, a portable computer and several disks were seized from him. “The detainee, who accepted his responsibility for the charges levied by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, was remanded to a jail in Ibagué, the provincial capital,” the Public Prosecutor’s Office concluded. “He is an influential guerrilla, notably important with regard to the management of the political and ideological part of the guerrilla group. His arrest is a visible loss for the FARC,” Col. Julio Prieto, commander of the local brigade, assured reporters. “His job consisted in trying to deceitfully link indigenous communities and peasant organizations to the guerilla group’s political work. He was an expert in turning people against the government when armed actions were being carried out in specific areas,” the officer added. According to Ariel Avila, a researcher for the private Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris who is a specialist in the guerilla group, Simón Bernate was known as “a good recruiter.” “He did a task for the guerrilla group in urban areas,” Avila specified to AFP, but “he’s not important in the FARC command structure.” The FARC has been engaged in armed struggle against the Colombian state for forty-six years and has around eight thousand fighters, according to official estimates.
China took the rare move of not setting an annual growth target this year after the coronavirus battered the world’s second-largest economy and ravaged global growth, Premier Li Keqiang said Friday.Instead, given “great uncertainty” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing will “give priority to stabilising employment and ensuring living standards”, he told the opening of the National People’s Congress.He also announced that China’s fiscal deficit was expected to be over 3.6 percent of gross domestic product this year, with a deficit increase of one trillion yuan (US$140 billion) over last year. Another one trillion yuan of government bonds will be issued for COVID-19 control, he added, calling these “extraordinary measures for an unusual time”.The two trillion yuan will be transferred in full to local governments, with the funds to be primarily used for ensuring employment, meeting basic living needs, and protecting market entities, said Li.He also said governments at all levels should “tighten their belts”, and that all types of surplus, idle and carryover funds will be withdrawn and re-allocated, to be put to better use.It is the first time in recent years that officials have decided not to issue a numerical growth target, which is typically seen as a signal of the resources leaders are willing to spend to shore up the economy.Li said China is “keenly aware of the difficulties and problems” the country faces, with COVID-19 sending the world economy into recession.Before the pandemic, China was expected to announce a growth target of around six percent this year, allowing it to meet its key political commitment of doubling gross domestic product from 2010 to 2020.But with the COVID-19 shock causing economic growth to shrink 6.8 percent in the first quarter, and with further damage on the cards, such a target was seen as no longer realistic.Topics :