Colombia Confirms Presence of FARC Leader in Bombed Camp

first_imgBy Dialogo November 23, 2010 City of Tumaco Narino, my town is besieged by delinquents that are displacing the natives to the neighboring country Ecuador. The big fight is against daily extortion and murder. For example, a humble vegetable saleswoman who didn’t pay the protection, they killed her husband and she had to leave the town and take refuge in the county of San Lorenzo, Ecuador and there are thousands of cases like these and the governments in all of the countries are under control and I ask, isn’t the city of Tumaco Narino part of Colombia? Many thanks Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said on 21 November that according to a guerrilla wounded during an army attack on a rebel camp, one of the FARC’s leaders was there and is believed to have died, as President Juan Manuel Santos presumed the day before. “A guerrilla whom we found wounded already confirmed to us that it was Fabián Ramírez’s camp and that he was there along with thirteen other people. We’re missing eight bodies that we need to find and establish if one of them is Ramírez,” Rivera told the Caracol radio station. On 20 November, President Santos said that Ramírez, the leader of the guerrilla group’s South Block and considered a ‘high-value objective’ by the army, had “apparently” been killed in a military operation in the southern part of the country. ‘Ramírez,’ whose true name is José Benito Cabrera, had a leading role as a participant in the failed peace negotiations between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist guerrilla group, and conservative Andrés Pastrana’s administration (1998-2002). U.S. authorities point to Ramírez, who is forty-seven years old, as responsible for the shipment of hundreds of tons of cocaine to their country. They also accuse him of creating a sophisticated network of straw men for laundering money resulting from drug trafficking. Three brothers of the rebel leader have been arrested on charges related to drug trafficking, and one of them, Erminso Cabrera, was extradited to the United States in 2007. If his death is confirmed, it would be the second major blow struck against the rebel forces since Santos took office on 7 August. On 23 September, an army offensive killed Jorge Briceño, also known as ‘Mono Jojoy,’ the top military commander and second-ranking leader of the FARC, which has around 7,000 fighters according to the Defense Ministry.last_img read more

Network Trafficking Drugs between Czech Republic and Dominican Republic Is Dismantled

first_imgBy Dialogo November 04, 2011 The Czech police dismantled a network trafficking cocaine between the Dominican Republic and European Union countries by way of the Czech Republic and detained those chiefly responsible, a police chief announced in Prague. “The arrest of the three chief organizers took place in Prague. Previously, seven Czech traffickers (six women and one man) were detained at the Frankfurt and Brussels airports,” the head of the anti-drug brigade of the Czech police, Jakub Frydrych, announced. Seven kilos of cocaine, with a market value of around US $663,000, were seized, Frydrych indicated. “The drugs were destined for the Prague market, but also for other European Union countries,” Frydrych added in a statement. One of the three people arrested in Prague is of Iranian nationality, and the other two are Czech, according to the police chief.last_img read more

Colombian President Supports March against FARC

first_img Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos joined civil-society organizations in calling for a march on December 6 against “kidnapping,” “violence,” and “terrorist methods,” following the murder on Saturday of four members of the uniformed services kidnapped by the FARC. “The entire country rejects the FARC, rejects their terrorist methods and their persistence in violence, and for that reason, we’re all going to march on December 6, as one body, as one nation, in order to express that rejection,” Santos said at an event honoring police officers and military personnel in Bogotá. The call for a protest against this communist guerrilla group was issued by civil-society organizations on Sunday, using social networks, following the shooting deaths of four police officers and one member of the military who had been kidnapped and held for more than 12 years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Rosa Parra, the director of ‘Colombia Soy Yo’ [I Am Colombia] – one of the organizations calling for the march – said on Sunday that the protest’s objective is to carry out a mass mobilization in rejection of the FARC, similar to one held in February 2008. Administration representatives, members of Congress, political parties, and hundreds of citizens immediately added their backing to the initiative. Other organizations, meanwhile, have proposed an alternative march “against war,” and not only against the guerrillas, for December 10, International Human Rights Day. “We demand the release of all those who have been kidnapped. There is nothing that can justify this torture for those who are deprived of liberty,” Santos declared. Santos insisted that this guerrilla group was the only party responsible for the deaths of the four uniformed personnel, after the FARC blamed the president and the military high command for having thwarted a plan for the unilateral release of the hostages, stating that it was a “tragic outcome of an insane rescue attempt,” according to a statement published on the group’s website. The president affirmed that “the country is not stupid and does not let itself be deceived by despicable statements,” and he warned that if the guerrillas do not demobilize, “the only outcome left to them will be a cell or a tomb.” By Dialogo December 05, 2011last_img read more

Operation Ágata 5 Seizes Explosives, Marijuana

first_img The mobilization of Brazilian military troops to the southern and western border regions of Brazil resulted in the seizure of 25,935 pounds of explosives in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso. A major load was located in Itiquira, a region in the city of Rondonopolis (Mato Grosso), stored in a truck that transported the product to the quarry region without authorization. The military found 25,604 pounds in the vehicle alone. On Aug. 6, Army soldiers, supported by Federal Police agents seized 330 pounds of dynamite in the Brazilian towns of Ametista do Sul and Frederico Westphalen, in Rio Grande do Sul. These are the initial results yielded by Operation Ágata 5, which started at the beginning of the week covering 2,423 miles of border with Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. In the past few days, troop participation intensified and reached 17,000 soldiers patrolling the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Parana, and Mato Grosso do Sul. This represents a 70% increase of military and civil contingents at the borders. On Aug. 9, Brazilian Minister of Defense Celso Amorim; Army Commander General Enzo Martins Peri, and the Chief of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, General José Carlos De Nardi, visited the targeted area covered by Ágata 5. The vandalism of ATM machines in greater Rio Grande do Sul prompted the Intelligence Department of the Army to reassess the storage and trade of dynamite. In past weeks, gangs used explosives to vandalize equipment in four different towns in Rio Grande do Sul. The last incidence took place in the early hours of Aug. 7, in Sao Francisco de Paula, the Serra region. In 2012, the number of vandalized ATM machines reached 12. The operation resulted in the seizure of explosives. Besides dynamite, the troops found 9,000 meters of twine, 315 fuses, 661 pounds of marijuana, six guns and 86 parcels filled with illegal materials. In the last 48 hours of operation, 8,966 inspections and searches were conducted. The Brazilian Air Force and Civil Aviation Agency searched 11 airfields, including its airplanes and pilots. Operation Ágata 5 was established by an ordinance signed by President Dilma Rousseff on June 8, 2011. It outlined the Border Patrol Strategic Plan in which the Ministry of Defense, through the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, would lead the operations along the borders of ten countries with 710 Brazilian towns within 11 of its states. In this edition, the Navy, Army, and Air Force, with the participation of regulating agencies, Federal Police, Federal Highway Patrol, state and municipal forces will fight against the smuggling of narcotics, weapons, contraband and stolen cars, among other illegal activities. In the targeted area, the Armed Forces count on the support of fighter planes F5, Super Tucano, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), radar airplanes, 30 ships from different ports, Urutu and Cascavel tanks, and light and heavy weapons. The first two days of Operation Ágata produced the interception of an airplane by the Brazilian Airspace Defense Command and the inspections of 40 vessels. There were 54 patrols in naval, ground, and air missions. By Dialogo August 10, 2012last_img read more

UAVs in Public Security and Civil Defense (Part III, last)

first_img São Paulo In 2011, the São Paulo State Military Police (PMESP) began to use the domestically manufactured unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Tiriba. Like the Lanu III, it comes equipped with an electric engine, displays similar performance, and is manually launched. The institution has been using the Tiriba in a rural atmosphere, especially for environmental protection. The PMESP trained 15 officers, providing classes in simulators and practices in the Aeronautical Engineering Department of the University of São Paulo (USP – São Carlos). In the same year, there was a simulated road accident assistance exercise, where they mocked a toxic spill, with the participation of firefighters. Rio Grande do Sul In 2010, the Military Brigade of Rio Grande do Sul began to test the multi-engine UAVs during soccer games, similarly to what was done the same year as the Libertadores Cup soccer tournament, as well as at a local championship. It was also tested at the International Animal Exhibition – EXPOINTER, one of the most important and biggest agricultural trade fairs put on annually in Brazil. Santa Catarina In 2011, during the 20th National Onion Party in the town of Ituporanga, Santa Catarina state, the Military Police partnered with the Federal University, to successfully test two fixed-wing UAV models. One was the “flying wing” type and the other had a conventional design. Federal Police The Federal Police Department (DPF) operates two UAVs that are on a base in the town of São Miguel do Iguaçu, in the state of Paraná. When available, these aircraft monitor the borders, particularly to combat drug trafficking and smuggling. The DPF intends to use the UAVs in upcoming large sporting events, and is now seeking to acquire 12 more of these aircraft. Some Important Actions The initiatives in the field of UAVs in Brazil must be valued by the three spheres of government, including the possibility of reinforcing the National Defense Strategy. On the legislation topic, the Brazilian Air Force authorities are open to join forces with the Brazilian Police in support of public security and civil defense operations within their domains. Despite the restrictions on the use of these aircraft in highly populated areas, the rules may be revised by the regional aerial space control organizations, of which many state military institutions are already taking advantage. Regarding the training of UAV pilots, the Military Police will use the experience of the Brazilian Army and the Marines, where the pilots of their mini-UAVs, or tactics, are not required to be officers, and in the majority of the cases are privates (according to the division of the Brazilian Army). In any case, they are all required to take the same classes as the members of the forces, in order to create the proper military police doctrine. The state security officers may create work groups to exchange experiences with the Center for Excellency in Development of Embedded Systems for UAVs and Mobile Tactic Robots, to support surveillance of our borders, without forgetting the national industry, to develop unmanned systems that may meet the national needs. By Dialogo August 29, 2012last_img read more

Gold and Diamond-Encrusted Assault Rifle Found in Honduras Arsenal

first_img An AK-47 assault rifle coated in gold, and encrusted with emerald and diamond inlays, and two silver magazines surprised the authorities that found them on a farm located in the north of Honduras, Chief of Police Leonel Sauceda informed on January 6. “The weapons and eleven vehicles seized are worth $2 million, and just the AK-47 is worth 50,000 dollars,” he added. Sauceda indicated that the arsenal was hidden in fake compartments in five different cargo vehicles, and the operation to find it began on January 5. According to Sauceda, they were able to find them because inhabitants of the Jardín de Choloma City, located 300 km north of Tegucigalpa, had reported suspicious activities. “This is a very important blow against organized crime,” he stated. The arsenal includes 4,736 rounds of ammunition of different caliber, 32 caliber 5.7, 45, 3.80, 5.56 and 9 mm handguns, 15 rifles, four night vision goggles, four fragmentation grenades, 98 magazines, and five bulletproof military vests manufactured in the United States. Identity cards, automobile documentation, fake permits to carry guns, and blank Honduran passports were also found. The weapons were manufactured in the United States, Israel, Belgium, France, Rusia, Brazil and Czech Republic according to Sauceda. The police arrested two private security guards that were protecting the farm, both of whom have been charged with trafficking and weapons storage, prosecuting coordinator Marlen Banegas, told the press. “This case is moving forward, and it will come to an end once the prosecutor’s office identifies the individuals who brought the weapons in to Honduras, as well as the purpose,” he highlighted. Specialized organizations, such as the UN, consider Honduras the most violent country, without armed conflict, in the world, with 92 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants due to organized crime, especially drug trafficking, in 2012. By Dialogo January 08, 2013last_img read more

Hondurans pay $30 million annually in extortion: Analyst

first_imgBy Dialogo September 24, 2013 Extortion by gang members and organized crime operatives is so common that it is known as a “war tax,” one Tegucigalpa taxi driver said. He and his fellow taxi drivers have to pay organized crime operatives to avoid becoming victims of violence, said the taxi driver, who asked to be identified only as “Carlos” for safety reasons. Organized crime groups have cells of operatives to collect extortion money, Carlos said. “It is the war tax,” he said. “We each have to pay 2,000 lempiras monthly, we hand it to the route boss and a gang member collects the sum from him.” The extortion demands are causing great economic harm to him and his fellow taxi drivers, Carlos said. After paying the extortionists, he and his fellow taxi drivers usually have very little money left over, Carlos said. “We are almost working only for them,” he said. But refusing to pay the extortion is not an option, he said. “If we don’t pay, they kill us,” he said. Carlos changed his routes because the extortion demands in his old route were higher, he said. Taxi drivers are not the only victims of organized crime extortionists. Owners of small grocery stores, clothing shop owners, and restaurant operators are also targets of organized crime extortionists, Carlos said. Many business people cannot afford to make the payments, and close their shops, stalls, and restaurants, Joya said. About 1,500 businesses close every year because they cannot afford to pay extortion demands, he said. Criminals killed at least 84 taxi drivers in Honduras in 2012, according to the National Human Rights Commission. Attackers killed most of them because they refused to pay extortion demands or were unable to make the payments, according to a commission report. Another 15 taxi drivers were severely injured, and 20 passengers were killed or wounded, the report said. Taxi drivers, restaurant operators and shop owners are not the only ones being targeted by extortionists. Even some priests have reported being victims of extortion, authorities said. Reports of extortion are on the increase, authorities said. In 2011, police in Tegucigalpa recorded 163 reports of extortion, authorities said. In 2012, police in the city recorded 755 reports of extortion, an increase of more than 450 percent. Military Police Businesses close, extortion victims killed Most of the organized crime operatives who collect extortion money are boys or teenagers, Joya said. “The collectors are young kids between the ages of 10 and 16, all of them are minors because organized crime groups know that they are protected by law and will be released within 24 hours if they are captured,” Joya said. The boys and teenagers go from one business to the next collecting extortion money, Joya said. “At the national level we estimate criminals are collecting $2.5 million from small businesses per month, or $30 million per year.” center_img Youthful extortionists TEGUCIGALPA: In August 2013, the Honduran Congress approved the creation of the Military Police, which will work with the National Police to fight organized crime, general delinquency, and improve public safety. Fighting extortion by organized crime groups will be one of the main responsibilities of the Military Police. Organized crime operatives are forcing taxi drivers and small business owners in Honduras to pay nearly $10 million annually to extortionists, according to a recent report. There are 16 major markets in Tegucigalpa, where 14,000 stall owners sell clothing, electronics, produce and other kinds of food. Each of the stall owners pays about 300 lempiras a week in extortion money, according to a report by security analyst Billy Joya, a former Honduran police official. That adds up to 16 million lempiras a month and 192 million lempiras a year – the equivalent of $ 9.6 million. Extortion has become common in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and La Ceiba, according to the report and law enforcement officials. “War tax” The Military Police is scheduled to begin patrolling in Tegucigalpa and other cities in October 2013. Officials hope the Military Police will help combat extortion and other crimes. “We believe this strengthening will translate into reduced extortions, which by law are now considered acts of terrorism,” said Congressman German Leitzelar. my question is, do you keep a growth chart that can show population the progress of the business field where extortion payments are being eliminated? to what bank do they deposit those taxes, is there any surveillance on the bank accounts, where the amounts of the monthly deposits can be identified and matched with the dates and deposited amounts, and which analyzes what business does the deposited money come from? why don’t they use cops infiltrated as cab drivers!!!! to follow also the businesses that pay taxes a couple of times and then follow up to see where it leads to, if criminals are smart then disguise yourselves as criminals and you will be able to catch them!1 They will never be able to eliminate those delinquents because its a mob associated with the police and high-rank officials, so you need to start with the upper level in order to eliminate some of those delinquent mooches. It’s an unfortunate fact If we change its name, it’s identical to what goes on in Venezuela. Only God can change things, a civil servant will not put away a blackmailer because he cannot do it. If he does, he or his family gets killed, so he would rather play ignorant. This corruption occurs because the governments are accomplices as well and are not interested in doing anything, since there are policemen and politicians involved. It is necessary to perform a deep reform of the judicial laws of that country. THE SECURITY SITUATION IN HONDURAS IS LIKE A STRAIGHT JACKET. ON ONE HAND, ORGANIZED CRIME IS EITHER EXTORTING THE PEOPLE OR KILLING THEM, AND ON THE OTHER HAND, THE WAR TAX AGAINST THE CITIZENS WHO DON’T EVEN HAVE MONEY TO EAT, NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE PRICES OF THE BASIC FOOD BUT ALSO BECAUSE OF THE HIGH TAXES, TO THE POINT WHERE MUNICIPALITIES HAVE INCREASED TAXES 80 TIMES WITH NO JOBS AND WITHOUT ADDING THE SECURITY RATE. WE ARE CORNERED LIKE IN THE BATTLE BETWEEN HITLER AND THE JEWS…THEY WANT TO ELIMINATE US. It’s a shame what Honduras is going through. Be strong and don’t give in to this abuse and may God protect you from this evil. I wish people were patient, since the police forces will be improved. Yes…congrats to the government for taking immediate action to eliminate the delinquency that has been taking over in almost all countries of the world. I hope it serves as example for all governments worldwide. If the state and its institutions fulfilled their responsibilities, there would be no charges or theft!! I don’t understand why you publish this article discrediting Honduras. Just like all countries we have security issues but there are more good people than bad. I love Honduras and would never leave. It shows the level of social decomposition that the people of Latin America are experiencing.last_img read more

Colombia Declares Municipalities Free of Anti-personnel Mines

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo May 22, 2018 The Colombian National Army declared another 37 municipalities mine-free. The announcement took place April 4th, on the United Nations’ International Anti-Personnel Mine Awareness Day. “Today, we take an unprecedented leap in the task of demining Colombia,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stated at the official ceremony in Puerto Inírida, in southeastern Colombia. “We now completed 33 percent of the baseline total set out in the 2016-2021 strategic plan, which identified 673 municipalities as being contaminated by mines to some degree.” The Army’s First Brigade of Humanitarian Demining Engineers cleared 43,415 square kilometers of anti-personnel mines. The task required 4,930 certified personnel, 3,061 deminers, 36 monitors, 165 supervisors, and 948 leaders, among others, according to a brigade press release. “With these results, Colombia drops from being the second country in the world with the most anti-personnel mine victims to the tenth,” Army Colonel Giovanni Rodríguez, commander of the First Brigade of Humanitarian Demining Engineers, told Diálogo. “With these municipalities cleared, we begin to see that the government will keep its promise to the world, as the number of victims drops compared with the past.” The Ottawa Convention When Colombia signed the Ottawa Convention in 1997, it agreed not to use, manufacture, or transport anti-personnel mines. Ratified in 2000, the agreement dictated that Colombia establish goals to free the country from mines. “Things were complicated during the first decade because of the armed conflict,” Col. Rodríguez said. The task began in 2004 with one platoon. By 2006, it grew to involve an entire company, and, in 2009, the 60th Demining Batallion Colonel Gabino Gutiérrez was formed (BIDES, in Spanish). “BIDES operated from 2009 to 2016. When the peace accords were signed, its commitments included greater urgency regarding humanitarian demining,” Col. Rodríguez said. Colombia’s goal is to be mine-free by 2021, requiring that 51 million square meters of territory be cleared. “In 2017, we declared 13 municipalities mine-free, and, in 2018, we completed 37 more [by April],” Col. Rodríguez said. “We hope to reach a similar number in the following quarter. Our goal is to have 119 mine-free municipalities by December [2018].” The cleared municipalities are distributed among 14 departments. The latest occurred on April 19th in the municipality of Granada, in western Antioquia. The Army’s demining personnel dedicated eight years to clearing the municipality’s 485,000 square meters of territory. “During those eight years, 190 explosive devices were destroyed,” Col. Rodríguez said. “Manual demining [is] important because it allows us to determine that there was a high level of contamination, and the result directly benefits the 9,800 inhabitants of Granada.” Field work In each municipality, contact is made first with civil authorities and victim networks, who have statistics on persons affected by anti-personnel mines. “The community’s support is really the most important thing. Our mission is to free them from antipersonnel mine threats,” Army Second Lieutenant Laura Melisa Martínez García, head of the Community Networks and Non-Technical Studies of the First Brigade of Humanitarian Demining Engineers, told Diálogo. “We hold community meetings to explain the entire demining process so that they can tell us where there’s contamination.” Deminers then work eight-hour days in dangerous territory using that information. “[Deminers] may activate a device at any time. With great professionalism and care, they begin to check the land [for devices], centimeter by centimeter,” 2nd Lt. Martínez said. Then, various government programs, such as land restitution for those displaced by violence, are brought to the demined territories. “Our mission is to save lives,” 2nd Lt. Martínez concluded. “For us, what matters is that our work makes the community safe and, obviously, that our country thrives once again.”last_img read more

Argentine Armed Forces Join the Fight Against Coronavirus

first_imgBy Eduardo Szklarz / Diálogo April 02, 2020 The Argentine Armed Forces have joined national prevention efforts against coronavirus to confront a potential infection peak. The Ministry of Defense ordered the creation of 14 Joint Emergency Zone Commands and 10 task forces nationwide.Service members will provide logistics support to security forces, conduct humanitarian assistance activities, distribute food, and provide health care to the population.“We have the entire capacity of the Armed Forces and their 90,000 men ready to take part, in different ways, in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic,” Argentine Minister of Defense Agustín Rossi told the press.On March 24, Rossi ordered all 15 military hospitals in the country to be ready to deal with a possible health emergency. Retired personnel up to 60 years old who are not in an at-risk group may be called to serve, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.Air Force and Army helicopters patrol the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, where 70 percent of the cases are concentrated, to alert security forces about violations of the mandatory quarantine the government decreed. While the majority of the population has complied with the president’s orders to stay home, many citizens have violated the order – a crime punishable by imprisonment.Army deploys hospitalThe Argentine Army set up a Mobile Military Hospital (HMR, in Spanish) in the town of Campo de Mayo, in Buenos Aires province, to increase health care services. The HMR has tents and units that provide first aid, surgery, and hospitalization. The Air Force will also deploy its HMR, which was fundamental with support efforts following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.Argentine Navy personnel distribute food in the town of Ushuaia to ensure compliance with the government’s social distancing decree. (Photo: Argentine Navy)The Military Tailoring department, which usually makes uniforms, began to produce masks (which are scarce in pharmacies) and sheets for surgical centers. In addition, the Armed Forces Joint Pharmaceutical Lab doubled its production of alcohol-based gel, another scarce item, to 660 gallons a week.Since the pandemic was declared, service members have also been cooperating to bring home the nearly 30,000 Argentines that remain stranded abroad. On March 21, two Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft flew to Peru to repatriate 140 Argentine citizens and return 140 Peruvian nationals that were in Argentina.Navy delivers foodPersonnel of the Southern Naval Area delivered food to Ushuaia residents, on the southernmost tip of Argentina, in an operation organized by the 14th Emergency Zone Command. The military distributed 800 bags of food in community kitchens and houses to ensure social distancing, the Navy said in a statement.As a preventive measure against COVID-19, the ARA Islas Malvinas ship has anchored prior to entering Puerto Belgrano Naval Base. The crew, which just finished the Combined Naval Antarctic Patrol with the Chilean Navy, wants to make sure they are not a source of infection.Border areasThe Armed Forces are also providing logistics support to the Gendarmerie, which patrols border areas. The governor of Salta province, Gustavo Sáenz, urged President Alberto Fernández to also authorize service members to participate in monitoring the “nearly 30 illegal border crossings” on the Bolivian border to prevent the virus from entering.“The Gendarmerie does not have enough human resources due to the border’s length,” said Sáenz in a YouTube video. “Mr. President, we need the Army in the streets. We need the Army on the borders to ensure that no one enters the country.”last_img read more

Test page

first_imgJuly/August 2004 Volume LXXVIII, No. 7 The Florida Bar Journal The Florida Bar News Test page Click here for the 2004 Directory order form. September 10, 2004 Regular News How to Advertise Lawyers Marketplace September 15, 2004last_img