Guatemala Fights Back

first_img The government reported in February that the siege had netted several armored SUVs, 230 firearms — including assault rifles and grenade launchers — and five planes used by drug traffickers. “Organized crime is not just infiltrating us, it pains me to say it, but drug traffickers have us cornered,” President Colom told Congress. “Just the weapons seized in Alta Verapaz are more than those of some Army brigades.” Threats Against Civilians Amid the emergency measures, a sinister message was sent to citizens of Guatemala. Men claiming to be Los Zetas operatives stormed three radio stations in Alta Verapaz and threatened to burn them down if broadcasters did not pass on their threat of war, Interior Ministry spokesman Nery Morales told The Associated Press. The message said that if the president did not fulfill unspecified promises, “war will start in this country, in shopping malls, schools and police stations.” It was just the latest intimidation tactic employed by the ruthless drug traffickers who rolled into Guatemalan territory brandishing assault rifles. Posing as government officials, they asked locals for the names of former Guatemalan Special Forces Soldiers, or Kaibiles, resident Valeriano Maquín told The Wall Street Journal. Maquín said he thought the strangers were looking to recruit them. They also began clearing out areas to keep residents from interfering with their drug operations. “They say to the families, ‘You can sell to us and leave standing up, or you can refuse and go feet first,’ ” indigenous leader Oscar Pop told The Washington Post. Letting Their Guard Down Guatemala’s Military, which fought leftist guerrillas during the country’s 36-year civil war (1960-1996), is ill-prepared for a confrontation with well-financed and well-armed drug traffickers, Alberto Islas, a security expert at consultancy Risk Evaluation, told The Wall Street Journal. After the peace process began in 1996, the size of the Army was reduced. In 2004, three military bases along the border with Mexico were closed down as required by the Peace Accords that ended Guatemala’s civil war leaving the door wide open to criminals. “I never imagined that the armed conflict had protected the country,” President Colom said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “The guerrillas never got involved in drug trafficking. And then we reduced the military and the police.” Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Menocal said in February 2011 that the ranks of the country’s police force are thin, with just one officer for every 700 residents. The United Nations recommends one per 400 residents. The government has sought to reform the National Civil Police with the support of the United States and other countries. Guatemala’s experience underlines the need for countries to work together against transnational criminal organizations such as Los Zetas. The United States’ contribution includes funding from the Central America Regional Security Initiative and the expertise of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which in 2010 sent Huey helicopters to chase drug smugglers attempting to land at remote airstrips in Guatemala, The Washington Post reported. President Colom didn’t stop in his quest to bring in reinforcements to secure his country. He told El Universal in January 2011 that he’s sought more anti-drug aid from the European Union, and in March, he and other Central American leaders met with U.N. leaders to seek support. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heard them loud and clear. “We have to foster security for all Guatemalans and their children,” Ban said. “I am sure the people of Guatemala agree they did not end 36 years of armed conflict only to see violence take other forms. Now it is time to end all violence.” In 2008, things began to unravel in Guatemala. That is when Los Zetas criminal organization crept from Mexico into wild spaces in Alta Verapaz, killing local drug lord Juan José “Juancho” León, threatening residents and taking over cocaine trafficking through the region. Back then, U.S. radar tracking showed that about 44 percent of cocaine shipments headed north moved through Central America, The New York Times reported. In 2010, that number was closer to 84 percent. Violence has also remained high. In 2010, the country of 14 million people saw 6,500 homicides, according to the National Civil Police. To stop the steady erosion of the security of his country, Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom in January 2011 called for the creation of a multinational force in Central America to combat organized crime, with the support of the United States, Mexico and Colombia. “We should unite to strike them, dominate them and reduce them to the minimum,” President Colom told the Mexican newspaper El Universal in January 2011, adding that the region is being “strangled” by drug trafficking routes. The plan for a coordinated security strategy was discussed at the Central American Integration System summit in June 2011. The plea for security cooperation came amid another unprecedented action for President Colom — the call for a two-month state of siege in Alta Verapaz to retake territory from drug traffickers. Soldiers and police worked together to flush out Los Zetas criminal organization, arresting 18 suspected members, said Leslie Pérez, spokesperson for Guatemala’s Interior Ministry. During the state of siege, which allowed security forces to perform searches and make arrests without warrants, reported crimes decreased by 50 percent, Pérez said. By Dialogo October 01, 2011last_img read more

Students over-estimate late pregnancies – study

first_imgOneNews 23 October 2014University students in New Zealand don’t realise how much fertility declines in women as they age and over-estimate the success of fertility treatments such as IVF, a new study shows.The study by University of Auckland fifth-year medical student Nathanael Lucas questioned 683 University of Auckland students about their knowledge and expectations around fertility.The questions were based on an Israeli study in 2011 that looked at ‘the fertility myth’ and Israeli students’ knowledge about age-related fertility decline and late pregnancies.Although New Zealand students correctly identified that fertility declines with age, they over-estimated the rates of pregnancy for both spontaneous and IVF pregnancies.The study also showed that while students were aware of some of the fertility treatments available, they over-estimated their effectiveness.University students are the most likely group to postpone parenthood, yet several international studies have shown that they over-estimate their fertility.http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/students-over-estimate-late-pregnancies-study-6114350last_img read more

U.S. 52 to close near Franklin-Dearborn County line

first_imgNew Trenton, IN— INDOT contractors plans to close U.S. 52 east of S.R. 1, near the Franklin-Dearborn County line on or after Monday, April 6, to begin work on a $637,000 small structure replacement project.The road will close separately at two locations near New Trenton for approximately 45 days. The first structure is located 4.77 miles east of S.R. 1 and the second is 6.48 miles east of S.R. 1. The official state detour for the closures will follow I-74 to S.R. 1 at St. Leon. Both locations will not close at the same time. The contract was awarded in August 2019 and is expected to be complete by the end of July. Motorists should slow down, use extra caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones. All work is weather dependentlast_img read more

Lakers 2018-19 projected roster

first_imgName, position, height, weight, school, ageLonzo Ball, G, 6-6, 190, UCLA, 20This is a very different situation from when he was handed the keys last season – he’ll have to fight to start and get used to playing alongside a superstar.Michael Beasley, F, 6-9, 235, Kansas State, 29 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Alex Caruso*, G, 6-5, 186, Texas A&M, 24He’s proven capable enough as a third point guard, and the two-way player could be valuable if Ball or Rondo have health issues.Josh Hart, G, 6-5, 215, Villanova, 23After a strong Summer League, Hart has proved he’s a much more versatile piece than his size suggests – watch for his role to grow.Brandon Ingram, F, 6-9, 190, Duke, 21He might be the player the Lakers need the biggest leap from. If he can improve his scoring efficiency and defensive effort, he could a capable No. 2 to James.LeBron James, F, 6-8, 250, St. Vincent-St Mary HS, 33This roster will challenge James’ ability in his 16th year to carry along a group and mentor a young core of returners. How patient will he be?Kyle Kuzma, F, 6-9, 220, Utah, 23By all accounts, he had a great offseason. But as the Lakers ask him to play more small-ball center, it won’t be easy to switch between roles.JaVale McGee, C, 7-0, 270, Nevada, 30He has a style that suits a fast-break team, but it’s been a while since McGee played a lot of minutes and had a sizeable scoring role.Sviatoslav (Svi) Mykhailiuk (R), F, 6-8, 205, Kansas, 21It’s going to be hard for the rookie to get on the floor, but his shooting ability might give him chances here and there.Rajon Rondo, G, 6-1, 186, Kentucky, 32He’s the second-most important veteran and willl have a strong voice in the locker room. But is he really here to mentor Ball, or is he here to start?Lance Stephenson, G, 6-6, 230, Cincinnati, 28A bench player with a little versatility and a lot of flash, he’s expected to be a crowd favorite if not a huge part of the team’s success.Moritz (Mo) Wagner (R), C, 6-11, 245, Michigan, 21His preseason injury might not bode well for making an impact as a rookie, but the Lakers could use his depth at center.Travis Wear, F, 6-9, 219, UCLA, 28As a two-way contract player, Wear knows the ins and outs of being a pro and he could be helpful for a lot of the younger players.Ivica Zubac, C, 7-1, 240, Croatia, 21His early lethargy in preseason was at least partly due to illness, but the Croatian big still has a lot to prove about whether he can stick in the league.center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt’s still hard to feel out what Beasley will offer besides scoring punch off the bench.Isaac Bonga (R), G, 6-8, 180, Germany, 18A skilled developmental prospect with a lot of size, Bonga doesn’t yet fit into a rotation looking to go to the postseason this year.“]Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G, 6-5, 205, Georgia, 25He should have a role as a catch-and-shoot guy in a LeBron-led offense, but his starting role is far from guaranteed.last_img read more

Surf Ballroom up for ACM award

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake is up for a national honor. The venue is one of five nominees for the Academy of County Music Award’s “Venue of the Year-Small Capacity”.The announcements of the ACM nominees were released on Wednesday. The other venues up for the award include the House of Blues in Anaheim California, the House of Blues in Boston, Floore’s in Helotes Texas, and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee.The Venue of the Year Small Capacity award recognizes an outstanding venue with a maximum capacity of 4000.The 54th annual ACM Awards will be handed out on April 7th.last_img read more

LCCBC Wants to Provide Economic Freedom for Women

first_img– Advertisement – Madam Kamara, the Human Resource Manager of Liberia Coca Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) The Human Resource Manager of the Liberia Coca Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC), Madam Aminata Kamara, said her company wants to provide economic freedom and security for Liberian women, especially those engaged in small business. According to her, when women are economically empowered, they can contribute significantly to the growth of the society.She said LCCBC is not just interested in empowering Liberian women economically, but also wants to train them to acquire the requisite skills relative to managing their businesses. The company, she added, wants to reach out to Liberian women entrepreneurs to make them financially independent, so as to enable them to “drive their own lives.”She recalled that since 5BY20 was launched in Liberia in 2010, over 1,700 women have been empowered by LCCBC including female Ebola survivors.Madam Kamara said LCCBC decided to partner with UN Women to reach out to women who are in dire need of support and independence to control their destiny.Earlier, Mr. Raman Garway, Program Manager for Women Economic Empowerment at UN Women, who spoke for his boss, said the Next Level program has successfully reached out to over 15,000 women entrepreneurs from over 110 communities across Liberia since 2010.The Next Level, a UN Women empowerment organization, and 5BY20 Joint Initiative targets the empowerment of 900 women in Liberia’s 15 counties.5BY20 is the Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.Garway said UN Women believes that developing the skills of market women prepares them for the world of business, which remains the primary source of income for women entrepreneurs in the informal sector.He said the Next Level and 5BY20 partnership aims to address the barriers women entrepreneurs commonly face by providing increased access to business skills training, leadership training, mentoring, peer networking skills and access to financial assets.UN Women remain strategically positioned to respond to the needs of women entrepreneurs, and are also committed to ensuring strengthened partnerships to improve and diversify livelihood options for market women.“Given that this joint venture aims to address the skills gap among female entrepreneurs, UN Women will use this platform to get its message across, demonstrating the power of collaboration in addressing women’s economic empowerment in a sustainable manner,” Garway stated.“With the Next Level and 5BY20 partnership, we expect women participating in these programs will have greater ability to establish and grow their businesses, increase their earnings and create new jobs in their communities. Their success will set an example for other women and create a virtuous cycle of re-investment in their families and communities,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more