Latin American security forces crack down on smuggling of alcohol and cigarettes

first_imgBy Dialogo September 30, 2014 Cocaine, heroin, and other illicit substances are high-priority targets in the fight against drug trafficking in Latin America, but regional security forces are also combatting attempts to smuggle alcohol and cigarettes. Both are legal, but criminal organizations are trying to secretly transport them into the country to avoid paying taxes. Drug trafficking groups like Los Rastrojos and the Clan Úsuga have taken up the practice as well, using buses, trucks, private cars and even boats. It’s become big business in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Honduras, El Salvador and Panamá. In these countries, one out of every four bottles of liquor is illegally produced or sold. Their sales, along with contraband cigarettes, total more than $2.3 billion (USD), with tax losses of about $736 million (USD). Those losses, which would normally fund the government, go to fund criminal enterprises instead “This is an illegal business that’s part of a larger economic criminal system,” POLFA director Brig. Gen. Gustavo Moreno said. Large seizures in Colombia That system extends beyond the borders of Latin America. Criminal groups are smuggling alcohol and cigarettes from countries as far away as Switzerland, Scotland, and the Czech Republic. Often their contraband ends up in Colombia – or along the Pacific Coast, arriving at the Port of Buenaventura in the department of Nariño, near the border with Ecuador. Colombian security forces are responding with increased enforcement efforts. As of late September, they’ve seized 202,408 liters of liquor nationwide, worth more $2 million (USD). Just last month, Fiscal and Customs Police (POLFA) seized 2,440 liters of liquor, 18,160 packs of cigarettes and 239 bottles of foreign beer. Their agents, stationed at a series of checkpoints in the department of Guajira, found the alcohol and cigarettes hidden inside vehicles. POLFA has also in recent months seized alcohol and cigarettes smuggled into Colombia by boat from Panamá, Curacao and Aruba. A big businesscenter_img International cooperation is a key component in the fight against alcohol and tobacco smuggling – because both are international problems. For example, the smuggling of liquor increased more than 167 percent in Ecuador in 2012. In Colombia and Panamá, liquor smuggling increased by 26 percent and 29 percent, respectively. POLFA has labored to increase information sharing among Latin American countries, for instance with security forces in Ecuador and Perú. It has compiled about 75 databases that include information about shipping firms and trading companies which have been sanctioned for helping transport contraband alcohol and cigarettes. Eventually, their goal is to create a list that allows labor unions to identify such firms. They’ve also helped organize three joint workshops with agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “The issue of smuggling is still not widely recognized within the police forces of Latin America,” Moreno said. “But it’s very important to position the problem of smuggling as a phenomenon with concrete repercussions, as a reality that is now here, that is an underlying issue and that will not go away.” It is a common good for society not to take any drugs. Healthy people and their healthy habitat what they need to do is close the companies that prepare the illegal products such as alcohol and cigarettes Drugs, cigarettes and alcohol are elements that are regulated within the crimes against health, the three are legal, only the first which is through medical prescription. What’s strange about this article is that it talks about defrauding the economy of the countries, then if taxes were paid it would be OK, it would be legal it DOESN’T MATTER THAT IT HURTS PEOPLE’S HEALTH, we have to take into account that in the majority of Latin countries and El Salvador, most of the budget goes to the armed forces, which does NO GOOD to the country, Salvadoran territory is being invaded by the Hondurans and it’s the armed forces, who should protect it, but no, now it’s the lawyers, if this is so they should be eliminated, with the army of the United States is in the region, what are these armies for ?Or is it a business proposition, to buy old weapons, let’s keep them armed and all is well, that money is poorly invested. It should be given to health, education, agriculture, invest to create jobs, since that component reduces drug, alcohol and cigarette use.last_img read more

Rovinj’s Adriatic Hotel is turning to ecology and withdrawing plastic from use

first_imgHotel employees, suppliers, partners and guests and citizens who enjoy hotel services are actively involved in the implementation of this initiative. In 2018, Adriatic started using replacement paper straws instead of plastic ones. By June this year, the hotel will stop using 80 percent of plastic products (bathroom amenities, beverage bottles, bags, containers, cups, etc.) for single use in order to completely eliminate them from use in all its accommodation by the end of 2019. units, bars and restaurant. Furthermore, by the end of the year, Adriatic will use only biological cleaners and support cooperation with suppliers whose products (cosmetics, printed materials and even staff uniforms) are made from natural, biological, environmentally friendly or recycled materials. Maistra is aware of the growing threat that plastic pollution poses to marine biodiversity, so they have decided to take concrete steps in their business to reduce pollution. Hotel Adriatic will replace all disposable plastic items with available alternatives. Hotel guests will have, among other things, the opportunity to choose environmentally conscious experiences during their vacation. They will be able, for example, to watch dolphins with local dolphin whisperers or get information about the Rovinj organic market, award-winning Istrian producers of organic olive oil, sustainable shopping opportunities and the like.center_img “Many large corporations have decided to eliminate plastic from their daily activities, among them hoteliers. As the first hotel in Croatia without plastic for single use, Hotel Adriatic strives to be a leader in innovation and sustainability and invites all its employees to responsible business that will allow guests to actively participate in this environmental action and a unique experience of the Adriatic Sea.”, Said the President of the Management Board of Maistra, Tomislav Popovic.last_img read more

Your Excellency: return to that first 24h after no-confidence resolution passage

first_imgDear Editor,Late as it is, hopeless as it now seems, I will not let be dashed, my hope in our Guyanese people and the better future we could be creating.The unchartered waters of a constitutional crisis are truly on us. Our Ministers are no longer claiming that they are meeting as a Cabinet.First, themselves calling their meeting a caucus then soon after a plenary speaks loudly about the unchartered waters we are already in. We are already in confusion.During a meeting with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday, it was indicated that their support would stand suspended after March 21, 2019: those sanctions with which Guyana was threatened in 2014 must once again be avoided.Our Leader of the Opposition is not the one steering Guyana’s ship, he cannot avoid the constitutional crisis; he can only rail against it.It is our President and Prime Minister, their advisers and supporters who can still steer us away from it. We must call on our President and Prime Minister to be valiant and valorous. Return themselves to their initial positions within the first 24 hours of the passage of the NCM.Prevail on our Prime Minister to return to his words:“We want our supporters in particular … to understand that we are going back to the polls…. Guyanese must understand that the democratic process is sometimes unpredictable. You may have results that are not planned for…. But the outcome has to be accepted… It is like cricket in some sense, what happened here today, a game of glorious uncertainty.”Prevail on our President to return to his statement issued the following morning:“We will do everything necessary to facilitate the smooth functioning of General and Regional Elections bearing in mind the need for normal governmental functions to continue uninterrupted.”Our Leader of the Opposition approached the Honourable Minister of State, Joseph Harmon for an early meeting, the Government having fallen, to work things out in some harmony. Those initial responses gave hope that the NCM needed not be a calamity, a disaster, but presented an opportunity for steps to a greater maturity in our politics; a perceived bad thing that might bring good results.The reversed positions of our President and Prime Minister have not brought them any glory. The Speaker pushed, did not budge, and did reassert his ruling that the NCM stood; and our Chief Justice issued a judgment overwhelmingly judged sound. The Chief Justice’s NCM ruling seems to be slowly and grudgingly accepted by the Government.According to the Guyana Chronicle of Tuesday, March 12, 2019, the Honourable Finance Minister, Winston Jordan had sought to assure the public that in keeping with the Chief Justice’s ruling, Cabinet has resigned but Government continues to function.Perhaps it had to be this way, to provide examples that in this sixth or seventh decade of ethnopolitical insecurities, there be amongst us persons who would persevere in walking the straight path and we may trust ourselves to expectations of fair play.And when we think and note that the conflagrations that I feared would have followed after the passage of the NCM have not unfolded, we must wonder whether our people are not changing and whether there are not possibilities for us politicians to develop new approaches.In his book on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” the management guru, Peter Drucker, points out that the occurrence of unexpected things, whether failures or successes, must cause us to question our old assumptions: their period of validity is ending.Discern and come to terms with the change! Look for the new opportunities! Seize the opportunities! Innovate!Mr President, let us go forward, name the date, let the campaigns begin, everyone campaigning on the basis of the next realistic steps they can and will take were they privileged to win, to grow and develop Guyanese and Guyana, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.Yours truly,Samuel A A HindsFormer Presidentand former PrimeMinisterlast_img read more

“Don’t blame private sector for economic woes”– Ali

first_imgOpposition Member of Parliament and point person on the economy, Irfaan Ali, has lashed out at Finance Minister Winston Jordan for blaming the private sector for contributing to the slowdown of the economy.During a diaspora meeting in Washington DC on Friday, Minister Jordan slammed the local private sector for being “stuck in their ways”, and not adapting to the changing business environment.In a statement made to the Guyana Times on Monday, Ali joined several private sector bodies in criticising Minister Jordan’s comments. “Our private sector is perhaps the most resilient in the region. It is the function of the Government to stimulate growth and inject confidence in the economy,” he stated.Ali explained that risk is a function of confidence and signals. “Stability, policy predictability, trust, incentives and clarity in direction are essential factors in providing that confidence for the private sector. If you continue to attack the private sector and alienate (its members), how will you be able to set these conditions?” he reasoned.Ali believes that, by its statements and actions, Government is singling out the private sector as an enemy of the State. He contends that Government needs to build and strengthen the private sector, give its members incentives, and remove barriers to growth and development.“Creating an enabling environment requires incentives to match the direction you want the private sector to go in,” he stated. “Instead, the Government has been actively removing incentives,” he charged.The parliamentarian reminded that forestry, mining, commerce, the services sector, construction, and agriculture have all suffered from removal of incentives granted under the PPP/C Government.“Worst is the application of new measures — taxes inhibitive to sustaining these sectors, much less advancing growth and development. The private sector has contributed significantly to our development, and we must recognize that contribution,” Ali emphasised. Unreasonable complaints Heads of two major private sector umbrella bodies, Eddie Boyer of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and Deodat Indar of the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), told this publication on Sunday that Minister Jordan’s complaints are unreasonable.They both contend that Government needs to review its tax policy, and offer incentives that create an attractive environment for investment.Economist Sasenarine Singh has also contended that businesses will not pump money into an economy if the investment climate is not favourable. He explained that it all comes back to the ‘risks and rewards’ balance, and if the risks outweighs the rewards, then businessmen will not be encouraged to invest.“No businessman is going to invest if he is not going to make returns. Who is going to make investments in Guyana when the risks are so high and the returns are so low?” he questioned, highlighting that there are other countries with greater risks involved, but businesses opt to make investments there because of the attractive rates of return.Minister Jordan has explained to this publication that he wants a new breed of private sector players; ones willing and prepared to think outside of the proverbial box, and be creative and innovative in using cutting edge technology to improve productivity, thereby increasing competitiveness.“My new ‘breed’ of private sector players would be seizing the many opportunities that are available for expansion, especially with oil on the horizon. They will try to form partnerships and alliances with the private sector in the Caribbean and further afield to overcome some of the barriers they face, such as financing and human resources,” Minister Jordan has stated.last_img read more