Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina Fights Back Against Mexican Drug Cartels

first_img GUATEMALA CITY — When Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina first came to power just over a year ago, he promised to govern the country with a mano dura, an iron fist. After years of Mexican drug cartels muscling their way across the border into Guatemala and Central America, it seemed as though the former army general had inherited a nation on its knees. The word on voters’ lips was “security” and Pérez Molina assured them he would deliver, by empowering the army to fight drug trafficking and secure the country’s borders. About 90 per cent of the cocaine entering North America every year passes through Central America, according to the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board, costing Guatemala billions of dollars and thousands of lives each year. However, it wasn’t always this way. Until fairly recently, most South American-grown drug shipments traveled to the United States by plane or boat. But a crackdown on this route shifted the problem inland, which left Guatemala caught in the crossfire between illegal narcotics-producing countries in the south and illegal narcotic consumers in the north. Col. Mario Mérida, a member of the Guatemalan Democratic Security Network, says three fundamental factors make Guatemala’s coastline ideal for drug traffickers. “The first is its geographical positioning, which doesn’t present any major difficulties for marine navigation,” he said. “The second is the lack of government resources to maintain maritime and aerial control over the sea, and the third is the absence of a continued state presence like the police. Add to this the poverty, which encourages residents and fishermen to become complicit [in drug trafficking].” President no stranger to drug war Thanks to his previous job as head of military intelligence, Pérez Molina has been at the forefront of his country’s drug war for more than 20 years. Now, after a year in power, has his Partido Patriota government has had some success in reducing drug trafficking and fighting back against the Mexican drug cartels. “Otto Pérez Molina has prevented further expansion of [the Mexican drug cartels], yes. He’s halted the effect but not reversed it,” says local security analyst Samuel Logan. “For drug shipment interdiction, 2012 was wholly successful and Pérez Molina allowed an unprecedented level of international access.” Soon after taking office in January 2012, the Guatemalan president approved the creation of two new military bases in the country, upgraded a third and made it a priority to reinstate U.S. military aid to Guatemala — a request which the United States promptly answered. In late August, about 200 U.S. Marines arrived in Guatemala as part of Operation Martillo, an international mission aimed at intercepting illegal narcotics, bulk cash and weapons being transported along Central America’s isthmus. With the full support of Pérez Molina and the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense, the Marines provided local soldiers with essential technology and training aimed at combating organized crime and controlling the flow of narcotics from Central America. “The U.S. Army has the technological resources to help with identifying aircraft, ships and submarines used by the drug cartels, which facilitates aerial and maritime interventions,” said Merida. “Guatemala’s relationship with the U.S. Army is also important for training purposes, and to exchange experiences related to prevention and intervention strategies.” Operation Martillo is a multinational effort As well as sending its Marines, the Pentagon also dispatched Navy and Coast Guard vessels and aircraft to help military and law enforcement units from other nations involved in the mission. Countries from Europe, Latin America and North America are working together as part of Operation Martillo, leading many to consider it one of the most successful coalition efforts ever mounted to tackle this kind of threat. The mission made fighting drug trafficking its top priority and results were soon forthcoming. “Participating nations have interdicted about 127 metric tons of cocaine, which is a huge quantity of cocaine, most of that policed up in the air or on the water before even getting to the land masses of Central America where traffickers create the corruption, crime and gang problems that are associated with illicit trafficking,” Rear Adm. Charles D. Michel, director of the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S), told Diálogo in early January. “In addition, we have been able to take down 56 go-fast boats — typically those go-fast boats carry about a metric ton of cocaine each — six pangas, two motor vessels, two semi-submersible vessels, two sailing vessels, six vehicles, seven fishing vessels and 12 aircraft.” It’s evident that, for drug trafficking control, the three observations made by Col. Mario Mérida are decisive, related to limited presence at state level and insufficient equipment, both marine and aerial; but the subject of poverty affects the entire country, therefore anyone ends up being a candidate to cooperate in drug trafficking. Let’s remember that Guatemala borders 4 countries, and with Mexico we are united to by 968 kilometers of borderline. By Dialogo January 30, 2013last_img read more

NAFCU-sought HMDA reg relief bill passes House

first_img continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The House yesterday passed, by a vote of 243-184, the NAFCU-backed Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act (H.R. 2954), which would ease credit unions’ compliance burden related to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act’s (HMDA) reporting and recording keeping requirements.“NAFCU thanks Representative [Tom] Emmer for introducing this bill, House leadership for bringing it to the floor, and all members who voted in support of reducing credit unions’ regulatory burden,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. “HMDA’s expanded reporting requirements have caused credit unions to incur substantial costs to comply, and we appreciate Congress’ work to decrease these compliance costs.“With this much-needed regulatory relief, credit unions will be able to focus on what they do best – providing financial services to Americans who need them most,” Berger continued.last_img read more

Investment strategies for hiring

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The hiring process is a difficult one. Certain skills and knowledge are required for each position, and candidates must also be a culture fit. Leaders of organizations need to have an effective hiring strategy in place that balances desired traits with the ability to do the job.As you reflect on the hiring process at your organization, here is an interesting take from executive coach Whitney Johnson in the Harvard Business Review: “Hiring people is a lot like picking stocks.”“We begin by asking ‘what kind of stock is this?’” Johnson says. “Is it best-in-class, with strong positioning in the market and consistently solid results; a turnaround story, where there have been struggles but better days are on the horizon; a cash cow, where revenue is flat but the business will pay out dividends for the foreseeable future; or a growth story, with potential for accelerating revenue and expanding margins?”A stock’s performance in the market – and how it fares in volatile times – is a good analogy for a person’s career, especially in the current fast-paced, ever-changing work environment. To ensure you’re hiring people with high-growth potential, here are some tips from Johnson:last_img read more

Plava Laguna dd pays a dividend

first_imgThe General Assembly of Plava Laguna dd, held on August 30, 2018, made a decision on the payment of dividends. Thus, the net profit in the amount of HRK 105.428.846,96 realized in the business year 2017 is allocated to legal reserves, and the remaining HRK 102.840.851,77 is allocated for the payment of dividends to shareholders, in the amount of HRK 39,22 per share. However, according to retained earnings during the business years 2001 to 2016 In the amount of HRK 183.038.847,67, the total amount for the payment of dividends from net profit realized during 2017 and in previous years amounts to HRK 234.447.169,60, ie HRK 89,60 dividend per ordinary share, and HRK 89,85 dividend per preferred share. Side dish: Plava laguna dd – decisions of the General AssemblyRELATED NEWS:BLUE LAGOON OPENED RESORT PARK IN POREČLEADING HOTELS IN PLUS: BLUE LAGOON, MAISTRA AND VALAMAR RIVIERA GROWN IN ALL FIRST INDICATORS IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHSlast_img read more

National Hockey League suspending its season, hopes to resume at play at later date

first_imgNational Hockey League suspending its season, hopes to resume at play at later date March 12, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNEW YORK (AP) — National Hockey League suspending its season, hopes to resume at play at later date.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6center_img Associated Press last_img

Terry vows to prove innocence

first_imgChelsea and England captain John Terry has vowed to prove his innocence after the Football Association launched an investigation into allegations he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.Videos circulated on the internet in the aftermath of Sunday’s west London derby, with some viewers claiming the footage shows Terry insulting Ferdinand using racist language.Terry strongly denies the allegations and said: “I welcome the FA enquiry and look forward to clearing my name.”AdChoices广告The Metropolitan Police has announced it is assessing evidence from the alleged incident after receiving a complaint.Earlier, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insisted Terry had his club’s full support and that the issue had arisen as the result of a misunderstanding.Villas-Boas said: “We fully back John. He spoke to Anton after the game. For us it was the end of the story.Villas-Boas says Chelsea are fully behind their captain“John is a player of great responsibilities. I find it strange when people don’t trust the words of a representative from your country. For us the matter is over.”Chelsea have been charged by the FA with failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the match.Blues duo Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba were sent off and seven other Chelsea players were booked in an ill-tempered game, which QPR won 1-0 – their first home victory since returning to the Premier League after a 15-year absence.The FA have also asked Villas-Boas to explain his post-match comments about the officials.The Portuguese revealed he had been “aggressive” towards referee Chris Foy and was angry that Chelsea had two appeals for a second-half penalty ignored.last_img read more

PCP: Tiger’s ‘true’ story?

first_imgBraun: If the National Enquirer can make up its own “true story” about what happened at 2:30 a.m. outside Tiger Woods’ residence last week, then so can I.Here’s what really happened:Tiger got home at about 12:20 a.m. from what he claims to be a poker match with some of his buds down the street. He was simply hanging out with Shaq and friends when the Diesel made Woods an offer he couldn’t refuse.You see, Shaq runs a secret fight club, much like the one seen in the popular film. But what Tiger didn’t expect was Shaq’s next offer.“Fight me, and I’ll give you $1 million,” the Diesel proposed.Now Tiger, never one to back down from a challenge, took the big man’s wager. He lost. Big time.Stumbling home bloody and bruised, Woods went up to his room where his wife discovered him cleaning blood off his driver. Upon seeing his beat up face, she ripped the club from his hands, and Tiger wasn’t too happy. “Wasn’t last time bad enough?” she asked.In a fit of rage, Tiger took a 9-iron and began hitting balls from his front lawn to prove his power to his wife. When she came outside, however, he realized he was out of golf balls and left to go to pick up some more. That’s when he smashed into the hydrant and tree, and that’s when his wife smashed the car window.If you know anything about the film, it’s fairly obvious why Tiger hasn’t spoken out about this incident: “The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club.” Just let the man be.Bleach:People in this world are so cynical.So Tiger Woods was reportedly seen with another woman, crashed his car at 2:30 in the morning and had his wife smashing the back of the SUV with a golf club?Why would you assume he is having an affair?Don’t you know what day it was?He got into a car accident because he was rushing to do some shopping for Black Friday. See, even rich people like good deals. I’m sure he could get another yacht on the cheap, or he was hoping to buy some Nike golf balls at a buy-one-get-one-free sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods.His wife going all Albert Pujols on the car window? She simply wanted to remind him to get her a titanium iron set that was half off until 4 a.m.Tiger is the victim in this whole situation.He is a victim of our awful capitalist society that promotes extreme consumerism as the only way to live. Tiger simply measured his self worth by the amount of goods he can get on sale.Can he really be blamed for that?In a way, crashing into that tree will be a blessing for Tiger. He will finally learn to slow life down. Now he can just focus on his golf, instead of being bogged down in material possessions.Black Friday can cause as much pain as it does pleasure. Tiger learned a hard but valuable life lesson last weekend.Do your Christmas shopping online next time.last_img read more

Puliafito used drugs on days he saw patients, report says

first_imgPhoto courtesy of USCFormer Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen Puliafito saw patients on days when he had used illegal drugs, according to a Medical Board of California report made public on Wednesday.The report found that Puliafito consumed heroin, methamphetamines and other drugs on a recurring basis while at the Health Sciences Campus and at other locations. The report also detailed that he gave drugs to a teenager and a recovering addict. In a story published in July, the teenager told the Los Angeles Times he visited Puliafito in his suite at USC, who then proceeded to smoke meth in a campus parking lot with the then-17-year-old.“Until July of this year no university leader was aware of any illegal or illicit behavior by Carmen Puliafito and to date there have been no issues or complaints related to patient care,” USC spokesperson Charles Sipkins told the Times in a statement on Wednesday. “Once the university was aware of his illicit behavior, he was immediately removed from his patient care role and he is no longer employed by the university.”State investigators also found that Puliafito had written prescriptions for a 22-year-old woman and her sister. The woman also told investigators that Puliafito helped cover some of her rehabilitation costs, and the LA Times reported that he would mail her drugs in packets of Skittles candy. She also said that he brought her meth in a sunglasses case in one instance.The state investigation stated that Puliafito had a secret compartment in his car where he kept drugs. Puliafito had been banned from certain hotels in Pasadena and other locations “as a result of unruly conduct and behavior, including room damage due to drug use,” the filing claimed.This investigation comes after the Los Angeles Times originally reported in July that the dean had surrounded himself with criminals and had consumed drugs while serving as dean of Keck.Following a series of follow-up reports by the Times, Puliafito had his medical license suspended by the Medical Board of California and was banned from campus and its medical facilities. The University has also launched an independent investigation led by law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.last_img read more

Digital license plate coming to Michigan soon

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisOut with the old in with the new, Michigan drivers could be switching over to high definition digital license plates. Michigan’s legislature passed a public bill last week allowing the use of the electronic license plate called the R–Plate.The manufacture, Reviver Auto, has already created plates in the state of California, and Arizona. The new plates are equipped with wireless communications systems and computer chips that make it easier to update them with new registration tags.  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requests unemployment benefits for workers impacted by the government shutdownNext Students and community members honor Dr. King’s legacy at ACClast_img read more