Month: December 2020

Colombia and Brazil Hold Joint Exercises against Drug Trafficking

first_imgBy Dialogo July 09, 2009 Bogotá, July 6 (EFE).- Today the Colombian and Brazilian air forces began simulation exercises to intercept aircrafts used for drug trafficking in towns located along their common border, official sources announced. The joint exercise “Colbra III” will take place through July 10 in the border cities of Leticia (Colombia) and San Gabriel de Cachoeira (Brazil). According to a statement issued by the Colombian presidency, this exercise is “a continuation of the program of exercises planned since 2005.” These simulations include interdiction operations against planes and other small aircraft used by drug gangs to transport narcotics, especially cocaine. Colombia and Brazil share a 1,644-kilometer-long border in the Amazonia, which is a poorly-accessible region taken advantage of by organizations dedicated to drug, chemical and weapons trafficking. This exercise follows a similar activity that took place on July 4 with Peru, named “Percol II.” The Colombian-Brazilian exercises were announced at the end of April and, according to the Colombian Air Force (FAC), are aimed at closing down this route for drug-trafficking flights. In March Colombia and Brazil agreed to strengthen patrol activities of their shared frontier by monitoring border airspace from their respective territories. The Colombian Minister of Defense at that time, Juan Manuel Santos, specified that radar installations and satellites would be part of the development of this initiative.last_img read more

Wisconsin, Nicaragua Delegation Share Emergency Management Techniques

first_imgBy Dialogo June 10, 2010 The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs hosted a Nicaraguan delegation recently to share emergency management practices, as part of the state partnership program. Since 2003, the Wisconsin-Nicaragua partnership program has resulted in dozens of exchanges to share knowledge, best practices and experience while building closer ties between the two militaries. Seven members of the Nicaraguan delegation participated in a May 25-28 visit including Brig. Gen. Mario Perezcassar, the Nicaraguan chief of civil defense. Their primary purpose was to unite Wisconsin Emergency Management and Wisconsin National Guard officials with their counterparts from Nicaragua to discuss future exchange opportunities that can increase both organizations effectiveness in this critical area. Geographically, Nicaragua is located in a precarious region where natural disaster is a yearround threat. The rainy season can bring hurricanes, floods or mudslides, and there’s always the potential for earthquakes from one of the three fault lines that run through the area. Tsunamis resulting from earthquakes and volcanic activity from one of Nicaragua’s six active volcanoes are both ever-present threats. And there is always the threat of fire. Despite the threat, the Nicaraguan Army remains prepared for anything. “As a national army, we are ready to face and respond to these natural disasters because of their frequency,” Perezcassar said. “Our plan for emergency management allows military commanders to organize the different risks they may face in their respective territories, [giving] them the [ability] to utilize their available resources and create their own plan of action, which becomes the basis for each contingency plan.” The visit also included a tour of the Regional Emergency All-Climate Training Center (REACT) at Camp Williams, Wis., a training facility which certifies emergency responders in a variety of catastrophic disaster management techniques. “We wanted to show the REACT center to the Nicaraguan delegation because they have a great interest in further developing their own search and rescue unit,” said Capt. Joe Davison, State Partnership Program coordinator. “Perezcassar recently deployed to Haiti with a platoon of search and rescue personnel and they saw some of the more advanced equipment and techniques used by other search and rescue teams from the U.S. They want to learn some of the advanced techniques that are taught at the REACT center.” Davison said the goal is to eventually bring soldiers from the Nicaraguan search and rescue unit to the REACT center to increase their ability to respond to emergencies at home. The Nicaraguan search and rescue team deployed to Haiti for approximately two months with 35 personnel. During that time, they are credited with saving the lives of six Haitians. “In the area of disaster preparedness and response, Nicaragua has a wealth of experience as they are vulnerable to many environmental threats,” said WEM Director Scott Legwold. During the upcoming 2011 Vigilant Guard exercise, which is scheduled to simulate a major earthquake at the New Madrid seismic zone affecting about 19 states in the midwestern, southern and eastern region, the Wisconsin National Guard will respond to several localized emergencies. “We will be working with our Nicaraguan partners prior to the exercise and sharing our contingency plans in a variety of scenarios to learn from each other,” Legwold said. “During the actual exercise we are planning to have a group of Nicaraguan emergency management officials present to observe the crisis planning and response phases. We anticipate learning a lot from them in the area of disaster preparedness and response.” The Wisconsin National Guard and the Nicaraguan military both have a very similar role in emergency management, supporting their respective civilian emergency management agencies sharing the responsibility to plan and respond to natural disasters and other emergencies that take place within their respective borders. “Helping Nicaragua develop its capacity to respond to natural disasters may be the most important aspect of our partnership,” Davison said. “The world saw the different outcomes between Haiti, a country that had very limited ability to self-respond in a major disaster, versus Chile that took great measures to prepare for major disasters. We want to make sure Wisconsin does everything it can to assist Nicaragua now in preparing for natural disasters that they are sure to face in the future.” “We appreciate the interest you have in our country,” Perezcassar said. “You’re always there during our most difficult situations and this visit is proof that Wisconsin has an interest in sharing their experiences, so we can learn from them when we’re affected by natural disasters.”last_img read more

Brazilian Navy Inaugurates Vila Branca for the 5th Military World Games

first_img In Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro, on July 5th, the Brazilian Navy inaugurated the Guandu do Sapê Naval Village, known as Vila Branca, which will host delegations participating in the 5th Military World Games. The Peace Games, as they have been named, will take place between July 16th and 24th. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by the commandant of the Navy, Adm. Julio Soares de Moura Neto, and was attended by members of the Admiralty, admirals, and various military commanders, in addition to civilian authorities and representatives of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and the athletic federations and confederations with links to the Games. The commandant-general of the Marine Corps, Marine Adm. Marco Antonio Corrêa Guimarães, the Brazilian Navy’s coordinator for the 5th Military World Games, stated that the construction of Vila Branca shows the effort and dedication of all the civilians and military personnel who worked hard to meet deadlines and targets, thereby elevating the reputation of Brazil and the Brazilian Navy. CISM president Col. Hamad Kalkaba Malboum was unable to be present at the ceremony, but he sent a message that was read during the event. He highlighted the fact that “this is the first time that CISM will have facilities built specifically for one of its championships or World Games.” With a built area of 65,982.28 square meters, Vila Branca is made up of twenty-two three-story blocks and has 476 parking spaces. The 396 apartments, nearly 112 square meters each, have three bedrooms, a balcony, and maid’s quarters. Each unit will be able to host up to eight athletes in complete comfort during the games. According to Admiral Moura Neto, the facilities will serve in the future as residences for Brazilian Navy personnel. By Dialogo July 08, 2011last_img read more

Trial Begins in France of “Carlos the Jackal” for Four Attacks in 1980s

first_imgBy Dialogo November 08, 2011 The Venezuelan Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, alias “Carlos the Jackal,” went on trial on November 7 in a special court in Paris for four “acts of terrorism” committed in France in the 1980s that left 11 dead and more than 140 injured. After stating his identity, birthplace, and age for the court, upon being asked about his profession, “Carlos” described himself as a “professional revolutionary.” “Carlos the Jackal” is accused of complicity in murder and destruction of property using explosives in connection with four attacks perpetrated in France in 1982 and 1983, with the objective, according to the charges, of obtaining the release of two comrades in arms, the Swiss Bruno Breguet and the German Magdalena Kopp, his romantic partner at the time, both of whom had been detained in Paris and sentenced to several years in prison. The trial, expected to last until December 16 and at which he will be defended by Isabelle Coutant Peyre – his current romantic partner – and Francis Vuillemin, opened in a packed courtroom and amid significant security measures. On March 29, 1982, a car bomb went off in the “Le Capitole” train from Paris to Toulouse, resulting in five deaths and injuring 28. On April 22, another car bomb exploded on Paris’s Rue Marbeuf, outside the offices of the Arabic-language daily Al Watan Al Arabi, known for its opposition to the Syrian regime, causing one death and injuring 60. On December 31, 1983, a suitcase exploded in a car of the high-speed train from Marseilles to Paris, causing three deaths and injuring 13. And minutes later, another explosive destroyed the luggage storage room at the Saint-Charles train station in Marseilles (in southern France), resulting in two deaths and injuring 34. Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, born in Caracas on October 12, 1949, and who became a legendary figure of the armed struggle on behalf of the Palestinian cause in the 1970s, was sentenced to life in prison in France in 1997 for the murder of two police officers and an informant in Paris in 1975.last_img read more

Action Targets Major Narcotics Trafficker who Operated on U.S. Border

first_img On May 14, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the inclusion of Mexican national Alfredo Andrade Parra on the list of Foreign Narcotics Kingpins pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for his significant role in international narcotics trafficking and for his links to Los Zetas. Andrade Parra is a major narcotics trafficker who operated along the U.S.-Mexico border. He is responsible for smuggling multiple-tons of marijuana and cocaine per month from Mexico to the U.S. for Los Zetas leaders Miguel and Omar Treviño Morales. Andrade Parra’s ability to smuggle large quantities of drugs into the U.S. and receive bulk cash proceeds in Mexico make him a key component of the ruthless Los Zetas drug trafficking organization in the region near Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico. “Today’s action follows on the heels of the Mexican government’s arrest of Andrade Parra in April, and targets the drug trafficking and bulk cash smuggling activities of a significant associate of Los Zetas,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “OFAC will continue to work with our foreign counterparts to expose key drug traffickers and deprive them of access to the international financial system.” Andrade Parra is wanted in the Western District of Texas for multiple counts of drug trafficking and money laundering relating to a March 5, 2008 indictment from the Del Rio Division and a May 22, 2003 indictment from the San Antonio Division. He was arrested in Mexico in April 2013. The action against Andrade Parra generally prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with him, and freezes any assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction. The president identified Los Zetas as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act in April 2009. On July 24, 2011, the president named Los Zetas as a significant Transnational Criminal Organization in the Annex to Executive Order 13581 (Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations). Additionally, OFAC designated Los Zetas leaders Miguel and Omar Treviño Morales on July 20, 2009, and March 24, 2010, respectively. Today’s action is part of ongoing efforts to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide. The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,200 individuals and entities to the list pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act. By Dialogo May 16, 2013last_img read more

Venezuelan Interim Government Requests the Activation of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR)

first_imgBy Ricardo Guanipa D’erizans / Diálogo September 25, 2019 In 2012, Venezuela withdrew from the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR, in Spanish and also known as the Rio Treaty), which serves as a defensive shield to member nations of the Organization of American States (OAS). In July 2019, the Venezuelan National Assembly, under the leadership of Interim President Juan Guaidó, approved the return of Venezuela to the TIAR, as a way to strengthen cooperation with countries in the region and increase pressure on the regime of Nicolás Maduro. The Venezuelan delegation to the OAS requested the TIAR’s activation on September 9.The TIAR was created in 1947 as a system for mutual military aid to OAS member states (35 member nations in 2019) in the event that a foreign force attacks a country in the region.To know more about the topic, Diálogo spoke with Gustavo Tarre Briceño, Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS, who is in exile in the United States since 2014, after being accused of plotting against Maduro.Diálogo: What’s the importance of activating the TIAR to exert pressure on the Maduro regime?Gustavo Tarre Briceño, Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS: The TIAR is about completing the reinsertion of Venezuela into the Inter American system that it previously abandoned. The first achievement of the administration of Interim President Juan Guaidó was for Venezuela to be readmitted to the OAS. Then, the National Assembly requested its ratification at the American Convention on Human Rights. We are taking steps to summon the TIAR’s consultative body to take measures to help restore peace in the region, which is in danger due to the Nicolás Maduro regime.Diálogo: What specific measures could be applied?Tarre: An absolute majority of TIAR member states must agree to invoke the treaty, and this requires the support of 10 countries. Then, the approval of 13 countries is necessary to hold a session, and making a decision requires the votes of 13 countries. So this is about forming a collective decision. People think that because most TIAR member nations have recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela, that this is a done deal, or that everything is ready, but it’s not like that. Each country has its own interests and problems, so that’s why it’s about building a coalition, talking with each country. Obviously, some countries like Colombia, the United States, or Brazil are helping us build that continental understanding to defend Venezuelan democracy. More specifically, TIAR’s Article 8 considers a series of concrete reciprocal assistance measures in the diplomatic, economic, and [even] military areas. At this moment, we are seeking to summon the consultative body and submit all the files we have been preparing that show Cuban interference in Venezuela, the migratory crisis, and narcotrafficking with narcoterrorist guerrilla groups operating inside Venezuelan territory. All this constitutes a threat to peace in the region, and clearly this threat is much more direct for some countries.Diálogo: What more can, or should, the OAS do to exert pressure on the Maduro regime?Tarre: The OAS is an international organization that has been making very important decisions: recognizing the representation of Interim President Juan Guaidó at the center of the organization is an important measure, as is rejecting the creation of a Constituent National Assembly and the sham elections where Nicolás Maduro was reelected. It has condemned the violations of parliamentary immunity; it has expressed its firm support for the report issued by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet; in other words, this shows political solidarity. OAS actions will be much more important once the usurpation is over; because the OAS has highly valuable technical teams specialized in organizing elections, supervising electoral processes, restoring an autonomous judiciary system, and fighting corruption. At the technical level in the OAS, there are factors that will be crucial to rebuilding a democratic Venezuela.Diálogo: So far, no measure taken by the OAS has changed the situation in real terms in Venezuela. Why?Tarre: The change we all want is a change of government. Has the situation changed in Venezuela? Yes, it has changed drastically. Three years ago, only a few countries in the world condemned the Maduro regime, but now a wide majority of nations condemn the Maduro regime. I would add that no one defends Maduro openly. Some take refuge in the principle of non-interference in foreign matters, but no one is saying at the OAS that the Maduro regime is a democratic government. I think that the OAS has made progress; it has had its successes.last_img read more

General Qassem Soleimani’s Bloody Legacy

first_imgBy ShareAmerica January 09, 2020 The senior Iranian military General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on January 2, exported terrorism and fueled sectarian violence for decades, causing the deaths of thousands of people.Since 1998, Soleimani led Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) in planning and executing terrorist attacks and arming the Iranian regime’s proxy fighters in a half dozen countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.Soleimani personally directed and provided arms to Iranian-backed terrorists in Iraq for more than a decade. His most recent plans were attacks on U.S. coalition forces in Iraq, including the December 31 attack on the embassy, where “Soleimani is our leader” was written on the wall. With Soleimani’s support and lethal assistance, the IRGC-QF targeted and killed more than 600 Americans between 2003 and 2011.“He was actively plotting in the region to take actions — a big action, as he described it — that would have put dozens, if not hundreds, of American lives at risk,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN January 3. “We know it was imminent.”The U.S. designated Soleimani a global terrorist in 2011. In April 2019, the U.S. took the unprecedented step of designating the IRGC-QF as a foreign terrorist organization, the first time that part of another government had received that designation.For more than a decade, Soleimani trained and armed Iraqi terrorists who undermined the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and deprived its citizens of a stable living environment. Since October, thousands of Iraqi protesters have taken to the streets and decried Iran’s influence in their country.According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Soleimani “had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months — including the attack on December 27 — culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel.”“General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week,” the statement adds.Soleimani’s recent travels to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to direct attacks of proxy groups that routinely kill civilians violate a United Nations Security Council Resolution banning him from international travel.“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more,” U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet. “While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country.”last_img read more

US Army Supports Reconstruction of Colombian Islands after Hurricane Iota

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo December 16, 2020 The U.S. Army deployed its amphibious landing ship USAV Chickahominy (LCU 2011) in Colombia to help the Colombian Military Forces transport humanitarian assistance to the San Andrés and Providencia archipelago, in response to the emergency caused by Hurricane Iota, which devastated much of the islands on November 16, 2020.The crew, consisting of 10 U.S. Army service members who are trained to carry out landing operations in hard-to-reach areas, was responsible for transporting humanitarian aid, including poles for electrical wiring, cranes, a water tanker truck, and support vehicles, the Colombian Navy shared on Twitter on December 2.The U.S. Embassy in Colombia said that, in response to a request for assistance from the government of President Iván Duque, the USAV Chickahominy ship docked on November 29 at the Port of Cartagena de Indias, where service members loaded about 130 tons of heavy equipment, relief supplies, and fuel to support the islands’ reconstruction process.The crew, consisting of 10 U.S. Army service members, transports humanitarian aid to reconstruct Providencia and San Andrés islands, on November 30, 2020. (Photo: Colombian Navy)“This has been perhaps the most difficult situation that the Colombian Caribbean has experienced in its recent history. We had never had a category 5 hurricane in Colombian territory. This has been the toughest season in recent years, [with] more than 30 hurricanes,” President Duque said in Providencia on November 29.The USAV Chickahominy had just finished a mission coordinated by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Ecuador, and was returning to the United States when it was requested to respond to Colombia’s call for help, the Colombian newspaper El Universal reported on November 29.On November 27, Eduardo J. González, head of the Colombian Presidency’s National Unit for Disaster Risk Management, told the environmental website Mongabay Latam that “80 percent of the houses were destroyed and two people died. Days before [on November 2], the islands of Providencia and San Andrés had suffered the effects of Hurricane Eta, which reached category 4.”The U.S. government has contributed more than $1 million to help the thousands of victims that Iota left in the archipelago’s islands, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Philip S. Goldberg said on November 25.“The people of the United States stand in solidarity with the Colombian people to save lives, rebuild, and support the recovery of San Andres and Providencia,” Ambassador Goldberg said. “I am proud to say that U.S. humanitarian assistance, in all its forms, will continue in support of the people of San Andres and Providencia,” he concluded.last_img read more

PILS to push children’s issues

first_img PILS to push children’s issues August 15, 2003 Regular News PILS to push children’s issuescenter_img Matthew Dietz, chair of the Public Interest Law Section, knows all about doing good deeds and having his story told by the news media.Dietz, a civil litigation attorney in Coral Gables emphasizing disability discrimination law and other civil rights violations, made the Miami Herald when he headed a project to widen doorways, install bathroom grab bars, and buy accessible appliances for a wheelchair-bound woman who couldn’t maneuver around her own apartment. (See January 15 issue of Bar News. )One of his goals as chair of PILS, Dietz said, will be to seize upon the Dignity in Law public awareness campaign and “promote people who do public interest law, because what we do is essentially the conscience of the Bar, people who are involved in legal services, the people involved in bringing opportunities to people who are poor or not represented in the system.”Lawyers do good deeds every day, Dietz said, “but they are unsung. One of my goals is to get these unsung lawyers to the front pages of the paper so people can see the good that we do.”His main goal as chair, Dietz said, is to help implement recommendations of the Bar’s Commission on the Legal Needs of Children.“We are trying to combine the resources of all sections in order to put out a nice CLE (continuing legal education) list of seminars to teach the general Bar,” Dietz said.“We’re going to try to make [connections] with other sections to hit their issues, whether it’s family law or criminal law. Also, I would like to work with other sections, like Equal Opportunities, in order to find common elements where we can all work together to have CLEs that more people would be interested in.”Dietz said he is also excited about new efforts of the section to address dependency issues and homelessness. A new Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness in Florida, chaired by Tallahassee lawyer Jane Shaeffer, will meet for the first time at the Bar’s General Meeting at the Airport Marriott in Tampa on September 5 (see July 1, 2003 News ).“We are very glad to have Jane Shaeffer and the homeless committee,” Dietz said. “The homeless are being relegated to blue lines in certain districts. There are laws against solicitation and panhandling.”Dietz said he hopes lawyers who are members of other sections or just members of the Bar will support PILS.“I’m very excited to have a productive year and to get the word out,” he said.last_img read more

Board rules on lawyer advertising appeal

first_img July 1, 2006 Regular News Board rules on lawyer advertising appeal Board rules on lawyer advertising appealcenter_img It is permissible for a lawyer to say he is “working” to get a recovery for clients who have been injured in boating accidents.The Bar Board of Governors, acting on the recommendation of the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics, voted in June to overturn a finding by Bar staff and the Standing Committee on Advertising that language in the lawyer’s ad created an unjustified expectation.The language was in a television ad proposed by the lawyer, which said in part, “for more than 10 years I’ve stood side by side with fellow boaters, working to get compensation for their injuries.”Bar staff and the advertising committee felt the last phrase could create unjustified expectations, noting similar language had been rejected in other ads.But Steve Chaykin, chair of the BRC, said his committee, which advises the board on advertising appeals, disagreed by a 3-2 vote.“In my mind, I can’t see that huge of a difference between striving and trying [words that have been allowed in earlier ads] and working,” said board member Greg Coleman, agreeing with Chaykin. “[The lawyer] aptly points out. . . this is not saying more than what we would expect a lawyer to do, which is work for his clients.”Board member Gary Leppla disagreed, noting that it wasn’t just the word “working” that caused the problem, but the pledge “working to get compensation.” He added that it would effectively overturn earlier rulings by the board.But the board, on a voice vote, agreed to approve the ad, with several board members dissenting.last_img read more