Colombia Activates Strategic Operational Centers Against Narcotrafficking

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first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo January 08, 2018 Colombia’s Ministry of National Defense has three Strategic Operational Centers (CEO, in Spanish) to support its fight against narcotrafficking in the country’s northwest region. Close to 4,700 troops from the Colombian National Army and the Colombian National Police work daily to counter transnational criminal organizations and restore security in this region. “Antioquia, a highly relevant region with future prospects and economic potential for the country, took a beating from criminal groups who use farmers as the first link in the drug trade, forcing them to produce coca,” Colombian Army Colonel José Manuel Gómez, commander of the Paramillo Massif Task Force (FUNUP, in Spanish), told Diálogo. “The goal is for farmers to go back to their lawful crops,” added Colombian Army Colonel Adrián Giraldo Jiménez, commander of the Special Counternarcotics Brigade. FUNUP has four mobile brigades deployed to the south of Córdoba and Bajo Cauca. The brigades work to combat criminal gangs, illicit crops, and illegal mining. Authorities activated the last CEO between July and September 2017 in Caucasia, Antioquia. Armed Forces assigned to this CEO work jointly with the local community to destroy the chain of alkaloids production, eradicate coca crops, and coordinate voluntary substitution of illicit crops. Authorities activated the Tumaco CEO in February 2017, and the San José del Guaviare CEO in September. A fourth CEO is scheduled to begin operations in Cúcuta in the first quarter of 2018. The counternarcotics centers cover departments with the highest incidence of [illicit] crops. “Practically 91 percent of coca crops can be found in 11 departments,” Col. Giraldo said. The Caucasia CEO covers the departments of Antioquia, Córdoba, and Bolívar. “In these areas, our operation is very strong,” Col. Giraldo explained. “[We have] sustained operations involving four or five months of eradication and pursuit—we are ready for this.” The strategy against narcotrafficking networks relies on three groups: The operational group consists of illicit-crop eradication and prosecution. The second, the social group, comprises different Colombian government agencies, such as the Ministry of Social Protection, which establishes the community’s basic needs to keep them from pursuing illicit crops. The third group is international cooperation. CEOs coordinate intelligence as well as logistics operations and prosecution related to narcotrafficking across the chain of production. CEOs “take advantage of the specific capacities of their different parts to get directly to the heart of the problem,” Col. Gomez said. A central role “The Army, with its capacity and deployment, has come to play a central role in CEOs,” Col. Giraldo said. “The military force achieves two important tasks: forced eradication by [pulling out] the plant, and the destruction of all cocaine-production labs, without disregarding control of input products and transport, to prevent them from taking the drugs to different countries.” A total of 15,000 soldiers work in CEOs to eradicate crops. The Army also deploys more than 40,000 service members in interdiction and eradication programs in the rest of the country. “The Army also conducts special operations focused on heavy production—the cocaine hydrochloride labs,” Col. Giraldo said. “Narcotrafficking criminal networks evolve to use different forms of pressure to force farmers to plant coca.” Challenges The CEOs’ challenge is to work faster and help communities really carry out their legal projects in as little time as possible. Service members work on getting closer to the people to find their place in the communities. “At first, it was very difficult. As the days went by, soldiers showed [farmers] the advantages of legal commerce,” Col. Giraldo explained. “Little by little, communities accept this presence.” “Likewise, it’s a huge challenge to maintain security in the assigned area,” Col. Gómez said. “In addition to demanding everything from our men, it requires [a] very well-structured strategy and planning that must be executed impeccably, since it’s a joint mission with the support of the Colombian Air Force and coordinated by the National Police.” Partners’ help International cooperation contributed to the execution of projects and new strategies against narcotrafficking and the eradication of coca crops in Colombia. In October 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Colombia donated 700 machines for coca plant destruction to the Antioquia CEO, including GPS systems that can map the area where the eradication will be done, as well as detection equipment for water pollution due to illegal mining. “We have always had a lot of support from the international community, especially the U.S. government, of course SOUTHCOM [U.S. Southern Command], and various security agencies like the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the U.S. Agency for International Development,” Col. Giraldo said. “They facilitate the work with assistance, equipment, and information exchange to move forward in these very difficult situations of increased crop production, which people see as their only chance for a decent livelihood. The integrated work we’ve had is very important.” “After a commitment period [farmers] see benefits, especially in terms of development,” Col. Gómez added. “The goal of the Antioquia CEO over the long term is to do away with this cancer of illicit crops.” Thanks to security forces’ joint operations, Colombia surpassed its proposed goal of eradicating 50,000 hectares of illicit crops in 2017. The Ministry of Defense reported in December 2017 that 51,200 hectares of coca were eradicated in different regions around the country. In 2017, security forces also seized around 400 tons of pure cocaine in the country. The goal for 2018: eradicate 63,000 hectares of coca crop.last_img read more

Long Island’s NGHBRS To Release Debut LP

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York MTV.comLong Island Rock outfit, NGHBRS, will release their debut full-length album, Twenty One Rooms, in July.Twenty One Rooms is the follow-up studio release to the band’s successful 2010 EP, Hellomind, which earned the band high praise, including being coined by Alternative Press and AbsolutePunk.net as one of the “Top 100 Bands To Watch Out For in 2013.”To record their debut album, NGHBRS moved into an abandoned mansion, the former estate of famous American poet and journalist, William Cullen Bryant, on the North Shore of Long Island in the fall of 2012.The estate was later turned into a museum and eventually shut down, leaving behind exhibits and historical pieces still in tact. Over the course of two months, the band lived with no Internet, no television, and in a house that was rumored to be haunted.“It was a really strange, inspiring time,” says vocalist Ian Kenny. “The whole experience really influenced the outcome of the record.”The album was produced and recorded by Bryan Russell and Dan Gluszak, who also did the Hellomind EP.Encouraged by the band’s raw energy and unique live performance, the band decided to record the album live.“We just really wanted to capture something special with this record,” says Kenny.“It was definitely a challenge, but it I think it really paid off,” adds guitarist Tommy Fleischmann.Fusing elements of alternative rock with catchy melodies, impressive musicianship, rhodes keyboards, and ’90s grunge, NGHBRS has made it their mission to always separate themselves from the pack.Formed in the summer of 2009, the band revolves around a strong work ethic, an intense practice schedule, and a constant fire under their belt. Drummer Jordan Schneider and guitarist Thomas Fleischmann have been playing in bands together for the previous 8 years, when they began to collaborate with vocalist/keyboard player Ian Kenny. Excited and intrigued about their newfound exploration, they moved into a practice space even before writing their first song. The band acquired bass player Eric Vivelo, and wrote and recorded their debut EP Hellomind, which was independently released in the summer of 2010.“This is going to be an important year for us,” says Schneider, “We have a lot to prove.”When asked what they’re hoping to prove, Kenny replies, “That we’re not just a one and done type of band. We’re always looking to take strides forward.”NGHBRS is currently giving away their entire music collection for free on their Bandcamp, http://nghbrs.bandcamp.com/.Twenty One Rooms on July 16th. Pre-Orders available June 6th.last_img read more

Credit union asset growth, shares, deposits drop

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first_imgby: Nicholas BallasyShares and deposits as well as asset growth at federally insured credit unions decreased in the year ending Sept. 30, 2014 compared to the prior year, according to state level data compiled by the NCUA.The membership growth rate at larger federally insured credit unions remained the same. The NCUA said membership increased at credit unions with assets above $500 million but declined at smaller credit unions.The NCUA’s Quarterly U.S. Map Review, which is conducted by NCUA’s Office of the Chief Economist, tracks performance indicators at federally insured credit unions in 50 states and the District of Columbia. The review considered state-level unemployment rates and home price changes. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Valamar Riviera is opening a Premium camping resort in Funtana next season

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first_imgThe largest Croatian tourist company, Valamar Riviera, will start with new investments in the autumn.The Valamar Supervisory Board gave its prior approval for investments and projects worth a total of HRK 616,5 million in 2019, and one of the major investments among these projects is the repositioning of the current Istra Sunny Camping 2 *, which will soon enter the second phase of investment. season became a top camping resort called Istra Premium Camping Resort.Valamar was among the first in the Mediterranean to start developing premium camping with the first five-star camp in Croatia on Krk, Krk Premium Camping Resort 5 *, significant investments and raising the level of service in Lanterna Premium Camping Resort 4 * in Poreč and other portfolio camps. After this large investment, Istra Premium Camping Resort will have a large family Aquapark with 1000 square meters of water, a large entertainment hall with cinema, stage, children’s clubs and playrooms and Super Maro programs for children, one of the most beautiful Valamar beaches overlooking the old the town of Vrsar, its Piazza, restaurants, bars, V Sport Park and playgrounds, as well as glamping tents and luxury mobile homes with private pools.”Repositioning products according to the offer of higher added value in the camping offer segment is part of Valamar’s development and investment strategy. Istra Premium Camping Resort will be a summer resort of the highest level with a rich offer and excellent service that will open about two hundred new jobs and will certainly be one of the best camps in Europe.”, Said Bruno Radoš, director of operations for camps and director of the region at Valamar Riviera. Camping Adriatic by Valamar, according to the new brand strategy, is divided into three brands. Camping Adriatic by Valamar Premium Resorts offers luxury accommodation in camping houses or glamping with a complete service on themed beaches and swimming pools, active holidays, gastronomic offer and an authentic experience of the destination. Camping Adriatic by Valamar Resorts offers a holiday atmosphere by the sea with quality and diverse facilities and services of the camp, while Camping Adriatic by Valamar Sunny marks a holiday in untouched nature by the clear sea. RELATED NEWS:VALAMAR RIVIERA CELEBRATES 65TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATIONS AND CEREMONIALLY OPENED A NEW ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING IN POREČlast_img read more

Pair of seniors play key role in final home contest

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first_imgIn their final home game for the men’s soccer team, Wisconsin seniors David Caban and Jacob Brindle led the comeback and helped their team to a tie against No. 2 Indiana.After the Badgers fell behind 2-1 in the 64th minute, the seniors stepped up to make sure Wisconsin would not lose against the highest-ranked team it had faced all season.The equalizer came from Brindle in the 72nd minute off a cross from Adam Lauko.“It’s not easy to score goals, and he’s scored some big ones in his career, and I’m really happy for him personally. Hopefully this is the start of him getting on a little run,” Wisconsin head coach John Trask said. “We could use a couple more out of him in the next 10 days.”Brindle has been known as a goal-scorer in his time at Wisconsin, and he was able to connect on the cross from Lauko in a big moment.Even while trying to enjoy his final minutes on his home field, Brindle was keeping the younger players in position to succeed and give Wisconsin more chances to score.“He’s a great motivator. He always tells you what to do. He always knows what you should be doing and he’ll let you know,” freshman Alex Masbruch said.Brindle’s control of the offense showed in the 44 minutes he played. Wisconsin was able to hold possession of the ball and created scoring opportunities when he was on the field.“I thought we did pretty well [offensively], just our final pass was a little sloppy, but we converted on some of them, we missed a couple chances that I thought we should have made earlier in the game too,” Brindle said.The chances were there, but not being able to convert did not hinder the final home experience for Brindle.Despite it being his last home game, Brindle wanted to enjoy his time on the field, even though he knew it was limited.“It was awesome,” Brindle said. “I was just trying to go out there and enjoy myself, and hopefully get a good result. I would have loved to find a second one in the overtime to put it away, but I’ll take it.”It may have been his mindset that allowed him to play well, as he led the team in both shots (4) and shots on goal (2) in the match.He had a handful of opportunities toward the end of the game to get another goal, but Brindle and the Badgers couldn’t convert on either of their two shots on goal in the overtime periods.But Brindle was not the only senior to play well on senior night.Not to be forgotten, Caban also played a solid game on the back line, maybe one of his best games of the season, according to Trask.“I thought that was David’s most complete performance of the year, and I think he would agree with it,” Trask said. “I thought he was very sharp, and I know the emotions are going when you’re a senior in that moment in your last home game. He’s had a great career for us. That’s the David Caban I always want to remember.”Caban had an expansive presence in multiple areas on the field, competing for headers along with pressuring Indiana’s attack to save Wisconsin from a few more Indiana attacking opportunities.Indiana’s first goal came off a set piece in the final seconds of the first half, and the Hoosiers’ second goal was a strong shot curled from the side of the 18-yard box.Caban’s work could especially be seen on Indiana’s corner kicks, which they had 12 of. Despite the high number of corners, with Caban’s presence in the back, Indiana only converted one of those into a goal, right before half.Caban was able to shut down the left side of the defense while also pulling forward to get some crosses in for the Wisconsin offense.“It’s going to be easy to remember that performance,” Trask said. “It was sneaky, it was clever, it was good, it was tough. It was everything David Caban is as a player.”Although Wisconsin could not find the net in the overtime sessions, a draw against the top team in the Big Ten is a fitting way to end their home season for the seniors, especially as the Badgers move into the Big Ten Tournament.The play of Brindle and Caban has been consistent for the Badgers this season, but on senior night, they were able to do even more. They not only led the comeback, but they gave Wisconsin a chance to pull off another upset.As their Wisconsin careers wind down, the pair of seniors have approached their potentials with their eyes on keeping their careers going for just a little longer.last_img read more

Leafs outlast Bruins 4-1 to sweep season series

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first_imgThe Leafs improve to 29-17-0-4 and host the Beaver Valley Nitehawks Friday at the NDCC Arena at 7 p.m.Nelson closes out the regular season Saturday in Fruitvale against the Hawks.The Leafs open the playoffs against Castlegar the following week.Grand Forks finished the regular season without a win at home.The Bruins, 1-48-0-2, travel to Spokane to close out the season against the Braves Sunday. The Nelson Leafs outshot the Grand Fork Border Bruins 53-14 en route to a 4-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory Thursday in Boundary Country.The win completes a sweep of the season series for Nelson over the Murdoch Division rivals.last_img read more

Leafs acquire former Coyote defenceman as junior teams finalize rosters

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first_imgThe Nelson Leafs beefed up the blue line with the acquisition of Robson Cramer from Wichita Falls of the NAHL (North American Hockey League) as Kootenay International Junior Hockey League teams scrambled to finalize teams in light of Thursday’s BC Hockey roster deadline.Cramer, from Summerland, is no stranger to the KIJHL having spent two seasons with Osoyoos Coyotes before being moved south of the 49th parallel in November.“(Robson) is an offensive guy who can quarterback our player play and give us some depth on the blue line,” said Leaf coach Frank Maida of the former Coyote.Thursday was the final day junior teams could add players to the roster.Maida has been working the phones of late looking for a defenceman and forward to bolster a lineup that has played second fiddle of late to Murdoch rivals Castlegar Rebels and Beaver Valley Nitehawks.The Leafs are 0-3 against the two Murdoch rivals since mid-December.The 5’10”, 150-pound Cramer played 17 games for Osoyoos before being shipped to Wichita Falls November 20 for future considerations.Maida is confident the addition of Cramer gives Nelson a bit of a cushion on the blue line.“Robson should strengthen the back end,” Maida explained. “I’m satisfied now with our goaltending and we can score goals so I feel now we’re ready for the most exciting time of the season, the playoffs.”The addition of Cramer gives the Leafs nine defenceman on the roster. However, Nelson Minor Hockey grad Blake Arcuri is still recovering from a concussion suffered before Christmas in Spokane.Cramer makes it three new players on the roster for the Leafs. During the Christmas break Maida dealt for Grand Forks leading scorer Connor Gross to fill the void created by the loss of Colton McCarthy to Moose Jaw of the WHL.The Nelson skipper then shipped goalie Cody Boeckman to Golden before grabbing former Leaf Marcus Beesley from Kamloops.Earlier Maida sent disgruntled forward Jacob Boyczuk to Revelstoke Grizzlies for future considerations.Where Nelson will finish in the tight Murdoch Division is anyone’s guess.The Leafs currently lead the division by two points over Castlegar and Beaver Valley, although the Hawks have played two more games.The Rebels were in Grand Forks Thursday to face the last place Bruins.Nelson, 2-3-1 in the last six games, completes a five-game road trip this weekend with a swing through the Okanagan Division.Friday Nelson visits Chase Heat before travelling to face Kamloops Storm Saturday.The Leafs conclude the trip Sunday in Armstrong against the North Okanagan Knights.Nelson returns home January 18 to host Columbia Valley Rockies at 7 p.m. in thelast_img read more

Leafs road to the Cyclone Taylor Cup begins Friday the 13th

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first_imgIn all Nelson plays 20 of the 26-home-game-season on Friday and Saturday night — 10 Friday and 10 Saturday.Nelson hosts two Sunday afternoon matinees and three mid-week Wednesday contests.The final game of the home season goes Tuesday, December 31 against Murdoch rival Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the traditional New Year’s Eve game.Nelson, which opens came prior to the Labour Day weekend, has five exhibition games scheduled, the first Tuesday, September 3 at home against Beaver Valley.Nelson also hosts Creston, Friday, September 6 and Castlegar, Wednesday, September 11 before travelling to both the Sunflower City and Fruitvale.The season concludes Saturday, February 22 with eight games, including Nelson at Beaver Valley.The playoffs open the following weekend with the center of the universe coming together April 10-13 at the NDCC Arena when Nelson plays host to the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup.No doubt the Leafs want to enter the tournament as the KIJHL champ than by gaining an automatic berth as the host club. It’s obvious from the blockbuster trade the Leafs made with Castlegar during the summer, the pressure is on Leaf coach Frank Maida to advance past the first round of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoffs this season.Maida and Company, eliminated last season by Beaver Valley in the first round of the Murdoch Semi Finals, get the party started Friday, September 13 when the Green and White face the defending KIJHL champs on banner raising night at the Castlegar Complex.The KIJHL season opens the night before, Thursday, September 12, when Grand Forks hosts Spokane Braves in the Boundary City.Nelson returns home the following night, Saturday, September 14, to kick off the Cyclone Taylor hosting campaign against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.last_img read more

Roundball season returns to Lakeside Pitch for Fall Campaign

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first_imgThe season continues for the next few weeks before concluding prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.That’s when Nelson Youth Soccer moves indoors, at the facility on Cedar Street, for the winter. Nelson Youth Soccer finally was able to break through the smoke to open the second half of the 2017 Mini roundball season Saturday at the Lakeside Pitch.The sun was shining as future roundball stars took to the pitch for some good old soccer fun.last_img

GARDAI HAD TO COAX MAN OUT OF HEDGE AFTER ROW

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first_imgGardai had to coax a man out of a hedge after he hid in it following a fight.Letterkenny Court.Kieran Maguire, 31, hid in the undergrowth at LIDL in Ballybofey, Co Donegal after a fight had broken out in the area on March 9th last. Gardai searched the area and found Maguire, of Main Street, Killygordon, in the hedge and he told them to “go f*** themselves.”The accused, who has just started his own mechanic business, eventually came out.His solicitor told Letterkenny District Court that his client had been drinking and had been “in a fracas of sorts.”It was Maguire’s first offence and he pleaded guilty to being intoxicated and causing a breach of the peace.Judge Paul Kelly asked Maguire if he had a drink problem and he said he hadn’t.He was ordered to pay €150 to a local charity and received the probation act.GARDAI HAD TO COAX MAN OUT OF HEDGE AFTER ROW was last modified: March 26th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more