Colombia Launches Operation to Close Narcotrafficking Routes

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo October 01, 2018 The Colombian Navy launched Operation Armor (Operación Armadura) to close narcotrafficking routes organized armed groups clashed over in the Pacific coast of Colombia. The strategy that kicked off in mid-August 2018 seeks to increase the Navy’s presence in Chocó department, near the Panamanian border. A group of 350 units of the Pacific Naval Force—consisting of elements of the 21st and 23rd Marine Battalions, the Second Marine Brigade, Bahía Solando Coast Guard Station, and troops of the Navy’s Unified Action Group for Personal Freedom (GAULA, in Spanish)—deployed to Juradó municipality in the Pacific coast of Chocó. In addition, the Navy mobilized three ships from the Caribbean Naval Force and receives air support from the Pacific Naval Aviation Group. “The border [with Panama] is a highly important strategic area for logistics support of any illegal group,” Navy Vice Admiral Orlando Romero Reyes, commander of the Pacific Naval Force, told Diálogo. “It can be used to smuggle weapons, drugs, and supplies. It’s also a hard-to-reach area for Navy and Armed Forces’ long-term stay.” Impact on the community The fight for territorial control among the various organized armed groups in Chocó’s coast and the dense Darién jungle on the border with Panama affected indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in the region. Turf wars between organized armed groups who want to take over strategic corridors previously controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia increased since July, resulting in several injured citizens and the death of a minor. According to a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published September 1st, the clashes affected 12 indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities from Bahía Solano and Juradó municipalities in Chocó department. The families are confined, have limited mobility and access to goods and services, or find themselves in temporary shelters, the report indicated. In early August, authorities held security councils in the municipalities of Juradó, Bahía Solano, and Nuquí, where communities reported the incidents. The meetings prompted an increased security presence to guarantee locals’ safety. “It encouraged us to create new initiatives, make some changes, and intensify efforts,” Vice Adm. Romero said. “That’s when we decided to launch Operation Armor.” Increased military presence To meet the goal, the Navy Marine Corps trained service members who deployed to Bahía Solano and Juradó as a permanent force, and assigned about 60 additional units to the Second Marine Brigade. Unified Navy command posts in Bahía Solano, Nuquí, and Juradó were also reactivated to conduct and oversee operations. “We have armed and unarmed efforts, armed efforts such as the significant increase in military presence to protect populations,” Navy Lieutenant Colonel José Amaya Barrera, commander of the 23rd Marine Battalion based in Bahía Solano, told Diálogo. “Land and maritime units also take part in the effort, with logistics support such as coast guard units that conduct maritime patrols, and escort fishermen and coastal vessels supplying townships and municipalities in our area of responsibility.” GAULA elements in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca department, on the Pacific coast, support the operation by handling extortions reported in conflict areas. “There is a unit specialized in kidnapping and extortion, GAULA, which operates against these threats, such as human trafficking, and works on prevention with all our merchants under the campaign ‘I [do not pay, I] report,’” Lt. Col. Amaya said. Successful results The operation started strong and dealt a blow to the structure of the Clan del Golfo, neutralizing two leaders. On August 24th, authorities announced the capture of alias Ernesto, who controlled the group’s actions in the Pacific, and alias Platino, who led narcotrafficking operations. “During the last follow-up meeting [on September 11th], we analyzed the issue specifically in Juradó municipality, and Chocó’s ombudsman and attorney general recognized the advances in security,” Lt. Col. Amaya said. “We spent late night hours carrying out preventive work at piers and checking airstrips, so they would only be used for legal activities.” In addition to the arrests, authorities seized 1,454 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride and 223 kg of marijuana during the operation. Authorities also confiscated logistics equipment, supplies, and speedboat fuel the organized armed groups used in their illegal operations. “Most importantly, Operation Armor will join the international strategy […] to prevent drugs from getting to Mexico and Central America,” Vice Adm. Romero said. “We agreed with the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica to close that sea corridor.”last_img read more

North Korea blows up liaison office with South: Seoul

first_imgNorth Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office on its side of the border on Tuesday, the South’s Unification ministry said, after days of increasingly virulent rhetoric from Pyongyang.”North Korea blows up Kaesong Liaison Office at 14:49,” the ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, said in a one-line alert sent to reporters.The statement came minutes after an explosion was heard and smoke seen rising from the long-shuttered joint industrial zone in Kaesong where the liaison office was located, Yonhap news agency reported citing unspecified sources. Analysts say Pyongyang may be seeking to manufacture a crisis to increase pressure on Seoul while nuclear negotiations with Washington are at a standstill.Earlier Tuesday, North Korea’s army said it was “fully ready” to take action against the South, included re-entering areas that had been demilitarized under an inter-Korean agreement.”North Korea is frustrated that the South has failed to offer an alternative plan to revive the US-North talks, let alone create a right atmosphere for the revival,” said Cheong Seong-chang, a director of the Sejong Institute’s Center for North Korean Studies.”It has concluded the South has failed as a mediator in the process.” Its destruction came after Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said at the weekend: “Before long, a tragic scene of the useless north-south joint liaison office completely collapsed would be seen.”Since early June, North Korea has issued a series of vitriolic condemnations of the South over activists sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border — something defectors do on a regular basis.Last week it announced it was severing all official communication links with South Korea.The leaflets — usually attached to hot air balloons or floated in bottles — criticize North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses and his nuclear ambitions.center_img Topics :last_img read more

FIFA re-schedules Women’s U20, U17 World Cup to 2021

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking COVID-19: FIFA count cost to football Blatter faces probe in Switzerland The women’s Under-20 World Cup tournament in Costa Rica and Panama, postponed from August to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has now been rescheduled for January 20 to February 6 of next year, world governing body FIFA said on Tuesday.The women’s Under-17 World Cup in India, originally planned for November, has also been rescheduled for February 17 to March 7, 2021. Dates were confirmed after taking into account the time needed to complete qualification tournaments.FIFA also confirmed the Futsal World Cup, originally scheduled for September to October this year in Lithuania, was pushed to September 12 to October 3, 2021.Meanwhile, the 70th FIFA Congress, which was originally due to take place in Addis Ababa, will be held as an online event on September 18.Tags: FIFAReschedulingU17 World CupWomen’s U-20last_img read more

Hughes maturing as season progresses

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS ?It?s starting to happen.Slowly and steadily ? literally and figuratively ? Trevon Hughes is maturing as the point guard and floor general of the Wisconsin basketball team.By harnessing his natural quickness and playing with more control, Hughes is evolving as a player.The returns, at least Sunday against the pressure defense of Minnesota, were impressive.Hughes led all players in scoring with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting, pulled down three rebounds and nabbed a career-high six steals.His play Sunday built on another solid game the last time out when he matched Indiana?s celebrated freshman Eric Gordon in points, assists and steals.That Hughes struggled at times earlier this season was not of much concern to Ryan and the coaching staff. Taking his lumps early would yield dividends later in the year, they argued.?He?s much better now than he was at the early in the year, but that?s what we figured,? UW head coach Bo Ryan said. ?We figured early in the year that he was going to be tested in some areas by some teams and then tested in the conference.?Trevon?s improved.?That improvement was evident on both ends of the court. Whether it was by using his quickness to slice through the Gophers? defense to get to the hoop or penetrate and find an open shooter on the perimeter, Hughes was the catalyst for UW offensively.Defensively, the sophomore made things difficult for Minnesota, disrupting passing lanes with quick hands.?(With) his steals he?s been in a little better position. ? He?s not taking himself out of position as much, not reaching as much, so he?s not sitting on the bench for as many minutes,? Ryan said. ?Offensively, better decisions, better control. Still, there?s some turnovers there that we need to discuss on the path to getting better.?As much as his play may be improving, Hughes says he hasn?t been doing much differently.?I always play the same way,? Hughes said. ?I wouldn?t say it?s more confident, I?d just say I?m relying on my team more.?When Hughes is making smart decisions and running the offense like he was for the most part Sunday, the Wisconsin offense is able to operate efficiently. In the first half against Minnesota, Wisconsin?s offensive efficiency was just below 1.40 points per possession. For the game, UW was above its target mark of 1.0.?It helps everything,? forward Brian Butch said. ?This offense is a point-guard offense. You can see the success point guards have had in this offense. At this level, that?s what it is. If you have a good point guard, you?re going to be a good team.?While the flashy plays ? the behind-the-back pass to a cutting Michael Flowers against Indiana, as an example ? may land him on the highlight shows, Hughes? teammates know the less noticed aspects of his play are just as important as any others.?We need him to do all those little things that he does for us, not just scoring but? getting the steals, creating for other people,? forward Jon Leuer said. ?He?s just really turning into a great point guard.?Faces in the crowdWisconsin signees and Minnesota natives Jared Berggren and Jordan Taylor were in attendance for Sunday?s game. The two are half of Ryan?s ?08 recruiting class that will enter school next year.Carl Landry, brother of UW?s Marcus Landry and former Purdue forward, was at the game as well. Landry, a member of the NBA?s Houston Rockets, was in Minneapolis for the Rockets? game Monday against the Timberwolves.last_img read more