Month: December 2020
By Dialogo July 30, 2009 Chile has asked to extend by two years a deadline for the removal of landmines it planted on its border with Bolivia in the 1970s, according to Bolivia’s defense minister cited in the media. The clearing of the thousands of devices would be complete in 2014 instead of 2012 under the proposed “moratorium,” Defense Minister Walker San Miguel was quoted as saying by the daily La Razon. He did not say whether Bolivia would accept the request. Chile began the process of clearing the landmines in 2005 under the terms of a Mine Ban Treaty it signed in 1997. Chile sowed the mines during a period of tension with Bolivia, which had sought and failed in the 1970s to regain access to the Pacific Ocean. Bolivia, a poor landlocked nation, lost sea access during an 1879-1904 war with Chile.
By Dialogo December 14, 2010 Groups of military personnel went out on the streets of Montevideo to collect thousands of tons of garbage accumulated due to a strike by municipal employees, who agreed overnight to suspend the measure and return to work. Wearing face masks and gloves, dozens of members of the armed forces used shovels and in some cases machinery to collect the trash that had spilled out of containers in several city neighborhoods, watched over by the police at the express request of military commanders. Members of the three branches of the armed forces – the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force – participated in the operation, within the framework of a contingency plan aimed at preventing a possible health emergency in the city due to the accumulation of garbage, Defense Minister Luis Rosadilla explained. “This contribution has as its sole objective that of contributing to addressing the health emergency, should there be one. The participation of the Defense Ministry is not intended as a way to replace the usual work” of the Montevideo municipal workers, the minister indicated. The Uruguayan government issued a decree declaring sanitation an essential service, obliging the sanitation workers to return to work, in order to put an end to a succession of strikes that left more than seven thousand tons of garbage on the streets of the capital, where more than half of the country’s 3.4 million inhabitants live. The accumulation of trash took place at a time of high temperatures, as the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere summer approaches, and in the face of a warning from health authorities about the risk it posed to health.
By Dialogo October 31, 2011 NATO decided to officially end its seven-month operation in Libya as of October 31, in spite of calls made by the transitional Libyan government to continue its air patrolling until the end of the year. On October 31, NATO fighter aircrafts brought to a close their mission, after more than 26,000 interventions and the bombing of almost 6,000 targets in an operation that allowed rebel forces to overthrow the veteran ruler Moammar Gadhafi. “The operation in Libya will come to an end on October 31, 2011. Our military job is now done”, informed the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in a message on Twitter, after coalition ambassadors agreed to end the mission. NATO had preliminarily taken this decision the week prior, since the organization considered that civilians were safe of attacks after Gadhafi’s death and the fall of Sirte. The decision was announced on October 28, after the UN Security Council voted unanimously to rescind the order that authorized military action in Libya from 11:59, Libyan time (21:59 GMT) on October 31. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the UN decision clarified that Libya had entered “a new era”, even though the new leader, Mustafá Abdel Jalil, warned on October 26 that men faithful to Gadhafi still represented a threat. According to Hague, this decision “represents another significant step towards a peaceful and democratic future for Libya”. The operation had caused serious divisiveness in the UN, since Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa accused NATO of violating the mandate. The fears of Jalil seem to gain strength due to the information that Gadhafi’s intelligence chief, Abdullah al Senusi – who flew from Libya – has passed from Niger to Mali. “We have heard, and it is more or less confirmed, that Abdullah al Senusi has crossed Niger”, said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice president of the National Council of Transition. It is unknown whether Saif al Islam Gadafi, son of the deposed Libyan ruler, is with him. It seems that Saif al Islam would be hidden in Niger since his father’s death in Sirte on October 20. However, this is not confirmed. Even though NATO has firmly denied that Gadhafi was one of its targets, it was a coalition’s aircraft strike that intercepted the convoy in which the former ruler was trying to escape. The operation ended with the capture and death of Gadhafi. Due to the unanimous international criticism for Gadhafi’s death, the interim government promised to bring the perpetrators to court on October 27, apparently leaving aside its allegation that the former ruler had died in a shootout. The coalition, headed by the United States, France, and Great Britain, started the first air operations on March 19, before transferring command to NATO on March 31. Contrary to other NATO operations, European countries assumed a central role, with France and Great Britain in charge of most air strikes, while the United States played a fundamental role in providing intelligence data and refueling of aircrafts.
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos agreed to set up a radar network in the Pacific to combat organized crime, among other joint security initiatives discussed in a bilateral summit held in the Costa Rican capital on June 15. In a preparatory meeting of foreign ministers, Colombia and Costa Rica reiterated their interest in taking joint action against illegal fishing and shark finning, as well as the establishment of a maritime security system along the Pacific coast, with the installation of a network of 13 radars to monitor illegal fishing, as well as the trafficking of drugs, arms, and people. In the prior meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries, the “Political Dialogue Mechanism,” last used in 2003, was reactivated, and they addressed a broad agenda of bilateral and regional interest. “The meeting has been very fruitful, and we’ve agreed to follow up on topics of mutual interest,” commented Costa Rican Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Roverssi, who also announced progress toward a cooperation agreement in the area of the fight against drugs, money laundering, and terrorist financing. For her part, the Costa Rican president indicated on her official website that an “expansion of trade relations” is being sought at the meeting and that “a joint action protocol in the fight against shark finning” will be announced, with regard to environmental topics. The activation of a bi-national commission in the second half of the year and “cooperation in the area of security” will also be analyzed, the official announcement added. By Dialogo June 20, 2012
The Colombian Caribbean is hosting the 54th instance of the exercise, in which 1,800 sailors are visiting ‘La Heróica’ in 16 ships and two submarines, in order to conduct combined operations by means of a multinational force in a regional scenario with transnational threats and complex naval war environments. “The aim of these exercises is interoperability, for the navies of the continent to operate jointly in a very quick way so they can develop exercises to defend sovereignty, perform basic maritime interdiction, and confront transnational crime and the new threats of drug and human trafficking. The final goal is to consolidate procedures and mechanisms to develop a multinational force at any given time,” Admiral Hernándo Wills Vélez, Colombian National Navy Commander, stated. The National Navy is participating with a surface and submarine fleetcomposed of its four frigates: the ARC ‘Almirante Padilla,’ the ARC ‘Antioquia,’ and the ARC ‘Independiente’; and its two U209A-type oceanic submarines: the ARC ‘Pijao’ and the ARC ‘Tayrona.’ These ships are part of the Colombian fleet that was recently modernized in the first phase of ‘Plan Orión’ in Colombia’s own Cotecmar shipyard, one of the companies of the Defense’s Social and Enterprise Group (GSED). For the second time, the Colombian National Navy is hosting Operation Unitas, an international naval exercise where ships from different countries are performing different simulated military operations from September 6-15. “For Colombia, it is very important to host this exercise and it is a big challenge for the Colombian Navy; it will allow the Colombian military forces to continue being a benchmark in the international arena,” Admiral Wills said. This annual exercise is organized by the Unites States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), and seeks to improve the mutual friendship and cooperation between participating armed forces, promote human rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) awareness, standardize operational planning procedures and increase awareness through professional conferences in the port phase. By Dialogo September 10, 2013 Operation Unitas is a key exercise for Colombia because the National Navy is being strengthened by exchanging naval combat experiences, as well as by the ‘Cerrando Espacios’ (Closing Spaces) strategy for the fight against drugs, goods, weapons, currency trafficking and illegal immigration, in order to continue producing enduring and concrete results against transnational crime affecting the peace of Colombian citizens.
Logos on cocaine packages Coordinated investigation Drug trafficking alliances Colombian National Police have seized a large shipment of cocaine that allegedly belonged to the drug trafficking group Los Urabeños and a group of Mexican organized crime operatives. “Exceptional” intelligence work led to the seizure of seven tons of drugs inside a large container at the port in Cartagena. It was “one of the largest seizures in history,” Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón said during a press conference held on April 9. It was the largest single drug seizure in Colombia since 2005. The seizure was so large “it has destabilized the finances of criminal organizations,” Pinzón said. “The government will continue to crack down on crime and criminality.” The cocaine has a street value of more than $240 million (USD), officials said. The container full of cocaine was scheduled to leave the Port Authority of Cartagena on a ship bound for the Netherlands. I hope they arrest and put an end to these evil mafias that destroy humanity in order to obtain incalculable monetary gains without taking into account the harm caused to all nations. May God bless all the people that make up the antinarcotics group and the nations with great values. May the holy Virgin of Guadalupe protect and guide them to find these diabolic groups. I’m glad they were finally able to end this scourge that is so destructive for the global youth. I hope that with the help of almighty God we can end this self-destruction caused by men. Very good article. Reading late but old news like this always draws attention. Capital, contacts, and routes Police agents found logos used by Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers on the packages of cocaine, Gen. Rodolfo Palomino, the director of the National Police of Colombia (PNC), told El Tiempo in an article published April 12. The packages had three different logos: the number “800” and logos for Yamaha motorcycles and KIA automobiles. The Colombia-based drug trafficking group Los Urabeños is known to use the 800 logo. The same logo was found in a two-ton shipment of cocaine seized in recent weeks at the port of Buenaventura, Colombia’s main port on the Pacific coast, according to a written report by the PNC. Los Urabeños operates in 17 of Colombia’s 32 departments. Because the investigation is ongoing, authorities declined to publicly disclose which Mexican drug trafficking group is suspected of having possessed some of the cocaine that was seized. Officials also declined to publicly disclose which logo the Mexican organized crime group is suspected of using. Based on their investigation, authorities said Los Urabeños transported two large shipments of cocaine from the port of Cartagena to Europe in March. One shipment contained five tons, and the other contained 4 tons, authorities believe. Large drug trafficking groups like Los Urabeños and Mexican transnational criminal organizations have access to the kinds of resources needed to transport large amounts of drugs internationally, said Gustavo Duncan, a security analyst at the University of the Andes. “The cargos and shipments of powerful cartels can provide capital, contacts, a route and a guarantee,” Duncan told Dialogo. “Mexican organizations have an advantage in Europe.” The large seizure at the port is both a “success and concern” for authorities, Duncan said. “Seven tons of cocaine (represents) a lot of hectares of drugs.” The seven-ton seizure at the port in Cartagena was the largest drug seizure in Colombia since authorities seized 10.5 tons of cocaine in October 2008. In another major drug seizure, in May 2005, the National Police and the Navy seized more than 15 tons of cocaine that was hidden in a cove on the banks of the Mira River in Tumaco, Nariño. In that case, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and other rebel groups had planned to send the cocaine to Europe and the United States. By Dialogo May 08, 2014 Los Urabeños and other drug trafficking organizations which operate in Colombia, such as Los Rastrojos transport drugs produced in Colombia to other destinations, such Duncan said. These and other drug trafficking groups also transport cocaine manufactured in Peru and Bolivia to seaports in Colombia, and from the seaports to other destinations, such as Europe, according to the security analyst. Since January 1, Colombian National Police have seized 34 tons of cocaine, including 16 tons at ports, according to government statistics. In 2013, Colombian police seized more than 166 tons of cocaine throughout the country. Colombian security forces have made great strides in fighting drug trafficking groups, but they must remain vigilant, Duncan said. Security forces must continue to crack down on the alliances formed by various drug trafficking organizations, and international cooperation is crucial in the fight against drug trafficking. Fighting drug trafficking is a high priority for the Colombian government. Security forces are constantly adjusting their security strategy to respond to the changing tactics of drug traffickers. “The government will continue to crack down on crime and criminality,” Pinzón said. Agents from the Anti-Narcotics Directorate of Colombia, the Colombian Navy, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) collaborated on the investigation. Colombia and the U.S. cooperate on security issues, primarily by sharing information. Investigators collected evidence that organized crime operatives were preparing to ship a large amount of cocaine from the port in Cartagena. Organized crime operatives transported the cocaine through land routes from Bogotá to the port in Cartagena. The drug traffickers hid the cocaine inside fruit jars. Anti-narcotics agents obtained intelligence that a large amount of cocaine was at the port. The agents responded and searched five large containers. One of the containers was filled with about 450 boxes. The agents searched the boxes and found the cocaine hidden inside nearly 7,000 packages.
By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo June 22, 2018 The Colombian Navy destroyed a cocaine hydrochloride storage and processing compound near the Gulf of Urabá on May 9, 2018. Authorities discovered the cocaine processing compound, consisting of four small workshops, six storage buildings and a camp built to house 12 people, in a rural area of the municipality of Ungía, Chocó. “Troops from the 16th Marine Corps River Battalion operating as part of Joint Task Force Titán, with support from the Urabá Coast Guard Station and the National Police, discovered the complex,” Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Wisner Paz Palomeque, commander of the 16th Marine Corps River Battalion, told Diálogo. “We inflicted this blow on the organized armed group [GAO] Gulf Clan using the Navy’s Radiance Strategy and intelligence from the [16th] battalion.” Radiance Strategy seeks to curtail drug trafficking, the main source of income for GAO such as the Gulf Clan and National Liberation Army. The strategy is executed through joint, integrated, and focused efforts to attack all stages of the cocaine hydrochloride production process. The plan seeks to prevent drug use, trafficking, and the spread of violence drug trafficking precipitates. Navy experts destroyed the complex in a controlled manner. The facility had the capacity to produce 3.5 tons of cocaine hydrochloride per month. The Navy seized 9,000 liters of liquid raw materials and 1,715 kilograms of dry goods used to process coca. Authorities also found three distillation devices known as “Martians,” a vacuum packer, and various pieces of equipment used to process the alkaloid. According to the Navy, the complex also contained 1,000 kg of food supplies, bunks, blankets, and other provisions to survive in the area. The operation “The area was accessed by sea,” Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Sandro Alonso Gallardo Ropero, commander of the 1st Marine Corps Brigade, told Diálogo. “Both the 16th Marine Corps River Battalion and the Urabá Coast Guard Station trained in the skills used to achieve this successful operation.” “One of the clues that led to the infrastructure’s detection were the tracks on the ground leading to a hamlet known as Tumarado,” Lt. Col. Paz explained. “Upon arriving on site, it became evident that the infrastructure was covered with artificial vegetation in an attempt to shield it from aerial detection.” The National Police’s Special Criminal Investigation Operations Group, in charge of drug testing and taking the necessary legal steps to destroy the infrastructure, assisted with the operation. “A total of 36 men participated. The operation was carried out in one day, but the intelligence work that led to the discovery of the infrastructure was spread out over more than three months,” Lt. Col. Paz said. The region and its people The compound was in a strategic location for narcotraffickers. Its proximity to Panama facilitates the traffic of drugs northward. The swampy terrain also makes it hard for authorities to access the area. “The Urabá or Chocó areas are dominated by rivers, and full of marshes. The Atrato River, the [region’s] largest, empties into the Gulf of Urabá,” Lt. Col. Gallardo said. “One has to navigate natural obstacles, almost all related to deep bodies of water. Air operations are sometimes limited by the region’s heavy rainfall patterns.” “Criminal activities from all the terrorist groups this country has seen affected the department of Chocó,” Lt. Col. Gallardo said. “The community cannot forget the violent terrorist acts these municipalities witnessed in the past.”
In late April 2019, the Colombian Army, Air Force, Navy, and Police launched Operation Artemisa with 17,000 elements working to neutralize indiscriminate logging from the planting of illicit crops, as well as wildlife trafficking and illegal mining.“Protecting biodiversity is now a main national concern. Water resources, biodiversity, and the environment are strategic objectives,” said Colombian President Iván Duque at the launch of the military campaign. “Thanks to unmanned aerial vehicles, [we conduct] intelligence exercises that calculate the impact of actions onsite.”Colombian Army Colonel Jorge Armando Rodríguez Malaver, head of the Military Engineers Command department, told Diálogo about the results of the two first phases of the operation.Criminal groups start fires at Tinigua Natural National Park to capture species that will be sold on the black market. (Photo: Colombian Army Military Engineers Command)“In two months, Artemisa succeeded in recovering 1139 acres and three illegal routes. Authorities also captured 20 people, rescued 10 minors, and neutralized weapons and equipment for coca production and structures used in illegal mining,” said Col. Rodríguez.Preserving protected areas is Operation Artemisa’s main objective. The operation started at Chiribiquete National Park in Caquetá and Guaviare departments, the country’s largest rainforest covering nearly 10.5 million acres, which Organized Armed Groups (OAG) exploit for its abundant wildlife and to cultivate illicit crops. Another area where authorities took action was La Macarena in Meta department, where La Macarena, Picachos, and Tinigua parks are located.“Deforestation in Colombia reaches 495,000 acres each year, a figure that has been increasing since 2016,” the Colombia Institute for Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies told the press. “From 1996 to 2018 the country lost more than 9 million acres of forest.”The national goal is to connect communities to reforestation programs, so that forest conservation can be profitable, and so that communities are the first to take action to counter illicit logging. “The increasing wildlife trafficking allows OAGs to create profits with illegal logging and forest fires to capture animal species that are highly valued on the black market, especially at the international level; then, they commercialize the soil to grow illicit crops,” Col. Rodríguez concluded. By Yolima Dussán / Diálogo September 20, 2019
Outgoing board members share advice for the future June 15, 2002 Regular News Joking that his 10 years on the Bar Board of Governors amounted to “60 meetings and 25 pounds,” board member John Cardillo advised his fellow board members to keep their ears tuned to what individual lawyers are saying.The occasion was the close of the board’s May 24 meeting in Jacksonville, the last board gathering of the 2001-02 Bar year and the final one of Bar President Terry Russell’s tenure. tradition, the board reserves the closing minutes for “Comments for the Good of the Order” from retiring board members.The occasion was marked by sentimentality, sincere advice, and appreciation for the experience and friendships made during board service. Or as board member Michele Cummings put it, “This has been the best experience of my life.” After a pause, she added with a smile, “Don’t tell my husband I said that.”Cardillo led off, recalling friends he’s made and the camaraderie among board members. But he cautioned them, in closing, to remember to listen to their constituents and to prepare for the future of the profession.“We must be conscious of what is going on at [Bar] committee levels and allow lawyers to get our ears,” Cardillo said. “We are the most privileged of the professions. The lawyer keeps the client’s confidences and is the defender of the client’s rights and is his key to freedom. . . . No other profession has that great a role and that great an impact on society. We have to take that and educate the youth of our profession. Our salvation in the future is the youth of our profession.”Board member Mike Smith, like several other speakers, advised the board to continue mentoring new board members, who can be overwhelmed by the scope of board work, including the necessary work on board committees. “I will go back to my circuit and try to educate them on the fact the job you do is an important one,” he said.Board member William Kalish, as might be expected from the outgoing chair of the Budget Committee, sounded a fiscally prudent note. He urged board members to always recall “it’s really not our money and we cannot play around with it. . . . We cannot play around with other people’s money,” he said. “Sometimes when people refer to me as ‘Dr. No,’ I take it as a badge of courage.”It’s also important for board members to educate local bars and others about what they do, board member John Kest said, and remember that not everyone plays by the same codes and rules that lawyers do.Referring to the hundreds of pages of backup that board members get for each meeting and the countless hours they spend on Bar business, he said, “Members of your [local] bars, no matter how good they are, have no appreciation for what goes on in this room, and no concept of what we read or what we do. They really don’t know and you need to start at square one and explain it to them.“We are a very trusting group of people, trusting in the sense we are bound by ethical standards different from other professions,” Kest added. “We need to look at the things we are dealing with and say, ‘What if the other side doesn’t act as ethically as we do?’ We can pass laws, but if other people aren’t going to follow them, it won’t be very effective.”Board member Kirk Kirkconnell praised the fellowship on the board as one of its strengths. “When I came on the board, I was totally intimidated. I didn’t know where to sit. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if I could say anything,” he recalled. “Within five minutes, people made me feel at home.”He also said for those who complain about the public perception of lawyers, one solution is to get involved in Bar and other work. “I’ve had a pet peeve and that’s people who complain about lawyers and their image and then don’t get involved,” Kirkconnell said.Leaving was bittersweet for Steve Chaykin, as he noted he won a contested election two years ago only to have his seat abolished by reapportionment this year. He decided not to run against other board incumbents seeking reelection for the 11th Circuit this year. He referred to his departure as “a short recess,” and he urged board members to follow through on President-elect Tod Aronovitz’s Dignity in Law campaign, on the proposed new Internet portal for Bar members, and other challenges.He also reminded them that “Lawyers are the guardians of our system of justice, and you all are the guardians of the guardians.”Cummings picked up on that theme, noting, “We are the guardians of the profession and the work has been energizing. Every time you come to a meeting, no matter how tired you are, you become so entrenched in what is going on.”She thanked board member Henry Latimer, who she said called her and encouraged her to run for the board.Board member Christine Milton agreed the work was fascinating, but she also urged the board to keep its eye on what is important.“I found the breadth and diversity of the issues fascinating,” she said. “The procedures, I found sometimes incomprehensible and difficult. Sometimes the board misses the point because it gets caught in the procedures.”Young Lawyers Division President Liz Rice thanked the board and Russell for their cooperation with the division, including delegating to it the job of putting on last January’s CLE program on ancillary business. “I have been so impressed by the level of collegiality and debate,” she added. Outgoing board members share advice for the future
March 1, 2005 Regular News Workers’ comp rules panel still wants a say Workers’ comp rules panel still wants a say The Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Rules Committee should still have a role, even though those rules are now under the purview of the Department of Administrative Hearings instead of the Supreme Court.The Bar’s Program Evaluation Committee looked at the rules panel after the Supreme Court’s recent decision that in light of changes in state law, it no longer had a role in setting procedural rules for workers’ comp cases and that authority now resides with DOAH.PEC Chair Richard Tanner told the Bar Board of Governors recently that the PEC concluded that the rules committee still could offer valuable advice to DOAH on rules issues, just as it used to do for the Supreme Court.PEC, he said, recommended that the committee continue and the board approved that unanimously.