67 Kilos of Cocaine Seized in a Drug Operation in Panama

first_imgBy Dialogo June 10, 2009 Panama, June 8 (EFE) – Agents of the Panamanian National Police (PN) seized today a total of 67 kilos of cocaine and 17 packets of unspecified quantity of marijuana in a police operation, an official source reported. In the bust, called “Operation Road-Runner,” a Panamanian, Julio Cesar Rodriguez Villarreal was arrested, after a car chase and exchanged gunfire with police units in the area of Veracruz, 13 kilometers west of the capital. Rodriguez was arrested after crashing his car into a patrol vehicle that assisted in this operation, the PN said in a statement. In the exchange of gunfire, an unidentified police officer was wounded in the arm, and Rodriguez was hit by bullets in the abdomen; both were taken to a hospital to receive medical attention. Rodriguez, 33, was captured with 67 kilos of cocaine in four sacks and 17 packages of marijuana. Inside the car was also found a 9 mm pistol with 12 bullets. The National Police said they keep a continued search for one of Rodriguez’s accomplices, who is on the run. The arrested and seized drugs were placed at the authorities’ disposal, and the investigations into the case continue, said the official source.last_img read more

Interview with Brig. Gen. Ancil Antoine, Director General of the Inter-American Defense Board

first_imgBy Dialogo April 08, 2011 CONGRATULATIONS FOR SUCH A GOOD ARTICLE; INTERESTING INTERVIEW. The Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) is an international committee of nationally appointed defense officials who develop collaborative approaches on common defense and security issues facing the Americas. The IADB provides technical advice and services to the Organization of American States. In 2006, Brigadier General Ancil W. Antoine became the IADB’s first Director General, a position he holds until this day. Diálogo spoke with Brigadier General Antoine during the Caribbean Security Conference, which took place in February in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Brigadier General Antoine discussed the challenges facing the region and how defense issues have evolved since his tenure as the former Chief of Defense of Trinidad and Tobago. Diálogo – What major differences do you see now from when you were Trinidad and Tobago’s Chief of Defense in 2006? Brig. Gen. Antoine – When I vacated the position of Chief of Defense Staff we were in an expansion mode. At that time we were acquiring OPV (Off-Shore Patrol Vessels), helicopters… the force was expanding. Now there is a contraction because of finances, and a smaller budget. So the Off-Shore Patrols have been cancelled. We are still acquiring helicopters. There is a reduction in personnel, so the change really is budgetary. Diálogo – What do you see as the main problem, in terms of security, in Trinidad and Tobago today? Brig. Gen. Antoine – Crime is the main problem; a spin-off from the drug trade. Guns, the proliferation of guns, and we are having a great increase in human trafficking. It’s the same problem that is plaguing the entire Caribbean basin and Central America. Diálogo – So you think it’s an illicit trafficking problem to begin with and then it evolves into gangs, intra-gang killing, etc.? Brig. Gen. Antoine – Yes. Small arms. Because the drugs come with the guns. The drugs go on to Europe and the United States, but the guns stay. So there are a lot of guns available for the young men to fight their turf wars or to protect their illicit contraband goods. As a result, crime, in particular homicides, has increased dramatically over the past few years. Diálogo – What is discussed in the Inter-American Defense Board in terms of combating illicit trafficking and all the problems that come with it? Brig. Gen. Antoine – The Inter-American Defense Board has contacts with the various militaries throughout the hemisphere. So the IADB has technical autonomy on certain aspects, vis-à-vis defense and security. So we are able to bring expertise from any of the countries. We are able to source experts, to deal with issues, to provide advice, as the case may be, on a whole range of issues; whether it’s disaster management, illicit trafficking and drugs, small arms, demining, whatever the case may be. Diálogo – How do you see the evolving role of the military in the region? Brig. Gen. Antoine – Jamaica has a good model of combining the military and police working together. However, the military in the Caribbean – English speaking Caribbean – do not have power of arrest. So therefore, by law, it is necessary for the military to be accompanied by the police in internal security operations that require the arrest of citizens. There must be a model, some doctrine, where the military and law enforcement can work together. Jamaica has years of experience with this; in dealing with the gangs. So Jamaica is now looking to write a doctrine, so that successive generations of military persons and police do not have to relearn the same lessons over and over again. And this can be shared by all nations in the region. Diálogo – What is necessary to implement this in Trinidad, for example? Is there a need to amend the Constitution? Brig. Gen. Antoine – No, there’s no need for an amendment to the Constitution, because the military continue doing what the military do and the police continue to do what the police do, but they work together a synergistic relationship that is better for the society as a whole. But the military cannot become law enforcement. The strength of the military is to do operations and then return to their barracks. That is something that we try to achieve in Trinidad and Tobago. The military will go into the role in support of the police, but after a while the military returns to their base. This way the military officers are not subjected to corruption by the drug cartels and the drug dealers, because they are only there on a mission for a short period of time; for a three month period or so. After that three month period, the military forces go back to their barracks and they teach others their lessons learned. They are debriefed and they are retrained before they go back and engage the population, the gangs, and the police. The problem with the police is that the police are in positions for a long period of time. Therefore they are easily susceptible to bribes, to corruption, etcetera.last_img read more

Brazilian Lawmaker Wants Colombia’s FARC Labeled ‘Terrorists’

first_imgBy Dialogo November 29, 2011 A social democratic lawmaker said on November 28 he planned to ask the Brazilian Congress to brand Colombia’s leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels as “terrorists’ ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Otavio Leite, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), said his bill would make it possible to classify the “type of danger this group represents for Brazilians.” Manuel Martinez, a PSDB spokesman said Leite would submit his bill in Brasilia and “will ask for prompt examination.” The Brazilian government does not officially view FARC as a terrorist group. “Ahead of imminent major sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympic Games (which it will host), Brazil is beset by organized crime which obtains its goods from several localized groups which have been identified in the border areas,” Leite said. He specifically expressed concern about “constant FARC incursions in the country, its dispatch of drugs to Rio narcotraffickers and its enslavement of Brazilian Indians.” In his statement, he said his bill was crucial to enable Brazil to finalize ongoing investments in land, sea and air defense projects. Leite said this would also reduce the chances that FARC could mount hostile actions during the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.last_img read more

Obama: Future Force Will be Smaller, Agile, Ready

first_img At a moment of national transition, the United States is reshaping defense priorities and its military force to sustain U.S. global leadership and respond to changing security and fiscal needs, President Barack Obama said on January 5, at the Pentagon. Obama joined U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to introduce a new military strategy that sets priorities for a 21st-century defense. “The United States of America is the greatest force for freedom and security that the world has ever known,” Obama said. “In no small measure, that’s because we’ve built the best-trained, best-led, best-equipped military in history — and as commander in chief, I’m going to keep it that way.” Looking beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and long-term nation-building with large military footprints, Obama said the United States will be able to ensure its security with smaller conventional ground forces and by investing in capabilities that include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and the ability to operate in environments where adversaries try to deny access. “Yes, our military will be leaner,” he said, “but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats.” By Dialogo January 09, 2012last_img read more

U.S. Donates 42 Armored Vehicles to Guatemala

first_img Official sources stated that the vehicles, which cost a total of $ 5.5 million, will significantly contribute to reinforcing the activities of the Tecún Umán Task Force, made up of military and police officers, allowing them further mobility and capacity for flexible and quick support to the Guatemalan forces. By Dialogo June 19, 2013 Specifically, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez announced that three new security squadrons composed of Military and Police officers will start to operate soon in order to secure those departments with a higher homicide rate. Tecún Umán is one of the three joint task special squadrons between the Police and Military that will be implemented in Guatemala to counter violence caused by common and organized crime. López Bonilla added that the task force will be integrated by a contingent of 250 Soldiers and police officers, who are already training at the Military Police Brigade at San Juan Sacatepéquez. The unit will be in charge of countering drug trafficking and smuggling. center_img Tecún Umán Task Force is about to start operations on Guatemala’s coastline area of San Marcos. In early June, Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla reported that the U.S. government had already sent 20 of the 42 armored vehicles for that unit, and that the rest of the vehicles would arrive at the end of the month. “They may formally arrive by early July, when we begin operations in the whole area,” the official explained. The U.S. government will donate 42 armored Jeep J8 vehicles to the Guatemalan Army and Police forces, to be used for public security joint tasks; 20 of the units were delivered in late May. “Three squadrons are ready. Its members have already been recruited, and they are being trained; the team is all set,” the official said, adding that the squadrons will be made up of 500 elements and they intend to locate them in troubled Guatemalan areas, such as Escuintla, Izabal and Chiquimula.last_img read more

Brazil’s Strategic Project Proteger will Secure Important Infrastructure

first_img Funds allocated for the pilot project “Mobility, because we need to be able to relocate them quickly to points of need, and flexibility because we must adapt the contingents posted depending on the scale of the problem,” Col. Silva Filho said. Consequently, security officials created the Interagency Ground Operations Coordination System (SISCOTI, for its Portuguese acronym), which will consist of a total of 19 units individually called Interagency Ground Operations Coordination Centers (CCOTI). The primary CCOTI will be built in the capital, Brasília. The other centers will work together as Military units deployed throughout Brazil. Surveillance of the Itaipu hydroelectric plant In 2015 Project Proteger plans to issue a request for proposals to businesses that want to offer solutions for implementing SISCOTI, beginning with the unit in Brasília. The Strategic Project Proteger [Protect] , an initiative launched by the Brazilian Army in 2012, guards the country’s hydroelectricity, energy delivery networks, refineries, airports, and sea facilities, all of which are essential to the country’s development and economic well-being. The effort prioritizes the protection of 664 strategic ground structures – facilities, assets, services, and systems whose interruption or destruction would have a severe, adverse impact on the government and society. “The point is to continually monitor the priority regions, mainly using the integrating software,” Col. Silva Filho said. “Interested businesses should submit proposals regarding the construction of the physical facilities, the necessary equipment, training personnel to use that equipment … in short, we want a global, comprehensive solution for SISCOTI,” said Colonel Wagner Ribeiro da Silva Filho, a member of the Proteger team. The Strategic Project Proteger [Protect] , an initiative launched by the Brazilian Army in 2012, guards the country’s hydroelectricity, energy delivery networks, refineries, airports, and sea facilities, all of which are essential to the country’s development and economic well-being. The effort prioritizes the protection of 664 strategic ground structures – facilities, assets, services, and systems whose interruption or destruction would have a severe, adverse impact on the government and society. The distribution and installation of the CCOTIs are determined based on the locations of the strategic structures the project intends to secure. Therefore, the Military units that have been prioritized to receive a CCOTI will be those with the most strategic structures in their area of responsibility, Col. Silva Filho said. Each center must possess two basic qualities: mobility and flexibility. Work on the pilot project began in 2012, when authorities allocated 79 million Brazilian reals ($26 million) to launch the initiative in Cascavel. The funds were used to acquire vehicles, individual equipment for service members, communications equipment, and improvements to the location’s physical facility. Surveillance of the Itaipu hydroelectric plant In addition to the physical structure, SISCOTI is expected to develop software for the Army Department of Science and Technology. Nicknamed “the Protector,” the software would allow users to integrate information that is available on databases run by Brazilian security agencies or offices. Project Proteger plans to use this tool to prevent cyber attacks and ensure the overall security of databases. Those structures include facilities responsible for generating 56 percent of the electrical power in the country, with more than 100,000 kilometers of power lines. Funds allocated for the pilot project In 2015 Project Proteger plans to issue a request for proposals to businesses that want to offer solutions for implementing SISCOTI, beginning with the unit in Brasília. “Mobility, because we need to be able to relocate them quickly to points of need, and flexibility because we must adapt the contingents posted depending on the scale of the problem,” Col. Silva Filho said. The request for proposals will be issued when funds are available. Authorities estimate they need about 1 billion Brazilian reals ($330 million) to fund the proposals in 2015. The first was the Military Southern Command, which includes the 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, chosen as the home for the Proteger pilot project. This Military unit is located in Cascavel, a city in Paraná state, located nearly 120 km from the Itaipu hydroelectric plant – one of the largest producers of electricity in the world, responsible for providing 17 percent of the electricity consumed in Brazil. The distribution and installation of the CCOTIs are determined based on the locations of the strategic structures the project intends to secure. Therefore, the Military units that have been prioritized to receive a CCOTI will be those with the most strategic structures in their area of responsibility, Col. Silva Filho said. Each center must possess two basic qualities: mobility and flexibility. “Project Proteger is also aimed at better equipping and training the Army so that it can protect society in the event of a disaster, such as a flood, a building collapse, or a drought. In such circumstances, we will act as a complement to government agencies,” Lt. Gen. Soares said. In 2013, the project purchased about 2,000 vehicles for general use. The vehicles were delivered to other Brigades and are being used for the units’ Military and administrative functions, according to Col. Silva Filho. Also in 2013, the project acquired 13 command and control vehicles, two of which were equipped with data transmission satellite technology and were used during the 2014 World Cup, when the Army was assisting in the events’ security operations. The first was the Military Southern Command, which includes the 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, chosen as the home for the Proteger pilot project. This Military unit is located in Cascavel, a city in Paraná state, located nearly 120 km from the Itaipu hydroelectric plant – one of the largest producers of electricity in the world, responsible for providing 17 percent of the electricity consumed in Brazil. Regarding the relocation capacity, Proteger plans to equip each CCOTI with at least 13 different types of vehicles. Though the centers have not yet been built, the project has already begun supplying equipment to the eight Military Area Commands in the Army. The security initiative is a cooperative effort, in which the Army is working as a team with other national security agencies, including the Federal Police and Civil Defense Forces. “Structures such as these already have their own security, but if that should fail, the Army must be ready to act,” said Lieutenant General William José Soares, the initiative’s project manager. In 2013, the project purchased about 2,000 vehicles for general use. The vehicles were delivered to other Brigades and are being used for the units’ Military and administrative functions, according to Col. Silva Filho. In addition to the physical structure, SISCOTI is expected to develop software for the Army Department of Science and Technology. Nicknamed “the Protector,” the software would allow users to integrate information that is available on databases run by Brazilian security agencies or offices. Project Proteger plans to use this tool to prevent cyber attacks and ensure the overall security of databases. “Structures such as these already have their own security, but if that should fail, the Army must be ready to act,” said Lieutenant General William José Soares, the initiative’s project manager. “The CCOTI in Brasília is going to boast a more modern command and control system, in addition to having space for teams from the agencies involved in solving a particular situation,” Lt. Gen. Soares said. “Interested businesses should submit proposals regarding the construction of the physical facilities, the necessary equipment, training personnel to use that equipment … in short, we want a global, comprehensive solution for SISCOTI,” said Colonel Wagner Ribeiro da Silva Filho, a member of the Proteger team. “Project Proteger is also aimed at better equipping and training the Army so that it can protect society in the event of a disaster, such as a flood, a building collapse, or a drought. In such circumstances, we will act as a complement to government agencies,” Lt. Gen. Soares said. “The point is to continually monitor the priority regions, mainly using the integrating software,” Col. Silva Filho said. Project brings security forces closer together Consequently, security officials created the Interagency Ground Operations Coordination System (SISCOTI, for its Portuguese acronym), which will consist of a total of 19 units individually called Interagency Ground Operations Coordination Centers (CCOTI). The primary CCOTI will be built in the capital, Brasília. The other centers will work together as Military units deployed throughout Brazil. Project brings security forces closer together Those structures include facilities responsible for generating 56 percent of the electrical power in the country, with more than 100,000 kilometers of power lines. By Dialogo April 23, 2015 The request for proposals will be issued when funds are available. Authorities estimate they need about 1 billion Brazilian reals ($330 million) to fund the proposals in 2015. Regarding the relocation capacity, Proteger plans to equip each CCOTI with at least 13 different types of vehicles. Though the centers have not yet been built, the project has already begun supplying equipment to the eight Military Area Commands in the Army. “The CCOTI in Brasília is going to boast a more modern command and control system, in addition to having space for teams from the agencies involved in solving a particular situation,” Lt. Gen. Soares said. Work on the pilot project began in 2012, when authorities allocated 79 million Brazilian reals ($26 million) to launch the initiative in Cascavel. The funds were used to acquire vehicles, individual equipment for service members, communications equipment, and improvements to the location’s physical facility. The security initiative is a cooperative effort, in which the Army is working as a team with other national security agencies, including the Federal Police and Civil Defense Forces. Also in 2013, the project acquired 13 command and control vehicles, two of which were equipped with data transmission satellite technology and were used during the 2014 World Cup, when the Army was assisting in the events’ security operations. IN MY VIEW, THE MAIN ROLE OF THE BRAZILIAN ARMY IS TO PUT A SO-CALLED WALL ALONG ALL OF BRAZIL IN ORDER TO PREVENT DRUGS FROM ENTERING THIS BROTHEL OF PURE AND REFINED DISORDER AND REGRESSION IN 2015 CALLED BRAZIL…………… The Brazilian Army is the best. There’s a lack of investment by the federal government. This institution deserves the best of each Brazilian. Best regards to all. Military institution with great respect for the Brazilian people. A budget needs to be defined in the Constitution. Brazil jungle, sovereign and strong. Assert their force, this is the mission of our Army, and with the necessary investment, it will only grow further. Congratulations and keep moving ahead!!!! All the infrastructure in this country was constructed during the military regime. Post-military regime administrations haven’t done anything other than corruption. Brazil owes a lot to the military who even saved us from communism; however, the current generation does not even know this. Thank you my valiant soldiers. Brazil remains in danger and needs the Brazilian Army.last_img read more

Brazilian and U.S. Marines Exchange Sniper Expertise and Techniques

first_imgCapt. Engle said the opportunity to share information and lessons learned with snipers from another country strengthens the skills of the individual snipers but also strengthens the bond between the U.S. and Brazilian Marines. “Target three, 350 meters, fire when ready,” called out the spotter. A metal click registered as the shooter switched his rifle from safe to fire. The shooter released a final deep breath as he squeezed the trigger. The rifle fired and the bullet could be heard cracking through the air as it made its way to the metal target on the opposite side of the range. “Hit,” called out the spotter, “good shot.” Marines from both countries can return to their units with a fresh set of knowledge and understanding they gained during the exchange. The U.S. and Brazilian Marines can now pass the information to fellow Marines, better preparing both Marine Corps for any future operations. The work and betterment of the Military through exchange with our allied countries are all very important. Congratulations to the military for the fertile and lasting partnerships among our brother countries. May God always protect our friendship and loyalty to the cause of liberty and democracy. My dad was in the military and was friends with lots of Marines. He even received a pocketknife from the U.S. Navy. The importance of knowledge is vital to our soldiers’ improvement; the importance of preparedness to be able to serve and protect. I WAS A SAILOR AND WASN’T BRAVE ENOUGH TO CHOOSE TO BE A MARINE One can never learn too much, yeah? The most valuable thing is that of sharing experiences among troops. It has only added to the wisdom of both parties. To be a marine, to not be one and to be a nation. I’d like to be one but it’s not been possible. may God protect the warriors Marines from both countries honed their advanced marksmanship and sniper skills by exchanging experiences, knowledge and techniques with fellow snipers. “1st Reconnaissance Battalion has an active relationship with the Brazilian Marines, through exchanges like this,” said Capt. Engle. “It is vital we keep up the exchange of expertise and build camaraderie through a good flow of information and mutual relationship between our two countries and Marine Corps.” By Dialogo March 30, 2016 “The Brazilian Marines are highly proficient in their tactics,” said U.S. Marine Captain Nick Engle, assistant operations officer, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. “They enjoy learning from us just as much as we enjoy learning from them.” “We covered tactics, techniques and procedures of conducting operations as an urban, rural and aerial sniper as well as marksmanship and construction of hide sites, which are positions the sniper chooses to observe the enemy while blending into the surrounding environment,” said Capt. Engle, who is from Alexandria, Virginia. The exchange didn’t only focus on advance marksmanship, but also on the wide variety of skills a sniper must know to be effective while remaining concealed from the enemy. The shared expertise gives both countries’ Marines insight on how different countries conduct reconnaissance operations and employ sniper teams.“I hope that the [U.S. and Brazilian] Marines better understand how one another operates and build upon the relationship for additional corporation in the future,” added Engle. U.S. Marine Snipers with Training Cell, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division and snipers with the Special Operations Battalion, Brazilian Marine Corps assembled for a subject matter expert exchange aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, March 16, 2016. last_img read more

Russia Sets the Pace in Venezuela

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre / Diálogo February 18, 2020 The number of Russian service members in Venezuela is on the rise. Américo De Grazia, a lawmaker in the Venezuelan National Assembly who is in exile in the United States, said in January 2020 that “there is a reserved area at Canaima National Park where Russian and Iranian Hezbollah soldiers are extracting thorium.”Thorium is a radioactive element used to manufacture ceramics and metal for the aerospace and nuclear industries, among others, and as fuel for nuclear energy and missiles. Venezuela has more than 300,000 tons of thorium, says the International Atomic Energy Agency, headquartered in Vienna, Austria.Venezuelan journalist Mariana Reyes said that in December 2019, a contingent of about 40 Russian officers wearing Venezuelan Army uniforms arrived in Canaima, together with soldiers of the National Bolivarian Armed Force. The entourage had microwave equipment, satellite antennas, and signal inhibitors, she added.“The authorities told the people that the Russian delegation had arrived to conduct an airspace study, since Venezuela doesn’t have the technology to face the threat of U.S. drones,” Reyes said. “Members of the Russian contingent walk around carrying high-caliber firearms.”The wealth contained in the Orinoco Mining Arc, an area that covers five national parks, including Canaima, has been legally exploited since 2016, when the regime gave mining concessions to Russian and Chinese companies in a 669,600 square-mile area, now deforested and eroded.“There are mafias, illegal mining workers, narcotraffickers, and indigenous people who have joined the efforts, together with service members and former FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] members,” reported online news site Mongabay Latam, which focuses on environmental studies and conservation in Latin America. “The Army takes part in the supervision of many mining sites, and conducts tasks related to gold smuggling from Venezuela to other countries,” the article says.De Grazia added that Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López approves illicit operations through the state-run Military Corporation for Mining, Petroleum and Gas, to exploit mines (gold, silver, diamonds, and rare-earth elements) in an effort to get support for Maduro.“Venezuela is in Russia’s hands. Moscow is setting the pace to recoup a multimillion-dollar debt that the South American country has to pay,” Daniel Pou, a professor at the Latin American Social Sciences Institute in the Dominican Republic, told Diálogo. “For the Russians, it’s important to receive payment in kind, because elements like thorium are indispensable for their technological development.”“The Venezuelan regime opened the way for the Russians to exploit thorium, hoping to turn it into a new source of revenue for the State,” Jorge Serrano, a scholar at the Center for Higher Studies in Peru, told Diálogo. “This agreement is not to defend Maduro, but to remain connected to a country that Russia considers essential for economic, political, and security leverage in Latin America.”In March 2019, a contingent of 100 Russian service members arrived in Venezuela in a Russian Air Force aircraft. Russian Ambassador to Venezuela Vladimir Zaiomski said the troops are helping the Bolivarian Army maintain its equipment.“After the power outages recorded in March 2019, Russian assistance increased to ensure that their military technology yields the expected results, especially the surface-to-air missiles,” said Pou. “Also, to take control of Venezuelan oil and minerals while they collect their debt,” Serrano added.last_img read more

Honduras Fights Maritime Narcotrafficking with High Tech

first_imgBy Lorena Baires/Diálogo July 10, 2020 Honduras is fighting narcotrafficking and transnational crime at sea with cutting-edge satellite technology from the Maritime Information Center (CIM, in Spanish) of the Directorate General Merchant Marine (DGMM, in Spanish) within the Honduran National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA, in Spanish). This technological connection center collects, analyzes, and evaluates large amounts of data coming from tracking systems covering all activities over 226,955  kilometers of territorial waters, including both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.“We know the location of any vessel in real time, and we provide support to police and military intelligence forces to conduct maritime interdictions when we detect any suspicious activity,” Honduran Navy Captain José Meza Castillo, DGMM spokesperson, told Diálogo. “We also provide details to identify vessels, including crew members’ biometric data and records of their movement at sea. [This] allows us to identify links to groups engaged in drug, human, arms, or fuel trafficking or other crimes.”The CIM focuses its maritime monitoring, control, and surveillance efforts on identifying the modus operandi of transnational criminal organizations, mainly speedboats, leisure yachts, fishing vessels, semisubmersibles, and containers on merchant ships.“Narcotraffickers use several methods to move drugs, [such as] leisure vessels or containers on high freeboard freighters,” Juan Carlos Rivera, DGMM director, told Diálogo. “They forge container seals to bring in suitcases with [up to] 300 kilograms of cocaine.”For the most part, traffickers choose ships bound for the United States. “This method to hide products is carried out in the vessel’s country of origin, or in the ports where the containers are transshipped,” Jeovanny Ochoa, CIM security and defense adviser, added. “In some cases, neither the sender nor the recipient is aware that the shipment is used for narcotrafficking or illicit trafficking.”Thanks to CIM data, in 2019 authorities seized three freighters with cocaine on board: one in Italy, with 650 kg of drugs, and two in Belgium, where they seized a total of 507 kg of cocaine.“In 2019, we conducted 1,882 intelligence exchanges with strategic partners, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and Joint Interagency Task Force South, both from the United States,” Ochoa added.The Honduran Navy complements this electronic intelligence work with its Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) FNH-21 General Trinidad Cabañas, equipped with sensors and electro-optical surveillance and observation systems, surveillance and artillery radars, a heliport, and two unmanned aircraft, SEDENA added.DGMM authorities are strengthening CIM’s operational capabilities in 2020 with technology for automatic vessel identification and tracking from other ships, aircraft, or ground stations, the Navy said.last_img read more

MJP panel sets public hearing

first_imgMJP panel sets public hearing October 1, 2001 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News MJP panel sets public hearing Senior EditorA special committee studying issues related to lawyers whose practices span state borders has set a public hearing for January and hopes to make its recommendations in March. The Special Committee on Multijurisdictional Practice, which met September 7 during the Bar’s General Meeting, is charged with preparing a response to an ABA commission which is studying the issue. Chair Richard Gilbert said the ABA panel plans a preliminary report in November and final recommendations submitted by May to the ABA House of Delegates for its August 2002 meeting. That means if the Bar wants to have its input considered, the MJP Committee needs to have its recommendations ready for the Bar Board of Governors’ March meeting. “It’s a complex and difficult area, but I don’t know how high profile it is with [Bar] members yet,” Gilbert said. The basic issue, he said, is what rules apply to lawyers when they handle legal matters that transcend state lines. But within that apparently simple premise are many tricky questions and hypothetical situations, which the committee hopes will be addressed at the January public hearing. As expressed by committee members, those include: • Should the pro hac vice rule be expanded to allow the attorney to perform work before the suit is filed if the work is done in anticipation of the suit being filed? (The proposed amendments to the ABA model rules, known as Ethics 2000, would allow this safe harbor.) • Should an attorney admitted in another state be allowed to come into Florida, the host state, to represent a client in an arbitration or mediation? Currently, there is no rule which allows for this activity, although it is commonplace. • There is a lawsuit pending in Florida. The defendant is a corporation with a home office in a state other than Florida. Can counsel for the corporation who is admitted in the other state come to Florida to take or defend a deposition in the case? • What if the litigation is in federal court or involves issues of federal law? What if the issue is pending before a federal agency? How should the rules be changed, if at all, for attorneys employed by the federal government? • Attorney A is admitted in a state other than Florida. He has a client in his home state who wishes to enter into a contract with a Florida resident (or wishes to purchase real estate in Florida). The transaction will be governed by Florida law. Should attorney A be able to represent the client in the matter? Is local counsel necessary? If so, when and to what extent? Does it make a difference if attorney A does the work from his home state as opposed to traveling to Florida to do the work? • Attorney A is admitted in a state other than Florida and works as in-house counsel for a corporation located in the home state. The corporation has an office in Florida. The Florida office has an issue which involves Florida law and requires legal counsel. Can Attorney A advise the Florida office? • Attorney A is admitted in a state other than Florida. Attorney A’s client is injured while on vacation in Florida. If suit is brought, it could only be brought in Florida. Attorney A wishes to avoid a lawsuit and wants to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. The home office of the company is located in state X (not Florida) and that is where the negotiations will take place. Can Attorney A negotiate the settlement of the matter? • What effect does the duration of the attorney/client relationship or the quantity and nature of previous services provided to the client have on these issues? What effect does the relationship between out-of-state services and pre-existing services have on these issues? If the “association” of local counsel is necessary, what would be the necessary elements of that association to avoid the unlicensed practice of law? • The law firm of XYZ specializes in cases against drug manufacturers. They take out a full-page advertisement in USA Today seeking individuals who have taken a certain medication for a possible lawsuit against the drug manufacturer. Should they be able to advertise for clients in Florida? Does it make a difference if the case is filed in Florida or elsewhere? Does it make a difference if the advertisement is placed in a Florida newspaper rather than a national newspaper? • Attorney A is part of a multistate law firm and is licensed in a state other than Florida. Can Attorney A travel to the Florida office of the firm to advise clients of the firm on Florida law? On federal law? On the law of the home state? • If any of the above questions are answered yes, what Bar rules govern and to what extent? The home state or the host state? Who would impose discipline and what would that discipline be? • Does globalization of the market place and/or client demands create a need for new rules? Should attorney training and admission requirements be standardized throughout the nation? How do the advances in technology impact upon the ability of state supreme courts or other regulatory agencies to regulate the admission and discipline of lawyers? Should we have uniform laws on UPL and pro hac vice? • What should the Bar’s posture be if an attorney licensed in another state comes to Florida and provides legal services which may otherwise be provided by a nonlawyer? Bar President Terry Russell said he thinks the ABA committee is still struggling with the issue. “I don’t think they have their arms around it yet,” he said. “I don’t think they have any idea where they’re going.” He also said that while it is not the highest profile issue facing the Bar or of concern to Bar members, “the work is important because the ABA has taken it upon itself to create this as a major problem and it will affect the practice of law in Florida.” The public hearing has been tentatively set for the afternoon of Thursday January 10 during the Bar’s Midyear Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami. The committee said it would welcome written testimony at anytime, as well as in-person presentations at the public hearing. For more information or to submit testimony, contact UPL Director Lori Holcomb at (850) 561-5840.last_img read more