Panama’s Biggest Security Challenge Lies in Southern Jungles

first_img “Drug traffickers are continuing efforts to bypass Air and Naval Services in speedboats and by posing as fishermen,” said Juan Pino, chief of the Air and Naval Services Second Region. “We have been able to coordinate air vigilance with naval control to continue to capture considerable numbers of illicit drugs.” Though naval seizures are the most common, Panama’s Air and Naval Services uncovered a network of planes in April 2011 that originated in the Darién region. National security forces dismantled the organized crime ring, which posed as a flight school and used 14 small planes to transfer drugs from the border jungles to central Panama, where the drugs were then transferred for distribution throughout Central America. Authorities seized eight of the planes and arrested 19 Panamanians, five Colombians and a Mexican citizen thought to have masterminded the scheme. Security officials also confiscated 265 kilos of cocaine, 15 vehicles, $16,000 in cash and five firearms. “The valiant work of our forces continues to assist the fight against drug trafficking, illegal fishing and other criminal activities we face daily,” said Belsio González, director of Air and Naval Services. In 2011, the Panamanian Air and Naval Services reported more than 30 successful confiscation missions, seizing in excess of 15,000 kilos of cocaine passing through Panama. Given Panama’s proximity to Colombian ports on both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, drug shipments often arrive here from South America via covert speed and fishing boats on the Darién’s unmonitored beaches and travel inland via the dozens of rivers that connect to the sea. In February, Panama’s National Air and Sea Guard tracked down two Colombians in a speedboat near the Pacific coast. The men had more than 300 kilograms of cocaine as well as weapons and radio devices. Large drug confiscations off the Darién coast were a regular occurrence throughout 2011. In June, three Colombians were arrested carrying 297 kilos of cocaine, followed by a bust of three more Colombians with 353 kilos a month later. Four Colombians were also detained in June with 452 packages of marijuana in trash bags, and in December, a Colombian speedboat was captured near Isla Centinela off the Darién coast with 690 packages of cocaine, weapons and ammunition. Clandestine campgrounds in the jungle In late March, SENAFRONT discovered and dismantled a makeshift campground thought to be used by drug smugglers deep in the Darién near the Río Tuqueza. Weapons, ammunition and large quantities of food were recovered at the site, leading SENAFRONT to believe that the traffickers used the campground for weeks at a time. Earlier that week, Panamanian and Colombian security forces had dismantled two similar camps nearby that were believed to provide refuge for up to 30 drug smugglers. The discovery of such forts, campgrounds and makeshift huts is relatively common for Panamanian and Colombian security forces in the Darién. Last year, SENAFRONT dismantled a camp presumed to be operated by the FARC’s Frente 57 faction. The base consisted of five lookout towers, explosives and small bombs, detonation wiring, plasma televisions, radio devices, land mines, a boat and several high-powered motors. Cocaine residue and production machinery were also found. SENAFRONT destroyed and burned all the confiscated materials. “The intention of these criminals was to sustain a presence here to be used as a shipment or storage point for the trafficking of drugs and weapons,” Ábrego said. Most of the province’s inhabitants live in isolated villages, in remote jungles. Life is primitive, since most of these villages lack roads, electricity and running water. But over the past two decades, the presence of FARC terrorists and drug smugglers has made life substantially worse for members of the largest indigenous group, the Emberá-Wounaan. Two political science professors — Central Michigan University’s Orlando Pérez and Vanderbilt University’s Mitchell Seligson — visited the Darién last year with a group of researchers to study the effects of drug trafficking on members of the largest indigenous group in the region, the Emberá-Wounaan people. Among Emberá-Wounaan respondents in their study, 61 said they worry about the security of their communities, while in other hamlets across the region, 79 percent of inhabitants said they lived in fear. “In the last two decades, at least 20 confrontations between Panamanian police and Colombian groups have been registered in the region, resulting in 13 deaths, including nine civilians, three minors and four police and guerrillas,” said the report, noting that as more police have moved into the region, inhabitants have more confidence in Panamanian security officials. “I am confident that with time, we will be able to rid the Darién region of armed groups. We understand the importance of these communities to Panama and our heritage,” Mulino said earlier this year, though he conceded that “the situation will not be resolved overnight.” Great work by our volunteers to keep order in exchange for their lives. God protect them wherever they go. By Dialogo May 14, 2012 PANAMA CITY — Panama’s Darién province is often characterized in one of two ways: the country’s most beautiful province or its most dangerous. Darién is in the southeastern corner of Panama. It’s the country’s largest and least populated province, with 47,000 people in a region covering 12,000 square kilometers. Rife with rainforests, cloud forests, winding rivers and one of the densest populations of wildlife in Latin America, Darién is a far cry from the cosmopolitan lifestyle and skyscrapers of Panama City. Most of Darién’s inhabitants are indigenous people living in tribes, and their only form of transportation is along regional rivers and channels in wooden dugout boats. But deep in Darién’s jungle lies what Panamanian Security Minister José Raúl Mulino calls “the country’s biggest security challenge.” Given its shared jungle border with Colombia and its relative inaccessibility, the Darién is a possible primary entryway for drugs and Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) terrorists to cross into Central America. “There continues to be evidence that drug traffickers and narcoterrorists are establishing camps within the Darién region,” said Frank Ábrego, director of the National Border Service (SENAFRONT). “The region is large and heavily forested. With increased regularity we are finding traces of drug camps and weapons.” Drug raids continued throughout 2011 Constant fear in Darién indigenous communitieslast_img read more

Foam Could Increase Survival for Victims of Internal Hemorrhaging

first_img The foam is designed to be administered on the battlefield by a combat medic, and is easily removable by doctors during surgical intervention at an appropriate facility, as demonstrated in testing. As the program evolved, an even better solution emerged: Wound Stasis performer Arsenal Medical, Inc. developed a foam-based product that can control hemorrhaging in a patient’s intact abdominal cavity for at least one hour, based on swine injury model data. These data demonstrated the ability of the foam to treat severe hemorrhage for up to three hours in a model of lethal liver injury. During testing, minimally invasive application of the product reduced blood loss six-fold and increased the rate of survival at three hours post-injury to 72 percent from the eight percent observed in controls. DARPA launched its Wound Stasis System program in 2010 in the hopes of finding a technological solution that could mitigate damage from internal hemorrhaging. The program sought to identify a biological mechanism that could discriminate between wounded and healthy tissue, and bind to the wounded tissue. In advance of transport, initial battlefield medical care administered by first responders is often critical to injured service members’ survival. In the case of internal abdominal injuries and resulting internal hemorrhaging, however, there is currently little that can be done to stanch bleeding before the patients reach necessary treatment facilities; internal wounds cannot be compressed the same way external wounds can, and tourniquets or hemostatic dressings are unsuitable because of the need to visualize the injury. The resulting blood loss often leads to death from what would otherwise be potentially survivable wounds. DARPA center_img By Dialogo December 17, 2012 Wound Stasis performers presented pre-clinical data on the foam treatment at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma in Kauai, Hawaii. The Department of Defense’s medical system aspires to a standard known as the “Golden Hour” that dictates that troops wounded on the battlefield are moved to advanced-level treatment facilities within the first 60 minutes of being wounded, according with a press release on December 10, 2012. For more information, please visit: http://www.darpa.millast_img read more

Binghamton remembers Officer Lee Barta on 25th anniversary of his death

first_imgShortly afterward, the suspect committed suicide. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — On Monday, Binghamton officials held a brief ceremony in honor of Officer Lee Barta. A community center on the northside of Binghamton where Barta died has been created as a remembrance to him. Barta was shot and killed in the line of duty on Aug. 3, 1995. He was trying to take a suspect into custody who was hiding in the closet of a house. A wreath was laid in his honor Monday.last_img

Governor Wolf Appoints Lucas M. Miller as State Inspector General

first_imgGovernor Wolf Appoints Lucas M. Miller as State Inspector General July 21, 2020 Press Release Governor Tom Wolf announced today the appointment of Lucas M. Miller, the current Acting State Inspector General, to serve as the State Inspector General of Pennsylvania.“Lucas Miller brings over 20 years of public service experience to the role of State Inspector General,” said Gov. Wolf. “In his acting capacity, he has already proven to be a capable leader, and I know that he will continue to ensure that state government is responsible to Pennsylvanians through ethics, integrity and accountability.”Governor Wolf recently created the Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission within the Office of State Inspector General, and Miller will help lead this initiative to ensure accountability within commonwealth law enforcement.Miller has held nearly every position within the Office of State Inspector General, beginning as a Claims Investigation Agent in 1999. With an attention to ethics and integrity, Miller was repeatedly promoted within the agency, first as a Welfare Fraud Investigator Supervisor, then as Operations Manager, as three separate bureau directors and as the Deputy State Inspector General. Throughout his career, Miller has focused on improving government efficiency, eliminating waste and ensuring accountability. A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Miller lives with his family in Hampden Township.“Governor Wolf has tasked the Office of State Inspector General with ensuring the accountability of Pennsylvania state government,” said Miller. “I am humbled and honored that the governor has entrusted me to help lead this effort, and I look forward to this latest chapter in Pennsylvania’s integrity agency.”Miller is replacing former State Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer, who became a judge at the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Miller assumed the role of Acting State Inspector General on January 2, 2020.Ver esta página en español.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: May you live in interesting times

first_imgMao Zedong must be chuckling in his grave to see one of his successors as Chinese leader espousing the cause of global free trade and capitalism while the new president of the US argues for protectionism, insularity, and what appears to be state direction to create jobs.The changing nature of the world can be summarised by comparing key sections of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech with phrases from Chinese president Xi Jinping’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.Xi Jingping declared: “Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technologies, products, industries, and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks, is simply not possible. Indeed, it runs counter to the historical trend.”Donald Trump’s view is the exact opposite: “We will follow two simple rules – buy American and hire American.”  To that end, Trump pulled the US out of negotiations for the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his first working day in office. That may well be the start of the burning of many trade agreements.Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement has already been declared a priority with Trump scheduled to begin talks soon with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto.That philosophy makes the UK’s ability to craft an attractive post-Brexit trade agreement with the US a struggle at best and wishful thinking at worst – as the UK may discover despite the promises made by Trump during UK prime minister Theresa May’s visit last week.There has been much criticism of China’s trade policies and concern that China is not playing fair by “dumping” products such as steel on the world’s markets. Whether countries such as the US are better off by accessing cheap steel from China to rebuild its infrastructure, or producing more expensive steel locally is clearly debateable.What is more striking is the stark contrast in attitudes to the idea of global trade.Xi Jinping declared: “We must remain committed to developing global free trade and investment, promote trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation through opening up, and say no to protectionism. Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”For the leader of a supposedly communist party, accepting global trade in goods with prices set by markets would have been inconceivable 40 years ago.Yet what Donald Trump had to say would have been inconceivable just a year ago – no other candidate had such extreme ideas: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.”Trump ended his speech by declaring: “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”Yet such ideas run counter to both mainstream academic theory and the historical experience of the 1930s’ Great Depression.Where this will all end, no one knows. But as the apocryphal Chinese curse goes: “May you live in interesting times.”last_img read more

Newell Beach home a perfect Port Douglas holiday house

first_img11 Cyril Cl, Newell BeachYOU’D never get a beachfront pile in Noosa for this much.A home at Newell Beach, where just a few footsteps separate the deck and a sandy beach, has hit the market for $1.25 million, including furnishings. Gorgeous landscaping“The property’s a tropical island inspired architectural home that offers three large bedrooms, two bathrooms, a stylish chef’s kitchen and living spaces that attract the outside in.” he said. The spacious kitchen.“The real gem is the incredible, uninterrupted panoramic ocean views toward the Great Barrier Reef, Low Isles and Snapper Island. While relaxing in the wet edge pool, you can watch and admire as the waves lap up on to the sandy beach. Views, views, views.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoRay White Port Douglas sales manager and licensee Mark Flinn said 11 Cyril Cl was situated in a quiet, private location. Simple but stylish“It’s fair to say this property is a jewel in Far North Queensland’s crown.”last_img read more

Russia’s Gazprom completes TurkStream first line

first_imgImage courtesy of GazpromRussian gas giant Gazprom said on Monday it had completed the sea portion of the first line of the TurkStream offshore gas pipeline stretching across the Black Sea.The average rate of the deep-water pipelay carried out by the pipelaying vessel Pioneering Spirit was 4.3 km/day, according to a Gazprom statement.The project is being simultaneously implemented onshore in Russia and Turkey and in the Black Sea.The receiving terminal is being constructed near the settlement of Kiyiköy, Turkey. Upon completion of the landfall sections the works on the first line will be completed.Following the works schedule, Pioneering Spirit would continue the deep-water pipelay of Line 2 in the third quarter of 2018, Gazprom said.“Progress is moving at a high rate. Since 7 May 2017, when we started the pipelaying campaign, the total of 1,161 km of pipes has been laid, which is 62% of the overall gas pipeline length. Needless to say, TurkStream will play a significant role in strengthening energy security of Turkey and Europe,” said Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller.The first line of the gas pipeline is intended for the Turkish consumers, while the second line is designated for the Southern and South-Eastern Europe.Each line is expected to have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.South Stream Transport B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom, is responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline’s offshore section.last_img read more

Deutsche Bucht Completion to Potentially Extend Into 2020

first_imgThe completion of the Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm may extend into the first quarter of 2020 due to delays in the manufacturing of mono bucket foundations, Northland Power stated in its financial results.According to Northland Power, the installation of the two turbines using mono bucket foundations is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019, however, full completion may extend due to delays in the manufacturing of the foundations resulting from supplier disruptions and potentially adverse weather. The construction of the 269MW project is said to remain on budget as the total estimated project cost remains at approximately EUR 1.4 billion.The company reported that in Q3 2019, electricity production from offshore wind projects increased 33% or 214GWh compared to Q3 2018, primarily due to pre-completion production from Deutsche Bucht and higher wind resource in the North Sea, partially offset by lower grid availability due to repairs at Nordsee One.In the offshore wind business, operating income and adjusted EBITDA of CAD 127 million and CAD 139 million respectively were 31% and 25% higher than the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to higher sales and lower plant operating costs.In total, Northland Power reported a net income of CAD 111 million, 19% higher than in Q3 2018, as well as an adjusted EBITDA of CAD 224 million, an increase of 14%.The rise in adjusted EBITDA is said to be a result of net pre-completion revenues at Deutsche Bucht, an increase in operating results from Gemini due to higher production as well as lower insurance costs and an increase in operating results from Nordsee One primarily due to higher production as well as lower costs from operating efficiencies.“Northland continued to deliver healthy, sustainable results in the quarter with a 14% increase in adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow per share over last year,” said Mike Crawley, President and CEO.“This quarter was also highlighted by the significant progress in our construction activities, where the installation and commissioning of 31 turbines at Deutsche Bucht was completed, ahead of schedule, resulting in generation of power by the end of September.”Deutsche Bucht in total comprises 33 MHI Vestas V164-8.4MW turbines, 31 of which are installed on monopile foundations and were commissioned at the end of September offshore Germany.last_img read more

Joe Jones, 77, West Harrison

first_imgJoe Jones, age 77, of West Harrison, Indiana died Monday, April 9, 2018 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.Born September 21, 1940 in Manchester, Kentucky he was one of six children born to the late John & Daisy (Hibbard) Jones. On August 24, 1965 he was united in marriage to the former Glenna Wooley, and she survives.Joe was retired from Hamilton Foundry in Hamilton, Ohio where he had worked for over 42 years as a molder. In his leisure time he enjoyed farming and working on his land.Besides Glenna, his loving wife of nearly 53 years, survivors include several nieces & nephews.In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his five brothers & sisters.Family & friends may visit from 1:00 P.M. until the time of the services at 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home, 1025 Franklin Avenue, Brookville.Pastor Jim Webster of the Oak Forest Church of Christ will officiate the Funeral Services at 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home. Burial will then follow in Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Mt. Carmel, Indiana.Memorial contributions may be directed to Smile Train or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Phillips & Meyers Funeral Home is honored to serve the Jones family, to sign the online guest book or send personal condolences please visit www.phillipsandmeyers.com .last_img read more

Liverpool fire without Mario

first_img Press Association Rodgers made a bold decision in dropping his £16million signing from AC Milan after just one goal and some less-than-impressive displays in seven appearances. In the continued absence of Daniel Sturridge, still not fit from a thigh injury sustained on England duty which has ruled him out of next week’s Euro 2016 qualifiers, the only other option was to hand Rickie Lambert, making the 550th appearance of his career, his first league start for the club he rejoined in the summer. While it did not pay off in terms of goal threat he did at least provide a greater work-rate up front, closing down the opponent in possession, but looked short of confidence and sharpness. A couple of half-chances came his way which he would most likely have buried first time during his Southampton days, but the burden of responsibility is greater at Anfield and he almost always took a second touch which invariably gave defenders that split-second to recover. His best attempt was parried by goalkeeper Ben Foster after his England team-mate had instantly killed Martin Skrtel’s long pass out of defence and rattled off a shot. The ploy of playing Philippe Coutinho deeper, almost alongside Steven Gerrard on occasions, meant the Brazil international saw plenty of the ball but he has yet to rediscover his knack of playing the pass which unlocks defences. A positive aspect of the tweak to the formation was Henderson getting further forward, putting him in a position to contribute both offensively and defensively as he was the one, along with Lambert, who provided the energy to press the opponent in possession. But the 24-year-old is much more than a willing runner and it was his touch and vision which laid on the assist for the goal a minute before half-time. The build-up involved two delicious backheels, one from Lallana which gave him the extra yard to change direction and drive into the penalty area where he exchanged passes with Henderson, who produced the second neat flick, before firing low across Foster and inside the far post. To be fair to West Brom the goal came against the run of play as it was they and not the hosts who had knocked the ball about confidently and created the better chances. The best of which saw the impressive Berahino plant a free header over the crossbar from Sebastien Pocognoli’s cross and force Simon Mignolet to parry a fierce shot after Javi Manquillo’s backpass fell short. Questions have been asked of Liverpool’s goalkeeper this season, particularly considering their vulnerability at set-pieces, but twice when he came for corners he punched clear. He was given little chance with West Brom’s equaliser, however, as referee Mike Oliver ruled Dejan Lovren had brought down Berahino inside the area and the Baggies forward picked himself up to fire home from the spot. Oliver was in no mood to given Sterling a penalty when he appeared to be barged over by Craig Gardener but the winger staggered to his feet and cut the ball back to Henderson who side-footed home for his first goal since March 30. Lambert departed, along with Manquillo, as Balotelli and Glen Johnson – back from a thigh injury – came on and the Italy international soon curled a low shot just wide of Foster’s left-hand post. A late move saw Coutinho replaced by Lucas Leiva, freeing Gerrard to revisit the number 10 role he played so well for so long before assuming his deep-lying role in an attempt to bring the best out of Balotelli. That may need some work, however, as aside from one long-range shot the Italian’s only other chance came in added time when Foster saved with his legs at his near post. Adam Lallana’s first goal for the club and a cool finish from Jordan Henderson, capping an impressive second-half individual performance, took some of the focus off the misfiring Italy international who came in for some criticism from manager Brendan Rodgers this week. But it was far from straightforward as Saido Berahino’s fourth goal in three matches made things uncomfortable for a time just after half-time. Striker Mario Balotelli’s demotion to the bench coincided with Liverpool’s first win in four Barclays Premier Lague matches, but other factors contributed to the 2-1 victory over West Brom. last_img read more