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Honduran Troops and Police Join Forces to Protect Civilians from M-18 and MS-13

first_imgIn addition to the violent areas in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, Troops and police officers perform joint security patrols in the cities of La Ceiba and Choloma as part of the effort to provide security in all of the country’s major cities. “The timely action taken by the Armed Forces and the National Police has allowed us to neutralize any threat or extension to other neighborhoods or districts,” Commissioner Saucedo said. “The control over these areas has generated confidence in the people so that they are able to stay in their homes. We are doing our best for the sake of the Honduran civil society.” M-18 depends on income from extortion and MS-13 relies heavily on micro-trafficking drugs. A gang can generate illegal profits of up to $2.5 million annually, according to the Gangs in Honduras report issued on November 20, 2015 by the organization Insight Crime. M-18 currently operates in about 150 neighborhoods and districts of Tegucigalpa, while MS-13 is in 70, according to Honduran police intelligence. In San Pedro Sula, M-18 operates in 22 neighborhoods and MS-13 in 11, according to Insight Crime. The M-18 members told the terrified residents they had 48 hours to vacate their homes. “The gang members demanded that they leave their houses along the main street because they wanted to convert it into the border between the territories controlled by Barrio 18 and the rival gang for the sale of drugs and extortion,” said Second Lieutenant Selkin Arita of the Military Police for Public Order (PMOP), the newspaper Prensa Libre reported on March 24th. A week earlier, M-18 gang members gave residents in the Reparto Lempira district, located in San Pedro Sula–Honduras’s second largest city–24 hours to vacate the area or die. “On behalf of Barrio 18 we are giving you 24 hours to vanish from this area. After that, there will be no regrets. You will see lives lost just for opening the door,” the M-18 wrote on a note in the district, according to a report by El Heraldo. By Dialogo April 15, 2016 About 100 members of the Honduran Armed Forces and National Police (PNH) provided security to civilians so they could return to their homes in a district in southern Tegucigalpa after being threatened by the violent Barrio 18 (M-18) gang. “The residents of the Las Torres district were alarmed,” PNH Commissioner Leonel Saucedo told Diálogo. “They left their homes in order to protect themselves. There was an immediate and timely intervention from both the Armed Forces and the National Police, who are maintaining a permanent presence in that district. In the end, this generated confidence among the residents of those neighborhoods.” However, the Armed Forces and PNH arrived on the scene to provide security for those who returned to their homes on March 28th, according to Commissioner Saucedo. Effective Military responsecenter_img “There haven’t been any problems in the districts where the threats were received,” Commissioner Saucedo stated. “We are carrying out joint prevention patrols, motorcycle and vehicle patrols, 24 hours a day. The results of the operations in Las Torres and Reparto Lempira have been successful. The presence and support of the Armed Forces in all aspects of this security work have been invaluable. When necessary, we act as coordinating Military institutions.” The M-18 began threatening residents on March 23rd, when eight gang members armed with high-powered AK-47 rifles and automatic pistols arrived “at 7:30 p.m. [in Las Torres] shooting and shouting that Barrio 18 had arrived, and that they were the new owners of that sector of the capital,” the newspaper La Tribuna reported on March 26th. Gang members entered a residence in the district, also known as El Hoyo, and interrogated the owners, asking them if they worked with the rival gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). Law enforcement has made strides protecting the civilian population from M-18 and MS-13, which are responsible for much of the crime in the nation’s urban centers. For example, the 5,148 homicides recorded nationwide in 2015 were 788 fewer than the 5,936 reported in 2014. Last year, authorities documented more than 1,460 homicides in San Pedro Sula and 26 in Reparto Lempira, according to a February 2016 report by the University Institute of Democracy, Peace, and Security of the National Autonomous University of Honduras. The Military and the PMOP immediately deployed personnel to protect civilians from gang members by establishing checkpoints and roadblocks. The security forces sent to Las Torres and Reparto Lempira will be be permanent, according to Commissioner Saucedo. Security patrols The collaboration between the Armed Forces and the National Police in the fight against gangs is increasing confidence levels. “The people, upon seeing professional work that gets results and a greater commitment by the security forces of the state, have more confidence in giving information to the authorities, which allows us to carry out joint actions to arrest the people involved in these criminal organizations,” Commissioner Saucedo explained. “As they continue their joint operations, Troops and police aim to further reduce homicides and the sale and distribution of drugs. The big challenge for 2016 is to reduce the occurrence of extortion, make arrests, and dismantle the criminal organizations.”last_img read more

Allardyce hits back at Senegal

first_img Sakho’s appearance for West Ham infuriated many inside the Senegal camp, with Alain Giresse’s side crashing out at the group stage following Tuesday’s defeat to Algeria. The former Metz striker came in for criticism from fans on Twitter and Giresse also questioned how Sakho could possibly have been deemed fit enough to turn out for West Ham. But Allardyce defended the decision after the win at Ashton Gate, revealing Sakho travelled by limousine instead of with the rest of the squad and insists he does not expect his top goalscorer to be banned until the end of the African Cup of Nations, as has been suggested. “I’m not worried at all he could be facing a ban whatsoever,” he said. “We’ve stuck to every rule and regulation in the book by the FA, by FIFA and by UEFA. We have not breached any rules and regulations whatsoever and I have to say I’m extremely disappointed by Senegal’s reaction. “He (Sakho) is coping fine because he has got enough to burn his bridges with, they (Senegal) are falling out with us. “If anything we should be falling out with them but we are not, we are keeping it at a very professional level, like we always do and like I said we have done everything in the rules to comply with what is happening.” Allardyce also confirmed Sakho will travel to Anfield for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League encounter against Liverpool in the same manner he made the trip to Bristol, but his compatriot Kouyate may not be available for selection against the Reds following a late return. The Hammers striker came off the bench to score the only goal in their FA Cup fourth-round victory over Bristol City on Sunday, despite having been ruled out of Senegal’s African Cup of Nations squad with a back injury. And the relationship between club and country could also be soured further after Allardyce said he had struggled to communicate with midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate about his return to east London. The midfielder had linked up with Senegal but Allardyce and West Ham had struggled to contact the former Anderlecht man and arrange his journey home – with Kouyate now expected back later on Thursday. “The other player that we had available has been difficult to find over the last 48 hours,” Allardyce continued. “We know where he is but we have had trouble finding him. If you speak to other managers in the Premier League, if they are honest like I am they will tell you the same story. “We are expecting him back today after chasing him down for the last 48 hours. He could play against Liverpool.” Allardyce played down reports linking both Sakho and fellow summer recruit Enner Valencia with a move to London rivals Chelsea and insists he will not be looking to bring in any other forwards during the January transfer window. “By email, text or phone? How have they sounded us out?,” the 60-year-old replied when asked about reported contact from Chelsea. “The only way it has been sounded out is through the media, certainly not through club to club.” “With us having Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Carlton Cole and Enner Valencia we have more than enough front men to cope with the demand for the rest of the season. In the summer we’ll reassess our aims and the squad but for now we’re fine with the four options we’ve got.” Although a new striker may not be on his shopping list, Allardyce again said he would like to complete a move for Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher. The 30-year-old Scot has been told he can leave Old Trafford on a free transfer and Allardyce remains interested, whilst also confirming a deal is close for Hamilton full-back Stephen Hendrie – although he would not link up with West Ham until the summer. “It is still a possibility. It’s not dead yet, so it still could happen,” Allardyce said of a move for Fletcher. “You have to be patient sometimes. We’re not desperate, as we’ve got several good options in midfield but we want to add to that if we can.” Press Association Sam Allardyce has continued a bitter war of words with Senegal football officials and insists West Ham did nothing wrong in playing Diafra Sakho last weekend.last_img read more

Justin Upton reflects on a rollercoaster first full season with Angels

first_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Upton, 31, said some of his 12 big league seasons have been like that, and he’s not sure why.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.He also had no explanation for what has been a consistent area of struggle. Upton has hit .199 with a .657 OPS with runners in scoring position.“I can’t put a finger on that,” he said. “Every time I felt I was in a hitter’s count, a guy makes a great pitch or I mis-hit something. Things just didn’t go my way with guys in scoring position, but somehow I still drove in runs. It’s just one of those weird things.”Upton has 85 RBIs, which is tops on the team.Manager Mike Scioscia said there was some bad luck involved with Upton’s issues with runners in scoring position. “He hit some balls hard (that were caught),” Scioscia said. “He probably hasn’t been as productive as he’s been in the past in that regard, but he’s had a great season.”Upton was the Angels cleanup hitter when the season began, expected to bat between Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. As the year developed, he will end up as the primary No. 5 hitter, behind Trout and Shohei Ohtani. When Pujols is back next year, it seems likely he would hit behind Upton, which could be fifth or sixth, depending on whether Trout is No. 2 or No. 3.“I guess that’s the plan,” Upton said of having all four hitters healthy in the middle of the lineup. “It didn’t work out for us. Hopefully, next year is a little different.”Upton has four years left on the contract extension he signed last year, getting an extra year on his deal in exchange for passing on his opt-out. Upton is due to make $18 million next year, and $90 million over the next four years.He seems to have no regrets about returning to the Angels instead of becoming a free agent.“This is a great clubhouse,” he said. “We had injuries and didn’t play as well as we wanted to, but people are going to come in prepared again next year to chase our goal of getting to the postseason. I enjoyed the season as much as you could. I enjoy the guys. I enjoy the atmosphere. I’m looking forward to next year.”ALSOMatt Shoemaker will start the season finale on Sunday, regardless of whether the game has any playoff implications for the Oakland A’s. Scioscia had a choice of Shoemaker, Felix Peña or even a crew of relievers. He opted against Peña because he’s already thrown 126 innings between the minors and majors, about double what he threw last year as a reliever in the Cubs’ system. Peña finishes his season with a 4.18 ERA, including 4.00 in his 17 starts. Scioscia said Peña “had a great run for us. He learned a lot.”UP NEXTAngels (LHP Tyler Skaggs, 8-9, 3.91) vs. A’s (TBA), Saturday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield ANAHEIM — Although Justin Upton will end his season with his accustomed numbers, he would have preferred a smoother ride.“I typically like to do it in a different fashion than I did, but that’s how things were,” the Angels outfielder said with a shrug.Upton is hitting .259 with 30 home runs and an .813 OPS after Friday’s game. His career average is .268 with 28 homers a season and an OPS of .826.Upton, however, got to those numbers in a turbulent manner. He had a .657 OPS in his first 29 games, followed by a .965 mark over his next 33 games, a .639 over his next 28 games, and then a 1.000 for 32 games. Since coming back from a stint on the disabled list with a finger laceration, he has a .722 mark over his last 21 games. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more