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OAS member nations strengthen cooperation in fight against organized crime

Cooperation crucial in the fight against organized crime The criminal activities of organized crime groups, such as drug smuggling, extortion, kidnapping, and human trafficking, have led to increased levels of violence in several OAS countries in recent years. For example, from 2000 to 2011, the homicide rate in El Salvador jumped from 60 to 69 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). During that time, the number of killings in Honduras rose from 51 to 92 per 100,000 residents. In Guatemala, the number of killings ncreased from 26 to 39 for every 100,000 inhabitants. The violent street gangs Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, and Barrio 18, or 18th Street, operate in each of those countries, where they engage in domestic drug dealing, extortion, and firearms trafficking. Those gangs are responsible for much of the violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. These gangs also have alliances with Mexican drug trafficking organizations, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, which is led by fugitive kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and Los Zetas. Strengthening joint actions Security officials in Latin America need reliable equipment, technological tools, and sound tactical and strategic plans to succeed in their battle against organized crime, officials from more than 30 countries agreed following a recent conference. These were the main conclusions reached during the IV meeting of the Ministers of Security in the Americas (MISPA) in Medellin, Colombia. Officials from the 35 countries which comprise the Organization of American States (OAS) participated in the conference, which took place Nov. 21-22 2013. Security officials at the conference also determined that regional cooperation between OAS countries is crucial in the fight against transnational criminal threats. Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. were among the officials who attended the conference. The two-day meeting strengthened ties between OAS countries which battle transnational criminal organizations, Pinzón said. “The summit is an instrument that strengthens and reinforces joint actions against transnational crime and criminal behaviors that are common in these countries,” Pinzón said. Many OAS members face the shared threat posed by transnational criminal organizations, Pinzón explained. Transnational criminal organizations are “a global challenge that prevents the development of countries and violates human rights,” the defense minister said. Gangs in Colombia An international commission Colombian security forces are battling several organized crime groups, including the drug trafficking gangs “Los Rastrojos” and “Los Urabeños.” Both of these gangs have alliances with Mexican drug cartels. ”, both linked to drug trafficking in collusion with Mexican drug cartels, especially the Sinaloa Cartel, led by the fugitive of justice, Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán. Colombian officials are negotiating with representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has been fighting the government for 50 years. The ongoing negotiations are taking place in Havana. Organized crime activity increases violence By Dialogo December 19, 2013 At the end of the meeting, MISPA defined strategies for regional cooperation in the fight against transnational criminal organizations. The strategy calls for joint investigation protocols and improving the lines of communication for police forces from different countries to share information. Several OAS member countries are already cooperating in the fight against organized crime. For example, on Nov. 14, 2013 in Piura, Peru, the presidents of Peru and Ecuador agreed to strengthen cooperation on security in the fight against human trafficking and the illegal sale of fuel. The agreement President Ollanta Humala of Peru and President Rafael Correa of Ecuador marked the closing of the VII Binational Ministerial Cabinet. On Nov. 23, 2013, President Correa met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to discuss the progress of the agreements reached during the first Binational Cabinet meeting between the two countries. This meeting was held in December 2012, in Tulcán, Ecuador, where eight agreements were signed on issues of security, transportation, education, tourism, and petroleum. During the MISPA meeting, Insulza urged officials from OAS nations to support the idea of forming an international commission to fight transnational crime. “I hope that the proposal for an Inter-American Commission against organized transnational crime is considered and realized, because even today, in the second decade of the 21st century, we do not have a technical-political agency dedicated to organizing and coordinating collective efforts to address the growing threat of transnational organized crime,” the OAS Secretary General said. “In the five years that have passed since our first meeting in Mexico City, the issue of public security has become a cornerstone for OAS actions. MISPA has been institutionalized and response capabilities of the various agencies have increased,” Insulza said. read more

Weekend Snow Storm Could Dump 8 Inches on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Parts of Long Island could receive up to 8 inches of snow Saturday as a second storm this week treks east.In response, the National Weather Service’s Upton office issued a winter storm warning from 7 a.m. Saturday until 1 p.m. Sunday for eastern Suffolk County—meaning there’s a potential for hazardous driving conditions. A winter weather advisory has been issued for western Suffolk. According to the forecast, the East End could see 4-8 inches of snow, and western Suffolk 4-6 inches. There are no advisories active for Nassau County, which could see up to 3 inches of snow. Saturday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a high near 26 and wind chill values in the teens. The mercury will only plunge from there, with forecasters predicting wind chill temperatures in the single digits at night. Snow will develop Saturday morning and continue into the evening, forecasters said. It could cause snow-covered roads and reduced visibility of a mile or less, the NWS said. The agency urged drivers to use caution.The storm is currently navigating the south, where parts of at least nine states have active winter weather alerts. Meteorologists are warning of major travel days for drivers and airline passengers alike. This would be the most significant snowfall of the season on LI.Friday morning’s storm amounted to a dusting across most of the Island except for some eastern Suffolk communities that measured up to 4 inches of snow.The worst weather Long Islanders have had to contend with thus far has been frigid temperatures caused by arctic air flowing through the region.While there’s no snow in Sunday’s forecast (for now), below-freezing temperatures are expected. Maybe the Giants can warm our hearts with a big win against the Packers on Sunday.last_img read more

Tokyo 2020 Olympics President says no plan to wear mask

first_imgTokyo 2020 Olympics President Yoshiro Mori said he did not intend to wear masks, despite the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people in China, a Japanese sports newspaper reported on Friday.”I pray to God every day that the coronavirus will just vanish,” Mori, a former Japanese prime minister, was quoted by the Sponichi Annex paper as saying.”I plan to hold out to the end without wearing a mask,” he said, while exhorting reporters and others in the room, “Please wash your hands when you get home, and especially athletes – please don’t catch a cold or the virus.” Masks, worn by many Japanese people during the cold and allergy seasons, are recommended for those who have reason to think they might have the virus.But experts say that while masks can prevent sick people from spreading germs, they are not very effective in preventing people from getting infected.Hundreds of Japanese and foreign passengers were set to disembark from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship near Tokyo on Friday amid growing disquiet in Japan about whether the government was doing enough to stop the virus spreading.Topics :last_img read more