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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

Jeff Bezos gains $24 billion while world’s rich reap bailout rewards

first_imgCarnival board member Randall Weisenburger bought $10 million of stock in the beleaguered cruise-line operator last week. The shares have jumped 56 percent since the purchase.Workers in protective gear walk near the Diamond Princess cruise ship, operated by Carnival Corp., docked in Yokohama, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Japan confirmed 41 more cases of the new coronavirus aboard the quarantined cruise ship, and denied entry to another vessel as it sought to control the spread of the deadly infection, with thousands now stranded on stricken luxury liners. (Bloomberg/Toru Hanai)Others are going further to maximize returns. UBS Group AG is seeing ultra-wealthy clients ramp up borrowing to place more wagers in what they see as a cheap market. Mortgage brokers to the rich have said more clients are seeking loans backed by real estate to help them repay other debt, invest in businesses and snap up other assets.There have been massive losers among the moneyed set. Many in the oil and gas industry have been hammered by the collapse in crude prices including wildcatter Harold Hamm, whose fortune is down 64 percent to $3.7 billion. Emerging-market billionaires aren’t reaping the same rewards as those in the US and there have been margin calls and forced sales.But there also have been remarkable gains.Leading the group is Bezos, who has added almost $24 billion to his fortune in 2020, as well as MacKenzie Bezos, who was left with a 4 percent stake in Amazon as part of the couple’s recent divorce settlement. Her net worth has climbed $8.2 billion to $45.3 billion, and she’s now No. 18 on the Bloomberg wealth ranking, ahead of Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest person, and Mexico’s Carlos Slim.In this file photo taken on April 24, 2018 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos poses as they arrive at the headquarters of publisher Axel-Springer where he will receive the Axel Springer Award 2018 in Berlin. (dpa/AFP/Jorg Carstensen)Shares of rival retailer Walmart have also advanced, buoying the fortunes of the world’s richest family. Alice, Jim and Rob Walton now have a combined net worth of $169 billion, up almost 5 percent since the start of the year.Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has added $10.4 billion to his fortune this year, more than anyone except Bezos.The fortune of Zoom Video Communications founder Eric Yuan has more than doubled to $7.4 billion, as demand for its teleconferencing service exploded in the wake of the pandemic-driven lockdown.“The unfairness of it all is who is going to benefit from it most,” Maley said. “Money makes money.”Topics : The world’s richest person is getting richer, even in a pandemic, and perhaps because of it.With consumers stuck at home, they’re relying on Jeff Bezos’s Amazon.com more than ever. The retailer’s stock climbed 5.3 percent to a record Tuesday, lifting the founder’s net worth to $138.5 billion.The pandemic has brought the global economy to a near standstill and pushed almost 17 million Americans onto the unemployment rolls in the span of three weeks. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo signaled Tuesday that loan losses fueled by the unprecedented job cuts — many of them in the retail sector that Amazon so efficiently disrupted — could rival those incurred after the 2008 financial crisis. Yet Bezos and many of his wealthy peers have seen their fortunes recover in recent weeks, helped by the boost given to markets by unprecedented stimulus efforts by governments and central bankers. While the combined net worth of the world’s 500 richest people has dropped $553 billion this year, it has surged 20 pecent from its low on March 23, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index“The wealth gap, it’s only going to get wider with what’s going on now,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. “The really wealthy people haven’t had to worry. Yes, they’re less wealthy, but you haven’t had to worry about putting food on the table or keeping a roof over your head.”It’s not just the billionaires. Corporate insiders have been significant buyers of their companies’ shares, a show of confidence that the crisis will pass, even as the nation’s leaders debate exactly when Americans can safely return to work.The volume of transactions in beaten-down industries, from travel to health care to gaming, suggests executives and directors are more bullish than they’ve been at most other points in the past decade, according to Sundial Capital Research.last_img read more