By Dialogo October 25, 2013 Security forces in Guatemala and El Salvador are launching initiatives to intercept large shipments of chemicals which are used to produce highly-addictive drugs, such as crystal methamphetamine and other drugs. The drug precursors are usually shipped from China. Organized crime operatives smuggle the precursors into Guatemala and El Salvador, where they are used to produce crystal methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs. ‘ Alarming consumption Two Mexican transnational criminal organizations, Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel, have greatly expanded their operations in Central America. Both organized crime groups have created alliances with gangs based in Central America, such as El Salvador’s Mara Salvatruch and 18th Street gangs. “The illicit activities of gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS) and Mara 18, have included the creation of labs and the trafficking of methamphetamines in the Central American market,” Rodríguez Luna explaine d. The Sinaloa Cartel is led by fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who also has extensive operations in Ecuador. Operation Lionfish’ OAS initiative A growing threat In recent years, organized crime operatives have increased the volume of precursor drugs they smuggle into Central America, as well as the amount of synthetic drugs they produce in the region, according to Asturias. The production of synthetic drugs “is a problem that is becoming bigger for Central America,” Asturias said. “Synthetic drugs could start to replace the natural ones. Synthetic drugs are easier to produce, transport and move around in order to reach the market and satisfy the demand in countries such as the U.S.” Organized crime groups traffic most of the synthetic drugs that are produced in Central Americ north to Mexico and the U.S. But transnational criminal organizations are selling greater amounts of these drugs in the Americas. More synthetic drugs are consumed in Central America than other drugs, such as cocaine or marijuana. The annual consumption of synthetic drugs in El Salvador, Belize Costa Rica, and Panama is higher than the world average. There are some 330,000 synthetic drug users in Central America and the Carbbean, according to the anual report 2012 of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC). The United States, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, and El Salvador are among the countries with the highest numbers of illegal synthetic drug labs, according to Armando Rodríguez Luna, a security analyst at the researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Transnational criminal organization operatives typically smuggle precursor chemicals from China to ports in Central America and Mexico in large boats. Organized crime groups pick up the chemicals and transport them in SUVs and trucks to illegal labs. The chemicals are used to produce crystal methamphetamine , Ecstasy, and synthetic drugs which are known as “Spice,” “K-2” and “Wicked.” These drugs are highly addictive and can cause mental problems, such as paranoia, schizophrenia, and violent behavior. The chemicals are often shipped by Chinese organized crime groups, which are known as “triads.” A regional approach From China to Latin America In addition to Operation Lionfish, Guatemalan authorities and officials with the Organization of American States (OAS) have been developing an initiative to seize and destroy precursor chemicals since April 2013. The effort may eventually include security forces from other Central American countries, such as El Salvador, OAS officials said. The United States government provided $500,000 toward the initiative. Security forces from the Americas and U.S. officials are cooperating in the battle against the smuggling of precursor drugs into the region. The Americas and the U.S. are also cooperating to stop the smuggling of synthetic drugs from Central America north to Mexico and the United States. “The U.S. is concerned and therefore is cooperating with Central American nations to deal with the chemical precursors issue,” said Sandino Asturias, a coordinator of the International Centre for Human Rights Research (CIIDH), based in Guatemala. Guatemala and other Central American countries have become places where transnational criminal organizations store large amounts of drugs before smuggling them north, he explained. El Chapo’s role Guatemalan authorities, including anti-narcotics police and port security authorities, participated in “Operation Lionfish,” an effort to intercept ships that were transporting precursor chemicals to Central America. Authorities seized eight tons of precursor chemicals during the operation, which took place between May 27 and June 14, 2013. The confiscated precursors were stored in large warehouses in each of the countries. Guatemalan security forces were at the forefront of an international effort. Operation Lionfish was a collaboration between Guatemala, the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC), the World Customs Organization (WCO), Europol, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Europol and the RCMP were involved because organized crime groups smuggle crystal methamphetamines and other synthetic drugs into Canada and Europe. Seizing precursor chemicals was not the only objective of Operation Lionfish. Guatemalan Security forces who participated in the operation also gathered intelligence about the organized crime groups which smuggle precursor chemicals into Guatemala and the routes they use. Security forces throughout the region must cooperate with each other and with U.S. authorities to combat the synthetic drug problem, Asturias said. “The fight against drug trafficking must not be limited to seizing and destroying chemical precursors, there must also be a common and adequate regional policy,” Asturias explained. “Central American nations must update their laws, technology, investigation protocols and security institutions.” Central American security forces will continue to collaborate with U.S. authorities to fight drug trafficking, Rodriguez Luna said. “The fight against drug trafficking is a worldwide effort, not one only for consumer and producer nations and those that serve as drug corridors,” Rodriguez Luna explained. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are training a common security force to fight drug trafficking and other criinal enterprises, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina said on Oct. 7, 2013, during an event organized by his country’s Air Force.
7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » I’m on my way to the train station but I wanted to give my faithful readers a heads up on the type of news that makes compliance geeks get excited and puts the rest of the universe to sleep. Trust me, if your credit union has to report HMDA data, this is another important milestone towards the radical redesign of the implementing regulations envisioned by Congress and the CFPB.What I’m talking about is news that the CFPB has released a beta version of the portal that financial institutions will use to report HMDA data. Given the amount of information that is going to be available about your average home borrower, it is absolutely crucial that the portal institutions will use to report this information works. After all, it was a vulnerability in an Equifax portal which lead to its data breach. Make sure that your compliance person gives a heads up to the IT Department so that it can begin to play with the new toy.
DES MOINES — Leaders of Iowa farm commodity and biofuels groups held a news conference Wednesday to call on President Trump to force the EPA to follow the deal on ethanol and biodiesel that Trump struck with the industry a dozen days ago.Iowa Corn Growers Association CEO Craig Floss began by quoting an Iowa farmer he spoke with Tuesday.“I’ve known this farmer well,” Floss said. “He never uses inappropriate language, nor would I in this kind of setting, but I think this says it all: ‘No more Iowa Nice. Now, it’s Iowa Pissed.”Floss warned thousands of farmers who invested in ethanol and biodiesel plants will go out of business if the EPA plan stands. Grant Kimberly, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, agrees.“This is likely to inflict further damage on the already-struggling biodiesel indusry and farm economy,” Kimberly said.Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw said the EPA draft for implementing the ethanol and biodiesel mandates over the next three years will create an economic crisis.“I thought a deal was a deal,” Shaw said. “When Donald Trump makes a deal, isn’t it a deal? Well, we had a deal and it’s time to stick to the deal.”Kelly Nieuwenhuis, a farmer from Primghar who is board president of the Sioux Center ethanol plant that has shut down joined the event by phone. He told reporters President Trump “has lost a lot of support” over his administration’s approach to ethanol policy.“Pretty much everyone I have talked that’s involved in agriculture and the biofuels industry have really lost trust,” Nieuwenhuis said, “and are really frustrated.”Nieuwenhuise called the EPA draft on ethanol and biodiesel blending requirements “pretty disgusting.”EPA officials, in revealing the details of their ethanol and biodiesel policies for 2020 yesterday, said their action “fulfills the agreement reached on October 4 with the White House, EPA and U.S.D.A.”
Running the Donegal senior GAA team isn’t cheap.But Jim McGuinness has proven we can beat the best in the country. Now fans have the chance to play their part as the team prepare to keep the Sam Maguire Cup in Donegal and remain as All-Ireland champions.The county will be awash with green and gold on Friday the 24th of May as schools and businesses from tip to toe of the county are asked to don their Donegal jersey for a day in support of the 2013 Donegal GAA Senior Football Team Training Fund.Schools, companies, colleges, clubs and organisations are invited to join in on this county-wide event to add a splash of colour and fun to raising much needed funds for the sporting season ahead.Participants are asked to donate €2 to take part in what will be a great day enjoyed by all ages. “Donning your Donegal jersey for the day will be a great show of community support for Jim and the boys as they prepare for the Championship season ahead,” says County Chairman Sean Dunnion.“All donations made to the training fund will be greatly appreciated. So we invite you to ditch your shirt and tie for a day and share your true county colours with your fellow classmates, colleagues, family and friends”Alternatively if Friday May 24th does not suit, we ask organisations to host a ‘Wear Your County Colours Day’ at a more convenient date before the end of the month.For more information please contact Grace Boyle on 0868032954 or Cieran Kelly on 0872450505. THE BUCK STARTS HERE TO KEEP SAM IN DONEGAL! was last modified: May 9th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal GAAJersey dayJim McGuinness
The down bound lanes of Hamilton’s Claremont Access have been closed for two weeks now, putting added congestion on the other mountain accesses. As city staff try to come up with a temporary fix, some councillors are fed up with the band-aid solutions.The Claremont Access borders Councillor Donna Skelly’s Ward 7 and every day that it’s closed, means 16,000 cars have to find another way down the mountain.Freezing and thawing of the rock face over the years has made it unstable. Today crews continued to work, prepping the cliff for whatever solution “slope stabilization” experts come up with. One of the temporary solutions the city is looking at is to move this middle barrier over one lane to allow cars down the access, but the hitch in that plan is the light standards in the middle would have to move as well.Skelly is fed up with the band-aid solutions and wants the city to invest in a permanent fix which could cost as much as 40 million dollars over 10 years.City staff isn’t looking long term right now, they’re hoping to have a plan by monday to fix the current issue.