Guatemalan Armed Forces Get Involved in National Security

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo May 30, 2017 Major General Juan Manuel Pérez Ramírez, chief of the Joint Staff of Guatemala, made a surprising statement at the 2017 Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC), held in April in Cozumel, Mexico. He stated that his country’s Armed Forces will be completely transformed in 20 years. To discuss this and other topics, Diálogo spoke with Maj. Gen. Pérez Ramírez at the end of the conference.Diálogo: What is your main challenge as chief of the Joint Staff of Guatemala?Major General Juan Manuel Pérez Ramírez: Promoting the Guatemalan Army’s vision through the Integrated Defense Planning and Management System [SIPLAGDE, per its Spanish acronym]. I am quite satisfied because, as I said, this is the vision the Army has, and there’s this whole strategy for developing it, in which we are going to effectively line up the objectives, the resources, and the strategy so that we can achieve them. Definitely, I am very pleased to say that the United States has supported us in this through DIRI [Defense Institutional Reform Initiative]. That’s the institution in charge of bolstering and supporting processes for strengthening defense institutions. And this has been underway for five years. We are projecting out to 20 years, and just now we are finishing the adaptation phase. We are now heading into the next phase, which is modernization, and after that, transformation. What I mean is that in 20 years we are going to transform and we are going to modernize our Armed Forces. That is my main challenge, promoting the SIPLAGDE vision and making sure that our current management, working with my team of advisors, promotes it with all its energy and willingness, and with all its knowledge.Diálogo: Can you provide an example of this change?Maj. Gen. Pérez Ramírez: We are going to decentralize the defense budget and, through capacity planning and results-driven budgeting, we will be able to carry out those three phases, which are, as I say: adaptation, modernization, and transformation of the Armed Forces at another level.Diálogo: Do you agree with what General Salvador Cienfuegos of Mexico said, that the challenges, the problems are shared, that the threats are the same throughout the region?Maj. Gen. Pérez Ramírez: Definitely, there are individual efforts in each nation, but integrating those efforts is essential. That’s why today we, through the Northern Triangle with Honduras and El Salvador, have the Tri-national Task Force. At present, the Fortaleza Task Force is operating, positioned on the border. And that’s something historic that we were able [to achieve] through concepts such as interoperability and interagency coordination, merging and working together with Immigration, with the Civil Intelligence Directorate, with the National Civil Police, with antinarcotics units, and with the Army itself. In other words, we are positioned, we are coming together, and that is historic, as it is being done in a permanent way, 24 hours a day. So with that, we are going to deny the mafias and organized crime a space in which to operate. This is what we share with our sister nations of Honduras and El Salvador, as they are doing their own thing as well. So this is how we know that the criminal mindsets, or the crime problem, are changing, or that they are acting in different ways in the three countries that I indicated. But that’s why these kinds of meetings are so valuable, because they help us coordinate with what our neighboring country is doing to create synergies to be able to counteract the mafias’ freedom of operation.Diálogo: Speaking of neighbors, what do you think of Mexico being the co-host of CENTSEC for the first time? Does that somehow break down the barriers between north and south?Maj. Gen. Pérez Ramírez: Yes, exactly. The task force’s projects are quite important because they merge two forces into the Army, the police, and the intelligence component, which is also quite important. That has been bolstered through agreements with Mexico. So we have the means, we have the intelligence, we have the personnel to be able to take space away from organized crime by cooperating, reviewing, and improving our strategies, in this case, with Mexico. These kinds of meetings truly are important because, in my case, I will return to my country and I will meet with people from other ministries who don’t have the opportunity to come here, precisely to create that interoperability and interagency cooperation. Definitely, these kinds of forums are quite effective and historic. With our Mexican brothers, we have strategies on the border that we share along the Usumacinta River. It’s immense, and the contact patrols, the tactics, the strategies, and the operations that we carry out, including the airborne ones, are quite effective.Diálogo: You mentioned Honduras, El Salvador, and also Mexico, which are three nations where the armed forces are very involved in supporting the police. How is that done in Guatemala?Maj. Gen. Pérez Ramírez: In the case of Guatemala, last year we worked with various government agencies – Foreign Affairs, the National Civil Police, and the Ministry of Interior – precisely to discuss that withdrawal, a progressive withdrawal of support to police forces by the Army. Why? Because the police, as their leaders say, are at another level. They have acquired intelligence and investigative capabilities as never before, and to demonstrate that there are operations in which they have captured and dismantled gangs and networks of extortionists. So really, for us, that’s quite encouraging. Because in the end, it allows us to have folks available, troops available, to be able to operate effectively on the borders and effectively protect the countryside, in this case, within the sphere of national security. While it is true that the lines are blurred, or there are gray areas between national security, public safety, and citizen safety, nowadays, the Constitution itself allows us to work together. There is a mandate in our Constitution that says that we are involved in domestic security, but we are giving that a different reading in order to support the National Civil Police when their capacity is pushed to the limit. On the border issue, it’s through this interoperability and interagency cooperation that we are able to position ourselves and effectively control its porosity, and of course, the nation’s security.Diálogo: When will the Armed Forces stop supporting the National Civil Police?Maj. Gen. Pérez Ramírez: In the coming year, if not sooner, because the interior minister has already told us that with this Fortaleza Plan that is now up and running, they are interested in ending support of the National Civil Police before the end of the year. So we will be left with people available, to use them in five mission areas. The five mission areas that the Army has are border protection, the second is supporting road infrastructure with engineers, the third is supporting domestic security through the National Civil Police that we are doing in this phase, the fourth is support during natural disasters and manmade events, and the fifth is support of our foreign policy. So really, this is a unique thing in Guatemala because this logic, this dynamic, differs from El Salvador’s or Honduras’s.last_img read more

Greenlawn Hit-and-run Leaves Pedestrian Critical

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A hit-and-run driver seriously injured a 34-year-old pedestrian in Greenlawn early Friday morning, Suffolk County police said.Jose Murillo of Huntington Station was walking westbound along Pulaski Road with a group of friends when he was struck by a dark-colored sedan that fled the scene at 2:53 a.m., police said.Murillo was taken to Huntington Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.Second Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-854-8252 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img

Drinking from the fire hose of knowledge

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Amanda BrennemanLast year, drinking water out of a fire hose became my modus operandi.From learning about Strategic Planning at Wharton, to a new position as Program Manager at the Northwest Credit Union Association, to marrying my best friend Michael—all within 3 months of each other—it goes without saying 2014 was busy. But, no complaints on my end because every single opportunity continues to grow, shape and equip me for what’s ahead.And what’s ahead is now CEO Institute II at Cornell.Looking back on the education received at Wharton—the professors I met, the professional relationships I developed, and the project I worked on—taught me some things… Here are just a few:Balance. One thing I noticed about many of the CEOs and other executives I had the opportunity to chat with, was their emphasis on work/life balance. continue reading »last_img read more

WHO promotes ‘5 Keys’ to food safety

first_imgOct 13, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Two billion people around the world get sick from unsafe food each year, but following five simple rules could significantly reduce that toll, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. “The 5 Keys represent measures which can be taken on an individual level, and immediately, to reduce the risk of foodborne disease,” Dr. Jorgen Schlundt, director of the WHO’s Food Safety Department, said in a news release. Oct 13 WHO news release WHO’s ‘5 Keys’ poster WHO regional offices are being encouraged to produce more specific versions of the 5 Keys strategy and the training manual, officials said. For example, the regional office for Southeast Asia, based in New Delhi, has produced a version of the manual that emphasizes ways to adapt the safety principles in situations where people can’t afford the detergents generally recommended for preventing the spread of foodborne disease. See also: The agency also said it has produced a manual to help member countries use and disseminate the 5 Keys. The manual is intended for food safety professionals, teachers, and other groups to use in training target groups such as food handlers and schoolchildren. The manual will be field-tested in Argentina, Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua in the Americas and Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Nepal, and Timor Leste (East Timor) in Southeast Asia. The WHO Web site presents the 5 Keys in a color poster available in 10 languages. The poster lists specific pointers related to each safety principle along with rationales for the principles. The strategy was announced in conjunction with the Second Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators in Bangkok. The WHO announced today a “5 Keys” strategy for preventing foodborne illness. The five rules are these: keep hands and cooking surfaces clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook food thoroughly, store food at safe temperatures, and use safe water and safe raw ingredients.last_img read more

Manchester United boosted by return of eight injured stars for Watford game

first_imgAdvertisement Martial withdrew from the France squad with a knee injury (Picture: Getty)Englishman Luke Shaw was unable to link up with his international team-mates, while Serbia’s Nemanja Matic too remained in Manchester.AdvertisementAdvertisementBut the Mirror claim all five injured stars will be available for selection against Watford.Lukaku is unlikely to start and is the biggest doubt of the quintet. United will be without forward Alexis Sanchez who is still recovering from a knee injury. Manchester United boosted by return of eight injured stars for Watford game Rashford is set for a quick return from injury (Picture: Getty)Manchester United will have eight players returning from injury when they take on Watford on Saturday.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sweating over the fitness of a host of crocked stars ahead of a crucial Premier League fixture.United are aiming to break back into the top four, but saw five first-team stars forced to withdraw from international duty due to injury.Strikers Marcus Rashford (ankle) and Romelu Lukaku (foot) were sent home from international duty due to injuries, while Anthony Martial was forced to pull out of the France squad with a knee problem.ADVERTISEMENT Solskjaer is aiming for a strong finish to the season (Picture: Getty)Darmian too has struggled to break into Solskjaer’s squad, but the United boss is keen to have a full squad at his disposal.United play Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but the Red Devils’ main focus will be finishing in the top four of the league.More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves Shaw too is expected to play against Watford (Picture: Getty)United are just two points off fourth place and will want to overtake Arsenal with a win over Watford, as the Gunners do not play until Monday night.The Red Devils have also received a significant boost in defence with Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian all ready to return to action.Valencia played 90 minutes for Ecuador against the United States last week, but has not featured for United since the start of January.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Coral BarryTuesday 26 Mar 2019 2:05 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link568Shares Advertisement Commentlast_img read more

Over 40 kilos of meat products seized

first_imgNegros Occidental, the country’s numberone backyard swine producer, has a P6-billion swine industry. (With areport from PNA/PN) Dr. Ryan Janoya, head of Provincial VeterinaryOffice’s Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division, said that porksupplies from provinces in Luzon brought to Negros Occidental are still coveredby the 90-day ban in the province. Some 15 kilograms of pork sausages fromPampanga arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport on Thursday. These were shippedby a resident of Talisay City for personal consumption. The ban covers live pigs, pork, porkproducts, and by-products from Luzon whether fresh, processed or canned whichcan carry the ASF virus. Janoya said the pork products were sentback to its point of origin. BACOLOD City – About 41 kilograms of pork and other meat products,including those from Luzon, were seized in Negros Occidental this week. The processed food items included siomaiand “sisig” transported from Quezon City sent for delivery to a food stall inBago City. Janoya said the items, shipped along with fish products, areconsidered misdeclared and immediately disposed of at the airport. Last Sunday, a total of 12.7 kilogramsof mishandled meat products were confiscated from a stall at the public marketof Cadiz City. Janoya said the vendor violated theguidelines on proper display of imported meat products. On Tuesday, members of the ProvincialTask Force on African swine fever (ASF) confiscated 12 kilograms of assortedpork products also at the airport. These frozen products are prone tomicroorganisms and bacterial contamination especially at higher temperature, headded. “The shipment had no permits,specifically as pork products, and it also does not comply with the existingban,” he added. For almost a month now, the provincialgovernment has been enforcing a 90-day ban on pork coming from Luzon, based onExecutive Order 19-40 signed by Gov. Eugenio Jose  Lacson on Sept. 18.last_img read more

Sectional Switching

first_imgI don’t know if you are aware that the IHSAA has rearranged sectionals in most sports for the 2013-14 school year. Locally, one of the differences is the basketball sectional at Greensburg. Batesville will now be in a sectional that is the repeat of their conference with Madison being moved. The other 5 schools will all be EIAC schools. This will include Greensburg, Rushville, South Dearborn, Franklin County, and Lawrenceburg along with the Bulldogs. This only begins the shakeup. Wait until you read about sectional 30 in football. Batesville and Greensburg will still be battling it out, but now they will contend with Guerin Catholic (Noblesville), Hamilton Heights, Indian Creek, Indianapolis Marshall, Lawrenceburg (no longer a 2A status), and Rushville. In sectional 39 where Milan resides you may have to get an Indiana road map out to figure where some of these schools are located. Besides the Indians, you have Clarksville, Crawford County, Eastern (Pekin), Manual of Indianapolis, Paoli, Providence (New Albany), and Triton Central. Hopefully, the bus driver will be equipped with a good GPS system! Space here does not allow me to list all the other changes that have occurred. You might ask, “Why so much change?” The reason is that football has added a sixth class, so all the schools from the largest to the smallest had some kind of shakeup. This is an attempt to cut down on travel for schools. When you think of Milan’s football sectional, the IHSAA still has work to do.last_img read more

EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel

first_imgChelsea vs. Liverpool Venue: Stamford Bridge Kick off: 4:30PMThe standout fixture in the second gameweek of the new Premier League season sees champions Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge to take on rivals Chelsea. Both teams made winning starts to their 2020-21 campaigns, with Chelsea overcoming Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool squeezing past newly-promoted Leeds United in a seven-goal thriller.Both of these sides came into the 2020-21 Premier League season with big expectations, yet neither were at their best on the opening weekend of action.Chelsea’s significant summer spending spree has resulted in some people tipping them to challenge for Liverpool’s crown this season, although if they are to close that gap then they will need to improve on Monday night’s performance at the Amex Stadium.Similarly, if Liverpool defend like they did against Leeds on the opening day then it would take a remarkably high-scoring season at the other end of the pitch for them to retain their title.Crucially, though, both sides ultimately won the game, which is something Liverpool made an art of doing while not at their best last season, whereas Chelsea often dropped points in such games. In Chelsea’s defence, many of their new arrivals did not feature against Brighton and will not be ready again in time for this contest, with German internationals Timo Werner and Kai Havertz the only players to be handed their debuts.Frank Lampard will be confident that the duo could wreak havoc if Liverpool allow them as much space as they allowed Leeds, and it was less than two months ago that Chelsea visited Anfield and scored three times before heavily bolstering their attacking ranks.Of course, the problem in that most recent meeting between the two sides was that they conceded five times, and defence remains the great concern for the Blues going into the new season.The imminent arrival of Edouard Mendy could help in that respect, with Kepa Arrizabalaga again not covering himself in glory for Brighton’s equalising goal at the Amex.Had Lewis Dunk’s goalscoring radar also been working then Monday’s contest could have easily ended differently for Chelsea, and Lampard will warn his side that Liverpool will not be so merciful in front of goal. However, victory over the champions would be an early statement of intent for their season and, having become only the third club to pass the 2,000-point mark in the Premier League on Monday night, they will fancy their chances of adding to that tally in upcoming games against West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace and Southampton too.Having watched the early game-of-the-season contender at Anfield on the opening weekend, Lampard will at least be confident of creating chances against a Liverpool defence which, although the best in the league last term, has looked far less impenetrable recently.Since ending their 30-year wait for the title back in June, the Reds have shipped 15 goals in their eight Premier League games – as many as they had conceded in their previous 23 prior to that.Some of that can perhaps be attributed to taking their foot off the pedal having won the title with seven games to spare, but the new season has hinted at those same problems – they surrendered the lead on three separate occasions against Leeds, while even in pre-season they fell 2-0 down to both Red Bull Salzburg and Blackpool due to a disorganised backline.RelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea Liverpool sign Portugal winger Jota from Wolves Liverpool will know better than anyone what damage Werner could do if that is the case again, having scouted him intensively before ultimately deciding against a move due to the financial implications of lockdown.The arrival of Thiago Alcantara will sate the Liverpool fans’ desire for a big-name signing, though, and even without the treble-winning Spain international the Reds would still have fancied their chances of outscoring most teams as they did against Leeds.While the defensive record will be a concern, the flip side of the coin is that Liverpool have scored 11 goals in their last two outings including the pre-season drubbing of Blackpool when they stormed back from a two-goal deficit to win 7-2.Mohamed Salah was the best player on the park on the opening weekend with a sharp and ruthless display which even prompted comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo from pundit Gary Neville.Considering their five-goal haul against Chelsea in their last meeting, Jurgen Klopp will be confident that his side have enough firepower to make it two wins from two this weekend, but any trip to Stamford Bridge is difficult.It comes as part of a tricky start to their defence in general too; having been run close by Leeds, Liverpool now face Chelsea, Arsenal and Merseyside rivals Everton in three of their next four league games, so if they can get through that run unscathed then there will be no doubting their title credentials again.Chelsea played an important role in that title triumph, of course, with their win over Manchester City leaving Liverpool unassailable at the top and then providing the opponents on the day the Reds finally got their hands on the trophy – an eight-goal thriller only adding to the occasion.As ever, there will be no love lost between the two rivals, though, and there will also be a watchful eye on the touchlines after Lampard and Klopp became embroiled in a heated row the last time they faced off.Chelsea possible XI: Kepa, James, Rudiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Mount, Werner. Liverpool possible XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane.Tags: ChelseaLiverpoolStamford Bridgelast_img read more

Northern Ireland battle for draw

first_img It is the fifth draw from eight games for O’Neill while Northern Ireland remain without a win since beating the Faroe Islands in August 2011. Danny Lafferty did have the ball in the net in the 18th minute but it was ruled out for pushing and the visitors were grateful to goalkeeper Alan Mannus for two very good saves to deny former Coventry striker Michael Mifsud. Michael O’Neill is still looking for his first win as Northern Ireland manager after they were held to a goalless draw by Malta in Wednesday night’s friendly at Ta’qali National Stadium. Press Associationcenter_img Northern Ireland were almost behind in the fifth minute when Andrew Cohen crossed for Andre Schembri, who should have scored but shot straight at Mannus from eight yards. Will Grigg fluffed his lines when his first big chance came along in the 17th minute, a heavy touch allowing keeper Andrew Hogg to block. Moments later Northern Ireland had the ball in the net when McAuley headed in a Chris Brunt corner but Bulgarian referee Nikolay Yordanov disallowed it for pushing. Mifsud was proving a handful for the visiting defence and his trickery created another opening for Schembri, whose drive beat Mannus but flew just past the angle of post and bar. Clayton Failla was the next to threaten Mannus’ goal with a fierce free-kick from 30 yards that was a yard over the bar. Wingers Niall McGinn and Shane Ferguson were having little joy down the flanks but in the 36th minute McGinn made progress down the right and Steven Davis crossed for Grigg to glance a header wide. O’Neill made one change at half-time, Craig Cathcart replacing Jonny Evans in the centre of defence. The Ta’qali has traditionally been a good venue for Northern Ireland, with 2005’s 1-1 draw between the sides the only one of six previous meetings they did not win. The visitors almost caught Malta cold as McGinn broke through in the middle but Hogg was off his line quickly to punch clear, while Aaron Hughes then did well to get to the byline on the right and pull the ball back but McGinn scuffed his shot. In the 56th minute Mannus was called into serious action for the first time when Mifsud unleashed a stinging shot from the right, the keeper palming it away. In the 63rd minute Inverness striker McKay was introduced, winning his first cap when he replaced Ferguson on the right, with Grigg remaining the lone striker. The visitors were pressing but in the 70th minute they were indebted to Mannus for an excellent stop to keep out Mifsud once again. Pat McCourt and Josh Magennis were introduced late on but there was no way through the Malta defence and the visitors had to settle for a disappointing draw. last_img read more

Ulster claim derby spoils

first_img Tries from Robbie Diack and Iain Henderson helped the Ulstermen record their first away win over Leinster since 1999, giving them a timely boost ahead of next week’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens. Ruan Pienaar added four penalties for Ulster, while Ian Madigan sent over six of his own for the hosts. Ulster got their RaboDirect PRO12 challenge back on the rails with a hard-earned 22-18 derby victory over Leinster at the RDS. Press Associationlast_img