Withdrawal from Anti-drug Agreements Benefits Cartels in Venezuela

first_imgBy Diálogo May 20, 2020 On February 25, in a combined operation, the Colombian Navy and Aruban security forces seized more than 5 tons of cocaine hidden inside a compartment of the cargo ship Aressa. The vessel that sailed under a Cameroonian flag had departed from Guaranao Port, in the Venezuelan state of Falcón, and was bound for Greece.The Aruban news portal 24ora said it was the largest cache seized in the island, according to the Aruban Attorney General’s Office.Mildred Camero, former president of the Venezuelan National Commission against Illicit Drug Use (CONACUID, in Spanish), said that this operation was possible thanks to coordination among Colombia, Aruba, and the United States, without the participation of Venezuelan security forces.This is another example in which first Hugo Chávez and now Nicolás Maduro, have broken off with international cooperation to counter narcotrafficking, in order to participate fully in this activity.The isolation process began in 2005, when Chávez ordered to halt the agreements signed with the U.S. Department of State’s Narcotics Affairs Section. These conventions governed, among several issues, the activities of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the country.Camero was in the United States when Chávez announced the decision. “When I returned to Venezuela, I knew I had been dismissed,” she said.From then on, Venezuela also withdrew from multilateral anti-drug cooperation forums of the Organization of American States and the Andean Community. In 2008, Chávez threatened to leave Interpol, when technicians of that institution validated evidence from computer files seized during a raid in northern Ecuador. The files linked the Chávez government with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.International cooperation for drug interdiction and drug use prevention, as well as money laundering detection, has been declining until reaching the current situation, in which it is “nonexistent,” Camero said.Complicit service members At the same time, several high-ranking officers, who were leading the fight against trafficking organizations, began to favor these groups, taking advantage of their positions of power. One of them would be Bolivarian National Guard Major Néstor Reverol, current Interior minister and former head of the National Anti-drug Office (ONA, in Spanish), the institution that replaced CONACUID in 2008.An indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in January 2015 says that Reverol, together with Brigadier General Edylberto Molina, “alerted narcotics traffickers to future drug raids or locations of law enforcement counter-narcotics activities, so that the narcotics traffickers could change the storage locations of narcotics or alter transportation routes or times and thus avoid detection by law enforcement.”Molina was the ONA’s general director during Reverol’s tenure. Later, when Maduro designated Reverol as Interior minister, he also appointed Molina as deputy minister of the Integrated Police System (VISIPOL, in Spanish).Camero said that Major General Hugo Carvajal, former director of Military Counterintelligence, was conducting a similar activity that favored cartels.In mid-March 2020, U.S. Attorney General William Barr accused Reverol, Carvajal, and Molina of contributing to building Maduro’s “corrupt regime.”With Venezuela’s withdrawal from international drug cooperation efforts — and the fact that more than 50 countries, including the United States and Venezuela’s neighboring countries, do not recognize the Maduro regime — other tactics have been implemented to prevent illegal shipments from leaving the country. International authorities have been using electronic surveillance and confidential informants with greater intensity. According to Camero, this helped detect the preparations for the cocaine shipment on board Aressa in December.José Luis Pirela, head of the Venezuelan National Assembly (AN, in Spanish) Subcommission for the Fight Against Drugs, Terrorism, and Organized Crime, shares this view, adding that the increase in surveillance over the country explains why large drug seizures are taking place in the Caribbean and ports of destination, such as Spain and France, rather than in Venezuelan territory.“The breakdown of international cooperation mechanisms has allowed narcotrafficking to reach alarming levels in Venezuela,” he said.The lawmaker believes that it is necessary to resume Venezuela’s participation in all international forums for both drug interdiction and drug use prevention.He added that the AN speaker, Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by the United States and more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s interim president, should seize this opportunity to renew these accords, and also create a parliamentary space to allow discussions to resume on the drug issue.last_img read more

Where’s my mentor?

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Cynthia Kolko Cynthia Kolko manages community involvement and public relations activities for The Summit Federal Credit Union, which serves members across Western and Central New York. She is also The Summit’s copywriter, … Web: https://www.summitfcu.org Details It’s not unusual in life to be caught between two stages. Tweens straddle the line between young childhood and the teen years. It happens again when you’re old enough to vote but can’t order a drink in a bar. And after college graduation, you may be embarking on a career but are also not completely, as my father would say, “off the dole.”Who knew it could happen again as a working adult, one who’s far past entry-level, but still a good bunch of years away from retirement?I see lots of young professional groups, mentorship programs and networking events, all geared toward helping fledgling careerists get ahead. There are management groups and networks for senior-level folks, too. But if you’re not young and your job is more rank-and-file than boss, there’s a palpable dearth of such groups, as if you’re just too far gone to pursue anything beyond what’s in your lap. Several years ago, before joining the credit union industry, I decided to transition from freelance work to something more steady. Nosing around online revealed a curious trend in advice for jobseekers of a certain age. Keep dates off your resume, they said. Don’t include anything over ten years old. Translation: Hide your age and hide your experience. Really? With all the push to be our authentic selves, to view others as individuals, we’re supposed to tone down a significant part of our identity. And why deny experience that is, or should be, a benefit to the job? One of the perks of having been alive a number of decades is a nice cache of memories from which to draw life lessons. You’ve probably dealt with a variety of problems and have seen solutions that work and those that crash. Perhaps you’ve been to a hundred or more weddings, charity galas and fundraisers, and know how important traffic flow and placement of the bar are to a successful event. Or maybe you’ve been confronted with hateful communications, and know that it’s better to wait a beat and craft a response than it is to blurt out something that will haunt you later. It should go without saying that people with talent can apply those talents, along with their work and life experiences, to whatever you throw at them. Forget old dogs and new tricks. Smart people can keep learning no matter what their ages are.Here’s a tip, old friend: choose your employer wisely. A worthwhile one will value those dates on your resume. Employees will be from a variety of age groups, and everyone will be given the same or analogous opportunities. By all means, if you think the foosball table in the conference room is stupid, don’t work there. But remember, wisdom is not one generation’s sole domain. Young people have it too. You could learn a lot from those whippersnapper colleagues. And if you can’t find a professional group or mentorship program that suits you, make a group or find a mentor yourself. You know you’re capable.last_img read more

Manchester City Top Huddersfield

first_imgHuddersfield: Premier League defending champion Manchester City rolled to a 3-0 win over last-place Huddersfield, continuing to chase leader Liverpool.Brazilian full back Danilo got the Citizens on the scoreboard 18 minutes into the game on Sunday night, when he fired a shot that was deflected by German center back Christopher Schindler past Danish goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.After the intermission, German midfielder Leroy Sane stole the limelight, assisting on City’s second goal and then scoring to make it 3-0. In the 54th minute, Sane sent a precise cross into the area and attacking midfielder Raheem Sterling made the most of it, allowing the former Schalke player to collect his 23rd assist since the beginning of the last campaign, the most assists over this time.Sane moved five assists clear off second-place Sterling, which played 18 decisive passes throughout the same period.Just two minutes later, Argentine forward Sergio Aguero set up Sane for City’s third goal.After the win, City has 56 points, good for the second spot in the Premier League standings but four points back of Liverpool, which earned a hard-fought 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. IANSAlso Read: Sports Newslast_img read more