Ecuadorean security forces make series of large drug seizures

Citizen cooperation Ecuadorean law enforcement authorities recently seized more than 3.5 tons of drugs in more than 100 security operations. Security forces seized the drugs during a span of seven days in mid-November 2013. Security forces also captured 83 suspected drug trafficking operatives. Among them were 75 Ecuadoreans, six Colombians, and two Mexican nationals. Security forces also detained 14 minors who allegedly collaborated with the drug traffickers. By late November, security forces had seized 53 tons of drugs. The yearly record for drug seizures in Ecuador is 68 tons, which were seized in 2009. The volume of drugs seized by Ecuadorean security forces has increased dramatically in recent years.’ In 2010, security forces seized 18 tons of drugs. In 2011, authorities seized 26 tons of drugs. Ecuador cooperates with Peru and Colombia in fight against organized crime Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa recently signed agreements with the presidents of Peru and Colombia that call on the three countries to cooperate in the fight against organized crime. Correa and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos discussed Colombia’s ongoing peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), during a binational meeting held on Nov. 25, 2013. The two leaders met in the border region which divides the two countries, in the Colombian city of Ipiales. Correa, Santos, the foreign ministers of both countries and several Ecuadorean and Colombian Cabinet ministers met for about four hours to discuss progress on agreements that were reached during the First Binational Cabinet meeting between the two countries. That meeting was held in December 2012 in the Ecuadorean city of Tulcán. Following the Nov. 25 meeting, Correa and Santos signed eight agreements regarding issues such as security, transportation, education, tourism, and the oil industry. Nine days before that meeting, Correa and the president of Peru, Ollanta Humala, agreed to have their respective security forces strengthen their cooperation in the battle against human trafficking and the illegal sales of stolen fuel. Humala and Correa announced the initiatives after they met on Nov. 14, 2013, in the city of Piura, Peru, near the Ecuadorean border. The meeting between of the two presidents concluded the VII Binational Ministerial Cabinet Meeting. The two presidents announced they had signed the two security cooperation agreements. Ecuadorean citizens are helping security forces by providing information about the suspected activities of drug traffickers, authorities said. Such cooperation is crucial in the battle against drug traffickers and other organized crime groups, according to security analysts. For example, information received from citizens led to the security operation “No Return,” in late November 2013, authorities said. Security forces received information from a citizen or citizens that drugs were hidden in a fiber boat docked at Las Piedras Viejas in Tachina, Esmereldas. Security forces inspected the boat and found 208 packages of cocaine hidden on the vessel, authorities said,. Targeted police operations Large drug seizures ‘El Chapo’ in Ecuador A transit point for drug trafficking By Dialogo November 29, 2013 The Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two violent Mexican transnational criminal organizations, operate in Ecuador, transporting drugs, according to authorities and security analysts. In February 2013, 19 inmates escaped from a high-security Ecuadorian prison in Guayaquil, located about 420 kilometers south of Quito. Among the escapees was Cesar Demar Vernaza Quinonez, who is known as “The Entrepreneur.” He is the leader of a gang, known as “The Courageous,” which collaborates with the Sinaloa Cartel, authorities said. The Courageous transports and protects drug shipments for the cartel, which is led by fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Colombian security forces recaptured The Entrepreneur in that country in April 2013. Authorities extradited The Entrepreneur to Ecuador, where he is facing drug trafficking charges. Ecuadorean police have made a large series of drug seizures by specifically targeting and focusing on organized crime groups, said Bertha Garcia, a security analyst at the Catholic University of Ecuador. “Ecuador is not a drug-producing country, but it is a country of drug collection and passage,” the security analyst said. “Drug shipments come in from Peru and Colombia. Although we cannot say these are huge quantities of drugs which are being seized, because Ecuador is a small country, but the volume is obviously increasing.” The November operations closely followed a major drug seizure in late October 2013. In that operation, Ecuadorean security forces found and seized more than a half-ton of drugs – cocaine alkaloid — in the seaport of Guayaquil. Security forces found the cocaine alkaloid hidden inside a container filled with pineapples. Drug traffickers intended to transport the cocaine alkaloid by boat to Belgium, according to police Gen. William Balarezo, commander of the Guayas province police district. The port drug seizure was reported by Interior Minister Jose Serrano, via his Twitter account. The series of large drug seizures indicate that Ecuador is becoming an important transit point for drug traffickers who smuggle drugs to Europe and Asia, a security analyst said. “Drug smugglers are increasingly using Ecuador as a shipping point directly to the intended markets,” explained Hector Chavez, a security analyst at the University of Guayaquil. Drug traffickers are decreasing the volume of drugs they transport to Central American markets through Ecuador, Chavez said. “Lower volumes of drugs are being shipped to Central American markets or Mexico from Ecuador,” Chavez said. “Criminals have realized that it is more cost effective and less risky to ship directly to European and Asian markets directly from Ecuador,” Chavez said. Ecuadorean security forces have used intelligence, technology, and cooperation with the Armed Forces to make a series of important drug seizures in recent months, according to Deputy Interior Minister Javier Cordoba. Among the seizures: • In October 2013, the Ecuadorian Navy and police forces collaborated to seize 799 kilos of cocaine in the country’s territorial waters, drugs which were destined for Central America and ultimately north to the United States, authorities reported. Advanced technology helped the authorities find the boat that was smuggling the cocaine, according to Naval officials. • Also in October 2013, Ecuador’s anti-narcotic agents from the National Police seized at least three tons of cocaine in an operation held in the southwestern coastal province of Santa Elena, Ecuador’s Interior Minister Jose Serrano announced. Security forces captured 11 suspects, Serrano announced via Twitter. The suspects were connected to a powerful Colombian drug trafficking organization, “Los Urabeños,” Serrano said via Twitter. • In May 2013, Ecuadorian police arrested five Ecuadoreans and four Mexicans who were suspected of being part of a drug trafficking network. Police also seized 453 kilograms of cocaine and $276,567 in cash. The arrests and seizures were part of part of “Operación Aluvión.” • In April 2013, Ecuadorean police alerted the Coast Guard that a yacht, the “Green Onion,” was transporting a large quantity of cocaine. The Coast Guard pursued the boat, which escaped into international waters. The Ecuadorian Navy alerted the U.S. Coast Guard, which captured the boat in waters near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. When they realized they were about to be captured, the crew burned about four tons of cocaine. read more

Ellsworth tennis sweeps Mount Desert Island

first_imgELLSWORTH — Tuesday was a good day for Ellsworth tennis as the boys’ and girls’ tams both earned home wins over Mount Desert Island.The Ellsworth girls started the day with a 4-1 victory to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Eagles’ Brianna Abbott and Bailey Clarke won their singles matches 8-2 and 8-3, respectively, and the teams of Faith Bradley and Grace High and Kaitlin McCullough and Emma Whitney finished with doubles wins over their counterparts at MDI (1-1).On the boys’ side, Ellsworth (1-1) got singles wins from Norman Jodrey and Keegan Gray to start the match with a 2-1 lead through three contests. Ryan White and Lucas Wheeler then defeated MDI’s Trevor Morrison and Fernando Avalos to seal the team win over the Trojans (0-2).The Eagles will be on the road against Hermon at 4:30 p.m. today, May 1. They will host George Stevens Academy at 4 p.m. tomorrow, May 2.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Syracuse turns to top scorer Peterson to lead way against No. 9 Florida State

first_imgAnytime Syracuse has needed a spark this season, it’s turned to Alexis Peterson. Momentum-swinging 3s, powerful and-ones and deadly pull-up jumpers have been the trademark of her game.While teammates say her biggest contribution to the Orange is her energy, it’s also Peterson’s tangible ability to score points that has been key, as shown by her team-leading 15.2 points per game.But in games against Top 25 teams, SU is 0-6 and Peterson has never led Syracuse in scoring in any of those games. She said she never feels pressure to score the big baskets in big games, but when her teammates score more in those spots, the Orange loses.“If it’s meant for me to score, it’ll happen,” Peterson said. “Or if it’s meant for me to set up someone else, that’ll be what I do.”Peterson also tops the No. 23 Orange (15-6, 5-3 Atlantic Coast) in steals and assists, but it’s the sophomore point guard’s scoring that has boosted SU this year. Syracuse will look to Peterson, who is the 10th leading scorer in the conference, to lead the way once again Monday when it takes on No. 9 Florida State (20-2, 7-1) at 7 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHer role as the team’s go-to scorer is a new one this season. Peterson averaged just three points per game as a freshman. This year, head coach Quentin Hillsman doesn’t run any plays designed for her, but she still draws attention from defenses.“She’s your biggest threat with the ball in her hands. So you’d like to get it out of her hands as much as possible,” Wake Forest head coach Jen Hoover said after Peterson scored 32 points against her team on Jan. 15. “… I think everybody’s noticed what she’s doing this year.”Peterson is Syracuse’s most dynamic player and in losses, she’s averaging 13.3 points, compared to 16 points in wins. The drop-off isn’t huge, but on Dec. 19 against Baylor, she missed a potential game-tying layup with four seconds left and the Orange lost by two.In SU’s most recent game, a 78-58 road loss against No. 8 Louisville on Thursday, Peterson scored nine points and only two in the first half. She shot 3-of-15 overall, and by time she started producing, the game was already out of reach.In all six losses, the Orange was led in scoring by either Diamond Henderson or Brianna Butler — two players who shoot far less efficiently than Peterson does. Butler and Henderson are shooting 28.3 percent and 36 percent from the field, respectively, as Peterson is shooting 46.3 percent.Though Peterson is the team’s leading scorer and is needed in games against top teams, Hillsman said she’s done enough in other ways outside of scoring to help her team.“I don’t know if it does or not (hurt the team when Peterson’s not scoring) because she’s really good on defense and she really does a very good job of keeping her teammates involved,” Hillsman said. “So I don’t know if it’s a negative of her not scoring.”SU’s next two games are against ranked teams — the Orange will play No. 16 North Carolina on Thursday — and Peterson’s role in big games will continue to be defined.Center Briana Day said in order for Syracuse to be successful, it shouldn’t rely just on Peterson against top teams.“It makes others step up,” Day said. “I mean people have to step up regardless but it makes other people step up when we need points or we need scoring.”CORRECTION: In an original version of this story, the day of Syracuse’s loss to Louisville was incorrect. SU lost to Louisville on Thursday. The Daily Orange regrets this error.  Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 1, 2015 at 11:10 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschwedslast_img read more

SNOW MAKING DRIVING CONDITIONS DIFFICULT

first_imgSNOW is making driving conditions difficult in several areas of north Donegal this afternoon.Road conditions in and around Letterkenny, in Milford, Kilmacrennan, Ramelton and Termon are extremely poor.The snow is lying in exposed areas and on the hills, however main routes are clear. Gardai have asked motorists to drive with caution.Temperatures are set to increase later this evening. SNOW MAKING DRIVING CONDITIONS DIFFICULT was last modified: January 14th, 2014 by John2Share 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)last_img read more