Panama Faces an Old Threat Anew

first_img Vice Minister Rogelio Donadío: We expect that he will continue to protect our borders and, above all, combat organized crime in all its facets: drugs, human trafficking, and to protect national sovereignty, because, at the end of the day, we have problems, above all, in the South, where criminal organizations want to come closer to the border with Panama and set up permanent camps that are used to manufacture drugs, to cultivate cocaine plants, marihuana plants… So, what we have entrusted Commander Hayer with is to very jealously protect the territory and to protect against drug trafficking and any type of organized crime that there might be along that border. Diálogo: Could you tell us about “Operación Candado”? Drug trafficking groups often transport illegal drugs that are produced in South America through Central America before delivering them to the United States and Europe, according to a recent United Nations report. In 2015, Panama seized a record 58 tons of drugs. Panamanian authorities estimate that they have seized 462 tons since 2000. To talk about current issues related to drugs and other relevant issues in the country and the region, Diálogo spoke with Rogelio Donadío, Panama’s Vice Minister for Public Safety, during the Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC) held in San José, Costa Rica, from April 6th-8th. On April 1st, a cloud of thick black smoke darkened the skies around Panama City. It was the result of the Panamanian Police incinerating 6.3 tons of cocaine, 2.5 tons of marijuana, and 3.8 kilograms of heroin; since January 1st, Panamanian law enforcement authorities have destroyed almost nine additional tons of drugs, primarily cocaine, that they seized from narco-traffickers, according to data released by officials. Diálogo: Are there coca leaf fields in Panama already? Vice Minister Donadío: In fact, we think so, because there is a possibility that not all of them will demobilize through fragmentation or the elimination of people engaged in organized crime; an armed group is going to be left over. They will demobilize in Colombia, but they are going to continue their business, above all, those earning the most money. And among the possibilities, which are not remote and are very real, is that they will move their business to the Colombian border, where Venezuela, where Ecuador, where Peru are, but also where Panama is. In other words, it is a fact that we believe they may mobilize to Panamanian territory and continue their criminal activities. Vice Minister Donadío: Yes. Above all, along both borders, at the border between Panama and Colombia, and at the border between Panama and Costa Rica. It is an inescapable issue. Aside from that, there also has to be a component of prevention, an element that provides social assistance and creates a civic component for the people; a component that works for the benefit of the population, because oftentimes, this component of security is the entire government of the Republic of Panama. They are the ones who often provide for health, education, and to a certain extent, the way in which the population can coexist in peace, and that, the original priority, is the fight against organized crime, as well as the civic actions that have to be brought to a population so as to prevent those populations from being infiltrated by organized crime, by the money there is in organized crime. Diálogo: Can the fall of the FARC in Colombia signify a threat to Panama? center_img Vice Minister Donadío: We have found coca leaf fields in Panama, but we have found more marijuana leaf crops. However, we have been eradicating them. The advantage we have had in comparison with when these problems began in the years between 2002-2005 is that, during those years, there was a permanent criminal presence in Panamanian territory. The arrival of SENAFRONT permanently kicked them out of Panamanian territory. Now, because the border is so wooded and is so large, they somehow come in and conduct their activities, but not permanently. Then, of course, there is cultivation, but practically none of cocaine. There is a small part they have used to cultivate marijuana, which began to be eradicated at the beginning of the year. However, since we eradicated it up to now we have not seen any more marijuana or cocaine fields. Diálogo: And what is the importance of continuing to work with the United States and other countries in the region in this fight against drug trafficking and other threats? Diálogo: Is the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking still SENAFRONT’s priority? Diálogo: The new commander of the National Border Service (SENAFRONT), Cristian Hayer, assumed the post on February 15th. What do you expect from him? By Dialogo April 19, 2016 Vice Minister Donadío: Well, organized crime is a crime that makes quick decisions, that mutates, that does not ask, that does not respect sovereignties, that does not respect laws. However, we are the guardians of the constitutions and the laws of our countries, and each country also must defend its sovereignty. In order to take action in the territories in which they are active, we must join together, we must communicate with each other, we must trust one another, and be loyal to one another to strengthen solidarity, strengthen even the context of how we are going to act in a given case. That is the only way to combat organized crime that is active in the entire territory, from Colombia and much farther away, all the way to the United States. There is no way to combat that if we do not join together. There is no way to combat that if we do not coordinate, if we do not get organized, if we do not have effective, timely, and true communication. There is no way to combat that if we do not have a legal framework in all our countries. We are looking to work together and create an integrated network when these types of events occur, like here at CENTSEC, so that the legal framework can be applied respecting the countries’ sovereignty and respecting the way in which each one of us sees the solution to the problems created by organized crime. Vice Minister Donadío: “Operación Candado” is like the continuation of “Operación Patria”. As a result of it, there have already begun to dismantle the camps that were being used by the FARC. “Operación Candado” has to do with the fact that, somehow, we have to protect our coastline and our waters along the border with Colombia, both on the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts. If we make that impenetrable and optimize the watercraft, the criminals will not reach our coastlines and will instead pass by on the outside. Excellent work. I hope everything continues to be well organized to be able to fight every kind of crime, keep it up, looking for a solution to everything.last_img read more

2015 Honda CR-V: More Power, Performance & Fuel Economy

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By NY Auto GiantThe hottest crossover/SUV on the market has gotten even hotter.Honda has made several improvements to its CR-V—2014’s highest-selling crossover/SUV—elevating the United States’ most popular hybrid and creating a whole new automotive driving wonder in the process.Updated with a direct-injected 2.4-liter engine with CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission), innovative new safety features, improved occupant protection, new projector-beam headlights, daytime LED running lamps, brighter trim and upgraded electronics, among other additions, the jazzed-up 2015 Honda CR-V has been wowing both drivers and critics alike.“It remains the finest jacked-up Civic hatchback you can buy,” gushes Car and Driver. “It’s just that modern car-based crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V, with its elevated driving position; 70-plus cubic feet of cargo space (with the rear seats down); friendly fuel economy, ride, and handling; and available four-wheel drive, offer pretty much everything today’s buyer needs in such a vehicle.” Head down to NY Auto Giant and get behind the wheel of your own 2015 Honda CR-V!Expert reviewers at Kelley Blue Book are equally impressed.“Against the Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and others, the CR-V is the best-selling SUV of the decade and, for 2015, it has even more to like,” one writes. “There’s attractive new styling, appealing features and noteworthy technology, and the 2.4-liter direct-injection engine with continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) delivers more power, performance and fuel economy.“The new CR-V is available in multiple trim levels and with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD),” the review continues. “Safety features are class-leading, there’s a new Touring upper trim level and, if that isn’t enough, the new CR-V represents an exceptional value for the money. No wonder owners love it.”Click Here To Learn More About NY Auto GiantThe 2015 CR-V has more power under the hood and boasts smoother, quieter, more responsive performance. Some say she sings like a bird! It also has better fuel economy than its predecessor, advanced safety features, and an overall enhanced appearance!Don’t take our word for it, though—head in to NY Auto Giant’s Atlantic Honda, Millennium Honda or Advantage Honda, fall in love, and drive home one of your own today!last_img read more

Smoking material to blame for Albert Street fire in Johnson City

first_imgJOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — The Johnson City Fire Marshall says the fire at 67 Albert St. was accidental in nature. No injuries were reported. The Fire Marshall says the fire was caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials” on the second floor front porch.center_img Five adults were displaced from the fire but are able to stay with friends and family.last_img