Peru Surpasses 2015 Goal for Eradicating Illegal Coca Crops

first_imgThe comprehensive strategy to eradicate illegal coca crops involves three phases, Secretary Mosqueira stated. During the pre-eradication phase, the government intervenes early and strategically with various programs and projects while “strengthening the state presence in the areas of influence.” Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 deployed to waters surrounding Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct a bilateral exercise with the Peruvian Navy and Air Force from September 30th through October 3rd as part of Southern Seas 2015, a bilateral exercise that helps regional forces work together to address shared maritime security priorities during a series of cooperative training events and subject matter exchanges. Like Peruvian officials, Colombian authorities are shifting their counter-narcotics strategy toward illegal coca crop substitution and funding the planting of alternative crops, according to President Juan Manuel Santos’ announcement in September 2014. In another example of bi-national cooperation, on December 14, 2015, U.S. Army South opened inaugural Army-to-Army staff talks with Peru in Lima. Armed Forces officials from the two partner nations conducted a series of presentations to discuss topics such as regional security, human resources management, education and training, operational law and Military justice, logistics, health, engineering, Information Operations, civil affairs, peace operations and planning. “We have to emphasize the changes in the economic matrix of the illegal coca areas to reduce to a minimum the commercial value of the coca leaves,” Robles said. “For this, we need to formalize the economy of these areas, incentivize the creation of local productive projects through tax advantages, and reduce the bureaucratic burdens and roadblocks. This will generate economic returns promptly and consistently.” Drug cultivation and refining also harm the environment. In the process of refining cocaine, drug organizations produce about 2 metric tons of waste per hectare of coca, which can negatively impact a region’s hyrdology, soil, and biodiversity. Coca farmers often use toxic pesticides to clear land used to cultivate the drug, which destroys the soil. Drug-cultivating farmers also often dump processed coca leaves near streams, which can harm plants, animals, and fish. However, Secretary Mosqueira and Robles agree on the crucial importance of social programs as part of the short- and long-term development, which includes providing better healthcare and educational opportunities to residents in former coca-growing areas. Robles says there is a need to increase local entrepreneurism and workers’ wages, which will make growing illegal coca less cost-effective for local farmers. Security forces eradicate illegal coca crops during the second phase, destroying seeds that could be used for new plantations and dismantling makeshift labs that drug-trafficking operatives use to process illegal drugs. The two partner nations also work together to protect human rights. For instance, U.S. Southern Command sponsored the second Human Rights Initiative (HRI) Strategic Process Assessment Seminar with the Peruvian Armed forces in February 2015. Neighboring countries also promote substitution alternatives Since 2008, Bolivia’s government has been implementing crop substitution policies as well, creating incentives for growers to cut the production of illegal coca leaves, and substituting some of it with other crops, such as pineapples and bananas. It is also working on developing the infrastructure of coca-producing regions, while allowing the growing of legal coca for chewing or using to make tea. Law enforcement, crop substitution initiatives, and social programs The mark was achieved through logistical and technological support provided by the United States and a comprehensive initiative that provided farmers the option of cultivating alternative crops. The success of the illegal coca eradication programs were “primarily from a comprehensive model of intervention and not an isolated action,” said Ninoska Mosqueira Cornejo, General Secretary for the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA). “The goal is to provide sustainability to the reduction of illicit coca plantations while maintaining respect for human rights.” Peru ended 2015 on a positive note, as it eradicated almost 36,000 hectares of coca cultivation, surpassing the government’s goal of wiping out 35,000 hectares of the crop used to make cocaine. President Ollanta Humala, who said security forces typically dismantle 10,000 hectares of the crop annually, announced the achievement during a ceremony on December 13th – two days before the end of the year’s eradication season. By Dialogo January 06, 2016 “Another aspect to highlight was the close international collaboration to our sovereign intervention model,” Secretary Mosqueira continued. Jose Robles Montoya, Director of Policies and Strategy of the Ministry of Defense, agreed, adding that government officials are maintaining vigilance in the fight against drug trafficking and production, an attitude that “received significant logistical and technological contribution and support from the United States.” The government is fighting the illegal coca cultivation problem through a combination of Military and police initiatives, crop substitution programs, social programs, and investment projects that support agricultural entrepreneurship in areas where farmers have cultivated illegal coca. In 2015, these alternative crops, which include cocoa, coffee, and palm oil, generated $270 million for the Peruvian economy, according to DEVIDA. “I think it was important to understand that [drug trafficking] is the main threat to our security,” Robles added. “Therefore, the response of the Peruvian state has been comprehensive and multidimensional.” Cocaine trade impacts society and the environment “Crop substitution is part of the successful Peruvian model of alternative, comprehensive, and sustainable development,” Secretary Mosqueira said. “More than a promising strategy, it is a reality seen in the average of more than 50,000 hectares of legal crops per year; the improvement of more than 1,100 kilometers of neighborhood roads; and the more than 50,000 titles of rural property we will provide during 2016.” Peru and the United States are working together on a number of security issues. For example, in late 2015, the U.S. Navy conducted a bilateral exercise with the Peruvian Navy and Air Force While seeing crop substitution as a plausible and promising strategy, Robles believes there is still plenty to do. “We need to deepen the reforms against corruption in all the entities involved in fighting drug trafficking, the police, the judicial power, and the overseers.” The Shining Path terrorist group finances some of its violent crimes by working with narcotrafficking groups by, for example, protecting cocaine shipments destined for other countries. In addition to the illegal drug trade, organized crime groups also engage in illicit enterprises such as human trafficking, illegal logging, and the theft and sale of valuable Peruvian antiquities. Between all of these illegal activities, organized crime groups in Peru generate between $5 billion and $7 billion annually, giving them the financial power to influence and bribe customs and immigration officials, as well as security forces. In the third phase, authorities provide “short-term activities to ensure food security, basic social infrastructure, and the strengthening of democratic institutionalization and community development,” Secretary Mosqueira said. “This creates the basis for alternative, comprehensive, and sustainable development.” Cooperation with the United States “This important event has plans of action to interchange topics on defense and security as well as the elements we will have to consider to counter new threats to the security of our region,” said Peruvian General de Division Luis Ramos Hume, the chief of staff of the Peruvian Army. “This will allow us to draw conclusions which will enrich and stoke the developments of our institutions.” I hope it’s true In the Republic we need to implement this method such as workshops for youth and adults since in this country even adults have started using for [unintelligible] . A 50 year old man with low-level education cannot get work and what this does is decrease his self esteem and instead of counseling youth, they help them consume Excellent but who keeps oversight so the jungle forests don’t get cut down. No one oversees the emigration of people from the mountains whose objective is to go there to destroy the forests of our jungle whether it be for coca or to pan for gold.last_img read more


Adenovirus vaccines said to offer hope for fighting flu pandemics

first_img The results showed that the experimental vaccine effectively protected mice “from H5N1 disease, death, and primary viral replication” after exposure to “antigenically distinct strains of H5N1 influenza viruses,” the authors write. “This strategy has the advantage of inducing strong humoral and cellular immunity and conferring cross-protection against continuously evolving H5N1 viruses without the need of an adjuvant,” they add. The authors write that their results indicate that widespread use of adenovirus-based vaccines in poultry would probably help stop the spread of highly pathogenic avian flu. And in the case of a human flu pandemic, they add, “an adenovirus-based vaccine could be utilized to complement traditional inactivated influenza virus vaccine technology, which is still the primary choice,” despite the limitations of egg-based production. Hoelscher MA, Garg S, Bangari DS, et al. Development of adenoviral-vector-based pandemic influenza vaccine against antigenically distinct human H5N1 strains in mice. Lancet 2006 (published online Feb 2) [Abstract—access requires free registration] Feb 2, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A pair of new studies suggest that influenza vaccines based on adenoviruses, one of the causes of the common cold, may offer major advantages in the quest for protection from flu pandemics. In both studies, scientists manipulated adenoviruses to duplicate a key protein (hemagglutinin) found in H5N1 avian flu viruses and then injected the engineered viruses into mice. The vaccines generated an immune response that protected the mice when they were exposed to high doses of H5N1 viruses, including strains that did not precisely match the strains from which the hemagglutinin was derived. In one of the studies, the vaccine also protected chickens. The reports raise hopes that pandemic flu vaccines could be produced in cell culture, saving time compared with the months-long process of growing them in chicken eggs. In addition, because the experimental vaccines seemed to offer broader protection than conventional egg-based vaccines do, it may be possible to produce and stockpile a pandemic vaccine in advance instead of waiting until a pandemic virus emerges, the reports say. However, the vaccines have not yet been tested in people. In the Pittsburgh study, researchers engineered an adenovirus to duplicate hemagglutinin from a 2004 Vietnam strain of H5N1 virus. They injected this into mice and then exposed them to an H5N1 virus 70 days later. The mice were fully protected by the vaccine, which generated both hemagglutinin-specific antibodies and a cellular immune response. In the CDC-Purdue study, researchers made a vaccine consisting of a nonreplicating adenovirus containing the hemagglutinin gene from an H5N1 virus identified in Hong Kong in 1997. One group of mice was injected with this vaccine, while other groups were injected with saline solution or one of two other control vaccines. Gao W, Soloff AC, Lu X, et al. Protection of mice from lethal H5N1 avian influenza virus thorugh adenovirus-based immunization. J Virology 2006 Feb;30(4):1959-64 [Abstract] “Our findings as well as those from other adenovirus-based vaccine studies support the development of replication-defective adenovirus-based vaccines as a rapid response in the event of the pandemic spread” of avian flu, write Gao and colleagues in the Journal of Virology. The researchers also took blood samples from the vaccinated mice and assessed the serologic response to three different H5N1 viruses—the 1997 strain used in the vaccine, plus 2003 and 2004 strains from Hong Kong and Vietnam, respectively. The experimental vaccine produced a “significantly high” antibody response to the 1997 virus but weaker responses to the other two viruses. See also: To assess cellular immune responses, the researchers measured the generation of CD8 T-cells in the vaccinated mice. Mice that received the experimental vaccine had a three-fold to eight-fold higher frequency of CD8 cells than those that received control vaccines, a significant difference. The experimental vaccine was also tested in chickens by giving them a single subcutaneous dose and exposing them to H5N1 virus 21 days later. The immunized chickens were fully protected, while a group of unvaccinated chickens all died. The other study was conducted by a team from the University of Pittsburgh, the CDC, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, with Wentao Gao as the first author. “This approach is a feasible vaccine strategy against existing and newly emerging viruses of highly pathogenic avian influenza to prepare against a potential pandemic,” states one of the reports, published online by The Lancet. “This approach also provides a viable option for potential vaccine stockpiling for the influenza pandemic.” The report was prepared by a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Purdue University, with Mary A. Hoelscher as the first author. Four weeks after their second injection, the mice were given high doses of one of two H5N1 virus strains, including a Hong Kong 1997 strain (but not the same one as used to make the vaccine) and a 2004 variant from Vietnam. All the mice that received the experimental vaccine survived with minimal illness as measured by weight loss. The study’s senior author, Suryaprakash Sambhara of the CDC, said the adenovirus-based vaccine can be made much more quickly than conventional flu vaccines, according to a Reuters report published today. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center news release read more


TOUCHLINE: D-Cryme takes his turn on New E-chat Segment

first_imgRenowned Musician Darlington Kwasi Agyekum (D-Cryme) took his turn on the  New E-chat segment  surprisingly confirmed he is occasionally kept out of the recording studio against his will .You want to know why?Well you have to check out the segment through the link provided beneath, but first things first and the announcement of nominees for the 2015Ballon d’or was met with some resentment with the exclusion of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and the exclusion of Barcelona’s Luis Suarez.Should Suarez have made the shortlist, or did Ronaldo get access based on reputation rather than performance?These questions and more including the preview to this weekend games across European leagues with special focus on Ghanaians playing abroad were dealt with on this week’s edition of Touchline hosted by JOY Sports George Addo Jnr. Click Link to watch the fast paced video podcast.  –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more


SA takes part in Syria peace talks

first_img22 January 2014 South African International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is in Switzerland for a peace conference which hopes to break the stalemate in the three-year Syrian civil war. Nkoana-Mashabane was invited by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to attend the high-level international meeting, which starts in Montreux on Wednesday. The meeting will be attended by dozens of countries that had agreed to the 2012 Geneva Communique, which calls for an end to fighting and the installation of a transitional government with full executive powers. International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said on Wednesday that South Africa believes there can be no military solution to the conflict in Syria, and sees the conference as a step in the right direction towards bringing an end to the suffering of the Syrian people. Monyela said South Africa believed that democracy was an unassailable right of the Syrian people. “The South African government is thus committed to encouraging all parties involved in the current conflict in Syria to engage in a process of all-inclusive national dialogue, free of any form of violence, intimidation or outside interference aimed at government change, in order to satisfy the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.” The conference participants will seek to make arrangements for humanitarian aid to flow into that country, where over 100 000 people have been killed and more than eight-million others driven from their homes since the conflict erupted between the government and various groups seeking the ousting of President Bashar al-Assad. Monyela said South Africa was deeply disappointed by the fact that the Syrian conflict had been raging for nearly three years, with devastating humanitarian consequences. “The situation in Syria is evolving into one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent times, with severe political and economic consequences for the entire region.” The Montreux meeting, which is designed to give international support to the efforts to resolve the deadly conflict that has torn Syria apart, will be followed by talks in Geneva – scheduled for Friday – between the two Syrian delegations and UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, who is organising the peace conference. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has rescinded his invitation to Iran to participate in the Syrian peace conference, his spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, told reporters on Monday. Nesirky said Ban was “dismayed [and] deeply disappointed” after Iran released public statements conflicting with what was reportedly discussed in private, resulting in their invitation to participate being withdrawn. Iran, whose invitation was seen as controversial due to that country’s backing of al-Assad, refused to support a process to form a transitional government – one of the stated goals of the conference, as laid out in the Geneva Communique. Source: read more


#YesAllWomen Is The Arab Spring Of 21st-Century Feminism

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Sometimes a movement is born from just a few, powerful words shared and spoken by people around the world—and it can start with just a hashtag.#YesAllWomen, a collective online response to the recent shootings in Isla Vista, Calif., may be one of those movements.Yes, All Women: You Are Not AloneHashtags, once an obscure practice favored by tech insiders, now mainstream thanks to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, are created by putting a hash mark—”#”—in front of a word or phrase. You’re more likely to see them on television programs and otherwise tied to pop-culture phenomena, so advertisers and TV networks can better track what people care about. But when people use hashtag to create a dialogue around an issue, they become more meaningful than water cooler chatter. They become the conversation, and can create action. Just think back to the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011, when citizens of oppressive regimes learned through social networks that they were far from alone. As a result, they took to the streets—and governments fell.#YesAllWomen began making the rounds after a tragic shooting, but its message transcends a singular act of violence. People are using it to highlight the harassment, discrimination and bias women face every day.From “Not All Men” To #YesAllWomenOn Friday, a violent rampage left seven people dead, including the gunman, near the University of California campus in Isla Vista, just outside of Santa Barbara, Calif. In a video manifesto the 22-year-old shooter, Elliot Rodger, shared online, he claimed that he wanted to punish the women who rejected him for years, despite being a “perfect guy.”#YesAllWomen is a reaction to more than just Rodger’s warped beliefs. It extends an idea that has been discussed for months—the excuse that “not all men” are misogynistic. This far-too-common response to any discussion of women’s lives angers feminists. They view the “not all men” argument as an attempt by men to shift blame and thereby excuse themselves from conversation about harassment or gender-based violence. Rodger blamed women for his misery, and, in response, women took to social media to talk about being victims of gender-based harassment, violence, and discrimination, sharing stories of the misogynistic acts that happened to them every day. The shooter blamed women—all women—for his unhappiness. So women on Twitter flipped his psychotic rant around and turned it into a call for sanity—something powerful and empowering. Not all men are like Rodger. But what #YesAllWomen demonstrates is that yes, all women live in fear because there are men who discriminate against them, who are violent against them, who sexually assault them.  Related Posts For people who have never experienced what the women on Twitter are talking about, following the #YesAllWomen hashtag can be difficult and hard to relate to. Though each tiny memoir is different, and ranges from outright violence to subtle discrimination, the stories echo one another: Women are still suffering at the hands of men.For women who have lived through these experiences, the #YesAllWomen conversation makes them feel less isolated. And while it’s not clear what shape this movement will take, the Arab Spring experience suggests that people who learn they are not alone are more prone to take action.People might not agree with every tweet; people rarely do. But by reading the conversation with an open mind, it’s likely everyone will learn something. All women, and all men.Photo by JD Hancock selena larson Tags:##YesAllWomen#Activism#Elliot Rodger#Feminism#hashtags#Isla Vista shooting#Social good#social networks#twitter#UCSB#University of California at Santa Barbara#women#women in tech#women in technology center_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The hashtag is still a trending topic on Twitter, and has sparked a public conversation that, before Twitter, may have been impossible. (While the #YesAllWomen hashtag is also prominent on Facebook, the design of that social network makes it harder for these conversations to surface there.)Through 140 characters and a public platform, a handful of people can turn a violent tragedy into a national conversation. The Isla Vista shooting prompted the hashtag, but it quickly turned a dialogue about gender discrimination and rape culture.  The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more


Drug Seizure in Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park

first_img Grand Bahama man pleads guilty in Exuma marijuana bust; four others charged in court Million dollar marijuana drug bust in Exuma Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppCoral Harbour, 5th April 2015 (RBDF) – Several bags of suspected marijuana was seized by Royal Bahamas Defence Force Marines and the Park Warden stationed at the Exuma Cays Land and Sea (ECLAS) Park in the Exuma chain of islands on Sunday morning.Shortly after 10:00 a.m., while conducting a routine patrol of the ECLAS Park, the Defence Force Marines and the Park Warden found what appeared to be suspicious bags on a nearby cay. A closer examination revealed that the bags contained a significant amount of what was believed to be marijuana.The suspected contraband was transported back to Coral Harbour Base where it was turned over to Police authority. Related Items:ECLAS park, marijuana, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, seized Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bahamas Police arrest two for armed robbery, 40lbs of ‘ganga’last_img read more


Flower power for independence day

first_imgAsiatic lilies, green daisies, the bark of paradise and wax flower – the names conjure up several images to flower power but you couldn’t imagine they could be related in any way to the Indian Independence. At the Taj Mansingh in Delhi, these flowers are nestled and woven together into a three tier ensemble to celebrate the Indian Independence.Could a luxury hotel influence how a guest feels about a particular property or brand through the use of flowers? Floral strategy is a deliberate marketing ploy that in today’s competitive environment allows some hotels to shine. In fact, step into a lobby and you know that it is defined by its flower power when it comes to upending scale and a touch of class. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAll over the world most frequent travelers, pay such close attention to hotels floral and decorative displays that, they can gauge the kind of experience they are going to have based on that single floral display in the lobby. At Taj, they do not have much space-because you are walking into a lobby that has many facets and beyond the doors, it’s a busy aisle that buzzes through the day. But I never fail to take out a few minutes to stand at gaze at the ensemble that greets my eyes. A little closer scrutiny reveals that all they have are a set of nesting tables/stools. The tiers are what add to the exclusivity of the décor and the melding of teak and flowers is an age old classic that hums of Oriental Arcadia. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveEveryone loves flowers.The hospitality industry is one of the biggest customers of flower buying in the country. In fact, the demands have spawned many farms and horticulture avenues all over the country. Decorations have moved beyond the stilted bookish ikebana styles-now when you think of decoration there is a blending of exotic displays and multiple islands instead of the less is more look. Two hotels that stand out for flower power in Delhi are Imperial Hotel and Taj Mansingh. Senior Vice President and General Manager Vijay Wanchoo with an epicurean eye can be seen running his critical eye over the flowers in the lobby. In the torrid heat of the summer this year, they had a sensational array of carnations that were dipped in long cylindrical vases – it set off an air of austere Zen echoes even as it radiated the warmth of the vermillion velvet intensity.At the Imperial Hotel and Taj Mansingh fresh flowers form the gospel of all arrangements carried out in accents as well as central or peripheral displays. Flowers add not just a degree of rejuvenated colour palettes and grace but even touch human moods albeit for a fraction of a second. Studies have proved there is a link between mood elevation and flowers. A detailed study at Rutgers University showed that every participant that received flowers smiled in some way instantaneously upon being presented with a bouquet. Perhaps the success lies in the magic of the merging of green stalks, lush leaves and petalled hues that come to life.last_img read more