By Dialogo July 29, 2009 Mexico City, 27 July (EFE).- U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, speaking today in the Mexican capital, affirmed that preventing and treating addictions, particularly with regard to the use of narcotics, “is fundamental” for reducing violence caused by drug trafficking in Latin America. “When we put more emphasis on prevention and treatment, we’re not only helping our own country (the U.S.); we’re also helping to reduce violence” in the region, said the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, who is on a four-day visit to Mexico. “If we cut down on the use of drugs, we will also be able to cut down on violence and crime in Mexico and in Latin America,” Kerlikowske said while touring a treatment center for addicted minors, where he was accompanied by Mexico’s first lady, Margarita Zavala, and the Mexican Secretary of Health, José Ángel Córdova. The official affirmed that U.S. policy in the fight against drugs seeks to understand, appreciate, and support work done in other countries. He commented that 20 million individuals over twelve years of age used drugs in the last month in the United States, and around 23 million Americans need treatment. “Only ten percent of these people end up in treatment, in part because it’s not available, and because people think they don’t need it,” he added. Mexico’s first lady, Margarita Zavala, agreed that the fight against drugs is fundamental because “drug use generates violence, destroys families, and destroys society.” During the event Iris Vianney Velázquez Martínez, a young patient at the New Life Center, affirmed that she is addicted to alcohol and that with the treatment she has received, she has learned how to make decisions and how to avoid hurting those she loves the most. In the country there are 320 centers like New Life which also provide outpatient services for early detection and prompt treatment of addictions.
“The fact that there was significant demand for this offer shows clear support for our recovery plan and confidence in the fundamentals of this business,” Chief Executive Alan Joyce said.Qantas also plans to raise up to another A$500 million through a share purchase plan.Qantas shares, which were suspended on Thursday for the fully underwritten placement, fell as much as 9.5 percent to A$3.79, the lowest level since May 25, when they resumed trading on Friday. By midmorning they were trading at A$3.83.Jefferies’ analysts said the capital raising and cost restructure would leave the carrier well-positioned for when the pandemic subsides.“The ability to reduce debt is also a positive,” Anthony Moulder and Amit Kanwatia wrote in a note.Morgan Stanley analysts said the plan would “provide an added buffer against any demand volatility through the recovery phase” in the short to medium term.Citi cautioned, however, that the longer-term outlook remained “considerably uncertain and extremely difficult to forecast” and that Qantas’ recovery would likely be volatile.Topics : Qantas Airways Ltd successfully completed a discounted A$1.36 billion (US$940 million) share placement to institutional investors on Friday, before its shares dropped to a one-month low as they resumed trading.The institutional placement was part of a sweeping three-year cost-savings plan announced by Qantas on Thursday to cope with the coronavirus crisis, which includes axing at least 20 percent of its workforce and putting more planes into storage.Australia’s biggest airline reported strong demand for the placement of 372.7 million new shares at a price of A$3.65 each, a near 13 percent discount to the stock’s close on Wednesday.