U.S. Says that Fighting Drug Use Reduces Violence in Latin America


first_imgBy 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.last_img read more

Paraguay’s Joint Task Force on Alert Against the EPP


first_imgThe EPP has continued to commit kidnappings for ransom. Paraguay’s Joint Task Force (FTC), a team consisting of Military and police personnel, is in a state of high alert in its fight against the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), a terrorist group responsible for kidnappings for ransom and killings. “The knowledge we have gained about their behavior, their management methods, their food supply, the type of equipment, and other data provides a lot of material for analysts to design more effective strategies to locate them,” Urdapilleta said. The Military and police are continuing to work hard to secure the release of Police Master Sergeant Edelio Morínigo, who was kidnapped by the EPP on July 5, 2014. The EPP has not demanded a ransom, but instead proposed a trade, offering to free Morínigo in exchange for the release of 46 EPP members who had been sentenced to prison. In addition to battling the EPP, the FTC is also confronting an offshoot of the terrorist group, an organization which calls itself the Armed Peasant Association (ACA). This group, which arose in 2014, operates in the northern region of the country. The FTC is confronting a terrorist group that is comprised of family-based gangs, such as the Bernal Maíz, Larrea and Villalba organized crime groups, according to Urdapilleta. The FTC has compiled intelligence about the ACA that will help it fight the terrorist group. “The knowledge we have gained about their behavior, their management methods, their food supply, the type of equipment, and other data provides a lot of material for analysts to design more effective strategies to locate them,” Urdapilleta said. On January 6, FTC Troops and police were on patrol in the district of Horqueta, in the Department of Concepción, when they tried to capture ACA leader Albino Ramón Jara Larrea. He resisted arrest, and the FTC killed him, as well as another ACA leader, Rosalba Moraez. The two ACA members were carrying cash in local currency worth the equivalent of about $12,000. Kidnappings for ransom Paraguay’s Joint Task Force (FTC), a team consisting of Military and police personnel, is in a state of high alert in its fight against the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP), a terrorist group responsible for kidnappings for ransom and killings. “The fight is constant and the work does not cease. There are things we do not make public due to the security of the operations,” said Lieutenant Colonel Víctor Urdapilleta, an FTC spokesman. “This does not mean we are not working on it.” The FTC is confronting a terrorist group that is comprised of family-based gangs, such as the Bernal Maíz, Larrea and Villalba organized crime groups, according to Urdapilleta. In addition to battling the EPP, the FTC is also confronting an offshoot of the terrorist group, an organization which calls itself the Armed Peasant Association (ACA). This group, which arose in 2014, operates in the northern region of the country. By 2008, the outlaw group had changed its name to the Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, or Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP). The EPP has continued to commit kidnappings for ransom. “We cannot take credit for the release of Arlan Fick, but we can say that, thanks to actions that we undertook and other extreme actions we refrained from taking, he was released,” according to Urdapilleta. Security forces have also made great advances in fighting the EPP, according to Colonel Jorge Mieres, director of the Army’s Social Communications Division (DICOSO). In recent years, the Prosecutor’s Office has obtained convictions against 46 individuals who confessed to being members of the EPP. By Dialogo January 29, 2015 The terrorist group continued to use kidnapping for ransom. In September 2004, the outlaw group kidnapped Cecilia Cubas, daughter of former Paraguayan President Raúl Cubas Grau and current Senator Mirta Gusinky. Law enforcement authorities eventually found Cubas’ body in a grave outside Asunción, despite the payment of a $350,000 ransom. The kidnappers justified the killing by claiming that the payment was not a ransom, but a “fine against Cubas’ parents.” By 2008, the outlaw group had changed its name to the Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo, or Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP). Paraguayan security forces have been battling the EPP since 2001, when the organization was the armed wing of the Marxist and anti-imperialist political party Patria Libre (Free Homeland). The first of six kidnappings committed by the illegal group took place against María Edith Bordón de Debenardi, the wife of a prominent businessman in November 2001 for whom they demanded a ransom of $1 million for her release. The ransom was paid, and the terrorist group released her after two months in captivity. “The fight is constant and the work does not cease. There are things we do not make public due to the security of the operations,” said Lieutenant Colonel Víctor Urdapilleta, an FTC spokesman. “This does not mean we are not working on it.” On January 6, FTC Troops and police were on patrol in the district of Horqueta, in the Department of Concepción, when they tried to capture ACA leader Albino Ramón Jara Larrea. He resisted arrest, and the FTC killed him, as well as another ACA leader, Rosalba Moraez. The two ACA members were carrying cash in local currency worth the equivalent of about $12,000. Paraguayan security forces have been battling the EPP since 2001, when the organization was the armed wing of the Marxist and anti-imperialist political party Patria Libre (Free Homeland). The first of six kidnappings committed by the illegal group took place against María Edith Bordón de Debenardi, the wife of a prominent businessman in November 2001 for whom they demanded a ransom of $1 million for her release. The ransom was paid, and the terrorist group released her after two months in captivity. “We cannot take credit for the release of Arlan Fick, but we can say that, thanks to actions that we undertook and other extreme actions we refrained from taking, he was released,” according to Urdapilleta. The FTC confronts the ACA The FTC has compiled intelligence about the ACA that will help it fight the terrorist group. That year, the EPP kidnapped rancher Luis Lindstron, who remained in captivity from June 21 until September 12, when his family paid a ransom. But in 2013, Lindstron was killed, allegedly by the EPP. Law enforcement authorities suspected the EPP killed Lindstron because he was not willing to pay a “toll” to the terrorist group. The government rejected the idea. “The government will not negotiate with terrorists,” Minister of Interior Francisco De Vargas said on December 25 in a telephone conversation with Telefuturo (Channel 4). The terrorist group continued to use kidnapping for ransom. In September 2004, the outlaw group kidnapped Cecilia Cubas, daughter of former Paraguayan President Raúl Cubas Grau and current Senator Mirta Gusinky. Law enforcement authorities eventually found Cubas’ body in a grave outside Asunción, despite the payment of a $350,000 ransom. The kidnappers justified the killing by claiming that the payment was not a ransom, but a “fine against Cubas’ parents.” That year, the EPP kidnapped rancher Luis Lindstron, who remained in captivity from June 21 until September 12, when his family paid a ransom. But in 2013, Lindstron was killed, allegedly by the EPP. Law enforcement authorities suspected the EPP killed Lindstron because he was not willing to pay a “toll” to the terrorist group. Kidnappings for ransom The Military and police are continuing to work hard to secure the release of Police Master Sergeant Edelio Morínigo, who was kidnapped by the EPP on July 5, 2014. The EPP has not demanded a ransom, but instead proposed a trade, offering to free Morínigo in exchange for the release of 46 EPP members who had been sentenced to prison. The FTC confronts the ACA On April 2, 2014, the EPP kidnapped Arlan Fick, 16. His father, Alcido Fick, paid $500,000 for his release. The terrorist group held Fick for 267 days before releasing him on Christmas Day. While the FTC did not rescue him, it helped make sure he was released safely. Security forces have also made great advances in fighting the EPP, according to Colonel Jorge Mieres, director of the Army’s Social Communications Division (DICOSO). In recent years, the Prosecutor’s Office has obtained convictions against 46 individuals who confessed to being members of the EPP. On April 2, 2014, the EPP kidnapped Arlan Fick, 16. His father, Alcido Fick, paid $500,000 for his release. The terrorist group held Fick for 267 days before releasing him on Christmas Day. While the FTC did not rescue him, it helped make sure he was released safely. The government rejected the idea. “The government will not negotiate with terrorists,” Minister of Interior Francisco De Vargas said on December 25 in a telephone conversation with Telefuturo (Channel 4).last_img read more

Batesville Enrollment Numbers Close To Last Year


first_imgBATESVILLE – There is a slight decrease in the number of students attending class at Batesville Community Schools so far this year.Early this school year, there are approximately 2,150 students, less than a percentage point down from last year.Batesville Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts told school board members Monday that numbers can fluctuate as the school year progresses.The following breakdown lists student numbers at respective schools:Batesville Primary School (grades K-2) – 455 studentsBatesville Intermediate School (grades 3-5) – 462 studentsBatesville Middle School (grades 6-8) – 484 studentsBatesville High School (grades 9-12) – 749 studentslast_img read more