Law in Colombia Prevents Demilitarizing Areas in Order to Negotiate with Irregular Fighters

first_imgBy Dialogo December 27, 2010 On 21 December, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos signed a law, approved by the Congress, that prevents the government from demilitarizing areas of the country in order to negotiate with irregular armed groups, the minister of the interior and justice, Germán Vargas, announced. “With the enactment of Law 1421, which extends the Public Order Act, clearance areas or areas of reduced tension are prohibited and no longer a possibility anywhere in the national territory,” Vargas told reporters. Nevertheless, the minister explained that the law does not close the door to the possibility of the government initiating peace talks at any time with groups acting outside the law and of a political nature. Making use of a provision of this law – prior to the reformed version signed by Santos -, conservative former president Andrés Pastrana (1998-2002) ordered the demilitarization of a vast area of the department of Caquetá (in southern Colombia) in order to engage in a peace process with the FARC, a Marxist guerrilla group. The failed talks with the government were held in this area, which was demilitarized between October 1998 and February 2002 and remained under the control of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during this period. The FARC is the chief leftist guerrilla group in the country, having fought against the Colombian state for forty-six years, and currently has between 7,000 and 11,000 fighters, according to official and NGO estimates, respectively. The same legal provision was used by right-wing former president Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) to establish a ‘special area’ in the department of Córdoba (in northern Colombia) and carry out the process of demobilizing around 32,000 members of the United Self-Defense Units of Colombia (AUC, an extreme right-wing armed group). Minister Vargas specified that with the enactment of the reformed law, now, “in the event of possible future peace talks, clearance areas or areas of reduced tension are prohibited and no longer a possibility anywhere in the national territory.” The law also revives the presidential power of issuing individual and collective pardons to members of illegal armed groups who wish to leave those organizations, but establishes that pardons cannot be granted to those who have committed crimes against humanity, Vargas indicated.last_img read more

Salvadoran Left Apologizes As It Commemorates End of Civil War

first_imgBy Dialogo January 18, 2011 As it commemorated the nineteenth anniversary of the end of the civil war, the governing former guerrilla group, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), asked “forgiveness” for the deaths, injuries, and material damage caused by its actions. “We repeat our request to the Salvadoran people for forgiveness for all the actions we took during the armed conflict (1980-1992) that caused human injuries and material damage (…),” the country’s vice president, once a member of the FMLN’s former general command, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, exclaimed during the memorial ceremony’s central speech. The ceremony commemorating the end of the war was held at the foot of the Christ of Peace monument, in the southeastern sector of the capital, with the participation of slightly more than two hundred active members of the group, which came to power with President Mauricio Funes in June 2009. On 16 January 1992, with United Nations (UN) mediation, then-president Alfredo Cristiani and the FMLN’s commanders signed the set of agreements that ended the armed conflict, which left more than 75,000 dead, 7,000 missing, and more than 1.579 billion dollars in economic losses. After the peace agreements were signed, the army submitted to civilian control, the judicial system was reformed, new institutions to safeguard democracy were created, and the FMLN destroyed its weapons and transformed itself into a political party. “Over the course of these nineteen years, we’ve demonstrated our democratic vocation,” the Salvadoran vice president emphasized. Sánchez Cerén highlighted the evolution of the main actors in the armed conflict: “The Armed Forces are now guarantors of the defense of our national sovereignty and are obedient to the Constitution of the Republic.”last_img read more

Global Terrorism Index Says Latin America is Mostly Safe from Terrorists

first_imgBy Dialogo February 18, 2013 The latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI), produced by Australia’s Institute for Economics & Peace, offers good news for Latin America. The report says that apart from Colombia, Latin America is among the world’s regions least likely to suffer a terrorist attack. The latest edition of the index, published Dec. 4, ranks 158 countries based on their exposure to incidents of international terrorism. In all of South America, it said, only Colombia was a significant target of terrorist attacks. Brazil, with nearly 200 million inhabitants, had none at all listed. No Latin American country made it to the top 10 list, and aside from Colombia — which ranked 13th in the number of terrorist attacks — no country in the region was among GTI’s top 30. “Surprisingly, low-income countries are less affected by terrorism than lower middle-income countries, indicating that poverty is not necessarily a main cause of terrorism,” said a GTI press release. “Private citizens and property are the most common targets of terrorism while the military is targeted in only 4 percent of attacks. The United States, Algeria and Colombia had the biggest improvements over the last 10 years.” The GTI report confirmed the assessment of the U.S. State Department Country Reports on Terrorism in 2011. That study, released last year, recorded a rise in terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a communist rebel group. But Colombia was the only nation in South America reporting a significant increase in the number of attacks and casualties; throughout the rest of the continent, both figures remained negligible. Uruguay at lowest risk of terrorist activity At the other end of the spectrum was Uruguay, which ranked 156th out of 158 in terror risk, with a zero rating on the GTI list. Other countries with a zero rating included Brazil, Nicaragua, Cuba, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Even Mexico — where war between the federal government and powerful drug cartels in northern Mexico near the U.S. border continues to claim thousands of lives every year — was virtually free of terror attacks that were not drug-related, said the report. In fact, Mexico enjoyed the same overall regional assessment as the United States, making North America the world region safest from the threat of terrorism. Some analysts cautioned that Latin America cannot continue to take its virtual freedom from terrorist attacks for granted. They caution that Iran as well as Islamist extremist groups such as Hezbollah have been seeking to increase their influence in the region. Venezuela accused of aiding Hezbollah cells In October 2011, former U.S. diplomat Roger Noriega and political consultant José R. Cárdenas published a paper entitled “The Mounting Hezbollah Threat in Latin America.” The paper, disseminated through the American Enterprise Institute — a Washington-based conservative think tank — warns that President Hugo Chávez is turning Venezuela into a “safe haven” for Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group in the Western Hemisphere. However, in an August 2012 article published in the Christian Science Monitor, analyst Geoffrey Ramsey of InSight Crime argued that many of the concerns expressed by critics like Noriega and Cárdenas are exaggerated or even completely unjustified. The GTI is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Its backers claim it is the most comprehensive database on terrorist activity anywhere, with over 104,000 cases of terrorist attacks codified. The Global Terrorism Index — which strictly focuses on acts of terror rather than violence associated with drug cartels and organized crime syndicates — ranks countries based on the following four indicators weighted over five years: Number of terrorist incidents committed within a country, number of terrorist-related fatalities, number of injuries from terrorism and estimated cost of property damages caused by all acts of terrorism. The fight against terrorism and all forms of extremism requires the combined unity of the global community, military actions, top level military intelligence, fighting against poverty, protecting the environment, education, work, studies, sports, culture for youth, fighting against corruption, preventing and combating drug trafficking in all its forms and manifestations, rejecting every kind of discrimination: racial, social, political, religious, ISIS and others are enemies of humanity, fighting ISIS and its allies also happens by uniting political and diplomatic efforts at every level, oklast_img read more

LV PREPLAN Santo Domingo 2015 on Target for CONJEFAMER in Mexico

first_imgSICOFAA conferences are instrumental in laying the groundwork for developing frameworks which help Air Forces from the Americas provide humanitarian assistance to their civilian populations. For example, since January 1, the Colombian Air Force (CAF) has played an important role in fighting forest fires throughout the country. By February, fires had occurred in almost 80 percent of Colombia and destroyed thousands of hectares, mostly virgin vegetation and natural forests. Air Forces are continually training to help the civilian population. For example, in November, the Dominican Air Force participated in an exercise in which it mobilized a rapid response to the simulated spread of the deadly Ebola virus (which in reality has not appeared in the country). In the drill, an infected individual entered the country at the Las Americas International Airport near Santa Domingo. The Air Force responded quickly to protect the civilian population and provide appropriate medical care to the patient, all in coordination with two civilian agencies — the Specialized Airport and Civil Aviation Security Corps (CESAC) and the Civil Defense, Immigration and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AMET). Developing an agenda In January, the Air Force sent helicopters from the Fifth Air Combat Command to fight two major conflagrations in the department of Boyacá. The Army, National Police, Civil Defense, and other agencies also cooperated in battling the Boyacá fires, using the National Disaster Prevention and Response System. Major General Benjamín Romero Fuentes, an aviator and a graduate of the Mexican Air Force Academy, chaired the LV PREPLAN 2015 meeting. The opening ceremony was held in the Hall of the Hotel Santo Domingo Barceló Bávaro, Punta Cana, where Major General Elvis Marcelino Féliz Pérez, a pilot and Chief of Staff of the Dominican Republic Air Force and his staff, welcomed international and local delegates. “It’s a great privilege for us to extend the warmest greetings of welcome to the distinguished delegates of the sister SICOFAA Air Force members, gathered at the opening of this LV PREPLAN meeting,” Maj. Gen. Féliz Pérez said. Representatives from the Air Forces of 17 countries of the Americas — from Canada in the north to Chile and Argentina in the south — met under LV PREPLAN Santo Domingo 2015 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from May 18-22 to discuss the agenda for the annual Conference of the American Air Chiefs (CONJEFAMER), which will take place in Mexico from June 22-27. The purpose of the meeting was to finalize the agendas, activities and tasks to be developed in the framework of LIV CONJEFAMER 2015, taking into account the guidelines established in the American Air Forces Cooperation System Manual Procedures. “The various recommendations that resulted from the SICOFAA Permanent Secretariat activities were analyzed and evaluated during the LV PREPLAN meeting in order to reach conclusions, which in turn defined the recommendations and agenda for CONJEFAMER,” Maj. Gen. Féliz Pérez said. “These cooperation agreements are positive because they allow the possibility of updating the knowledge required by the Air Forces in defending the sovereignty of their nations,” said Daniel Pou, an analyst and research associate at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in the Dominican Republic. Officials from the Air Forces of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and Dominican Republic participated in the meeting. Every year, PREPLAN precedes CONJEFAMER, the meeting of Air Force chiefs who are members of the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces, or SICOFAA. “Today all countries are on the look-out for any disaster. Among the topics covered [during LV PREPLAN 2015] was that of search and rescue, and disaster relief assistance,” Maj. Gen. Féliz Pérez said. Gatherings such as CONJEFAMER and SICOFAA not only provide good training opportunities, they also promote cooperation and unity among the Air Forces of the Americas. Participants at the SICOFAA meeting discussed a wide array of topics, such as “Air operations airspace control, search and rescue, disaster assistance, prevention of air accidents, among others.” SICOFAA is an apolitical voluntary international organization comprised of officials from the Air Forces of North and South America. It began in 1961 as a forum for senior leaders from Air Forces in the Western Hemisphere to discuss Military issues and aviation topics; it’s based out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona in the United States, and holds a yearly meeting. The last time the Dominican Republic hosted the PREPLAN meeting was in 2011. Air forces are united and allied By Dialogo June 18, 2015last_img read more

Adm. Tidd Assumes Command of SOUTHCOM at Celebration of Gen. Kelly, Accomplishments and Partnerships

first_imgBy Dialogo January 15, 2016 “As Gen. Kelly’s determined efforts with our partners made clear, these groups should find no shelter in this hemisphere. I know Adm. Tidd shares this steadfast commitment. He will carry it forward with characteristic excellence and resolve.” “The men and women of SOUTHCOM work with partner nations to promote the rule of law, democratic principles, and help to strengthen professional, accountable militaries that respect human rights. [They] perform with excellence and continue to provide the people of the United States and our neighbors a chance to live in peace, to live their dreams, to live full lives,” said Secretary of Defense Carter. “Their accomplishments have come under the exceptional leadership of my friend, Gen. John Kelly over the last three years,” he added before highlighting Gen. Kelly’s distinguished 45-year career of “dedicated, principled, honored, and skilled service as a U.S. Marine.” The departing Commander highlighted specific successes nations such as Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, and all of Central America are making toward cementing security in the region and countering the threat of transnational organized crime, terrorism, and drugs. Likewise, he emphasized the efforts of Colombia and highlighted the importance of the successful special relationship between the U.S. and Colombia in building joint bridges of peace. “Colombia, in particular, holds special promise thanks to the sacrifices of the Colombian people. [The country] now stands on the brink of an historic peace,” he said. “And as they did during their most difficult times, the people of SOUTHCOM will continue to stand with our Colombian friends as they reach for days of even greater prosperity.” Marking the Change of Command at SOUTHCOM between two distinguished officers, between two proven statesmen, two coalition builders, is also a celebration of a remarkable continuity, said the Secretary of Defense. “Both Gen. Kelly and Adm. Tidd are a perfect fit for SOUTHCOM, a Command where our partners matter so much and our partnerships run so deep,” continued Secretary Carter. Before introducing his friend Gen. Kelly, Gen. Dunford also dedicated a part of his speech to recognizing the work SOUTHCOM carries out in the Americas, specifically mentioning the staff, the component commands, the different multi-national exercises, and the partners. “The constant theme in all that the Southern Command does is partnership – it’s SOUTHCOM’s engagement throughout humanitarian and civil assistance programs, defense institution building, and human rights initiatives that help partner nations strengthen governance and development, professionalize their Military and security forces, and increase their current ability to respond to crises.” To introduce Adm. Tidd, Secretary Carter highlighted his career accomplishments. “[He] may have one of the most distinguished pedigrees of the U.S. Navy [ alluding to his father and brother, retired Vice Admiral Emmet H. Tidd and Rear Admiral Mark L. Tidd, respectively], but I have seen first-hand that he is never afraid to roll up his sleeves and get grease under his nails. From his earlier service in the Gulf to his leadership in Naval combat operations, [Adm. Tidd] also understands the language of coalition operations and clearly appreciates the conversation between countries, cultures, and peoples that SOUTHCOM has cultivated for much of the last century. These insights will remain vital as we work with Latin American and Caribbean partners in this critical juncture in our hemisphere’s history, a moment filled with opportunity.” “He is the gold standard of integrity, humility, and heart—one of the finest officers I know. It’s an honor, and a privilege to follow in his wake,” he hailed. “And, while he leaves enormous shoes to fill, who wouldn’t be excited by the opportunities afforded by his infectious enthusiasm and determined leadership? Thank you, General Kelly, for all you have done for our nation, and for this vitally important region.” “My time here is over. I can’t tell you what a privilege it has been to have commanded this organization, the honor it is to have commanded the civilian and Military personnel here at the base, the honor it’s been to make friends in the region. Thank so very much.” Extremely important training between the U.S.A. and countries from the Southern cone due to their being a strategic area with regard to security in controlling trafficking and acts of international terrorism. God bless America!!! Very good!! In particular, I did not know that we had this military agreement.I feel more secure with regard to the stability of democracy in South America, something which causes me great worry given what has been happening with the presence of antidemocratic forces in the last few years. And the U.S., yet again, frees the peoples of all the Americas. May God bless everyone!!! Thank you very much. Another good lesson about patriotism, discipline, and relevance for the Armed Force, after having read something about that comment somewhere…Assistant Official in the Brazilian Navy reserves, Maritime and Banking retired. Marine (Commander of the First Naval District – M.B.). CPRJ I am a military fireman from Rio de Janeiro. I gave honorable service to this corporation for 32 years, having retired 19 years ago. I am also a military parachutist from 1964. I don’t consider myself to be “one for the coup.” I do not accept being talked to like that! I want to congratulate you for the beautiful work you have done so that our National Pavilion will always be yellow, green, blue, and white – never red with the blood of our “precious little Brazilians.” May God bless and keep you and your commanders! Amen!! Without words…! This post said everything I would like to know, and hearing that there are still people out there who are human beings, humans who are concerned about the planet and other human beings, who fight bravely for a world of peace. Congratulations, Military! Welcome! May God bless them… It’s so great that the U.S. exists, ensuring peace and the survival of the west, acting in favor of freedom for the peoples of the Americas, and against the culture of slavery found in socialism and communism. Very good article, but wouldn’t it be better to translate Marines’ ranks as they are called in the U.S.A. (generals instead of admirals)? Welcome Admiral Tidd. I wish you much success in your position, Admiral. I wish many blessings for you and your family with great affection from Venezuela Hector Perez and may God Bless the U.S. Congratulations, Admiral. ….I applaud these changes in military posts by this great military power, the U.S…in our continent.. Moreover, from this great member of the military, Admiral Kurt Tidd, descendant of an honorable military dynasty in his native country….Congratulations. Special congratulations to Admiral Kurt Tidd, New Commander of the Southern Command of the U.S. in the Americas. Fraternal regards! I foresee many triumphs for you in this part of the American Continent. Jorge Argüello, Licentiate in Industrial Relations. MUCH SUCCESS ADMIRAL KURT TIDD, GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES, Nicaragua should be included in events as important as these. However, more than signifying a change, “Changes of Command are actually more about continuity of Command than about change,” stated Gen. Dunford. “Tomorrow morning, just like this morning, Southern Command is going to wake up with a commitment to the mission and trust in their leadership.” Although it was an uncharacteristic gloomy day in Miami, a new dawn for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) was brought forth on January 14th, as U.S. Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd assumed command over the organization from U.S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly. Exporting security Career friends “Thank God there is no war and thank God there’s very little possibility of war between states in this region,” he said. The Secretary of Defense, additionally, was clear in defining the focus of these partnerships and the role SOUTHCOM has ahead. “Even as we remain focused on what further progress requires, we simply cannot tolerate the activities of criminal organizations that poison so many communities across the Americas, whether they traffic in narcotics, human lives, or extremist ideologies, these criminal networks are threats to us all,” he stated. In addition to thanking Gen. Kelly and welcoming Adm. Tidd, Secretary Carter was not shy in recognizing the importance of the partnerships SOUTHCOM builds toward peace and security on a daily basis. “Today, the area of SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility is a zone of peace and rising prosperity,” he highlighted. “Nations from Colombia, to Chile, to Brazil are global exporters of security.” A man of integrity, humility, and heart Finally, Gen. Kelly was particularly proud to mention the achievements of SOUTHCOM’s regional Joint Task Forces, including the Joint Interagency Task Force South, in Key West, Florida; Joint Task Force-Bravo, in Honduras; and Joint Task Force Guantanamo, in Cuba, which should make “Americans proud,” he said. As the last to address the crowd, Gen. Kelly joked that this was truly his last goodbye, as his retirement date and Adm. Tidd’s confirmation had been moved a number of times since late 2015. More so, however, he was deeply thankful for the support from his family; the “amazing set of talents” from the civilian, Military, and contractor personnel at the Command, its components, country teams, interagency partners; and the friends he made in his time as the 22nd head of the U.S. Southern Command, which include the partner nation counterparts he is now proud to call “equal friends and equal partners in the region.” In a formal ceremony attended by local leaders, the Command’s personnel, and the Military leaders of partner nations including Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, and Peru among others, SOUTHCOM dressed up in its best to bid farewell to Gen. Kelly and welcome Adm. Tidd aboard the mission of continuing the “Partnership for the Americas” and working together toward maintaining a safe, secure, and unified hemisphere. Successful Joint Task Forces For his part, Adm. Tidd was thankful to his family, and the different authorities and partner nation representatives present. “Your presence is testament to the importance of our partners across Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, and of the pivotal role played by U.S. Southern Command enabling these critical partnerships,” he said. But he specifically applauded the “magnificent work Gen. Kelly and Mrs. Kelly accomplished at SOUTHCOM over the past three years and for his beloved Corps and country over the past four decades.” Continue to build strong partnersips U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter presided over the ceremony alongside U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and both praised the work that SOUTHCOM undertakes on a daily basis, as well as the legacy Gen. Kelly leaves behind. last_img read more

Colombian Air Force Ramps Up UAV Program

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán/Diálogo June 18, 2018 The Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) brings forth a program designed to increase the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which provide real-time information to a ground-based team. FAC activated the UAV squadron as an essential component of the Hércules Task Force, a military unit created to cover the department of Nariño, in southwestern Colombia. The ceremony marking the activation of the UAV squadron and its launch facility took place May 14, 2018, at the Marco Fidel Suárez Military Aviation School of the 7th Air Combat Command in Cali, Colombia. FAC plans to implement UAV bases and squadrons throughout the country by 2030 as part of a project that includes manufacturing the aircraft. “We stepped up intelligence and reconnaissance maneuvers in the southwestern part of the country with the support of the U.S. government,” FAC Major General Rodrigo Alejandro Valencia Guevara, chief of the Aerial Operations Command, said during the ceremony. “The crews will put all their skills to the test as they work as ScanEagle and NightEagle aircraft operators and as video analysts.” Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance Colombia entered the UAV era in 2006 with the purchase of ScanEagles from U.S. firm Insitu. With training from U.S. Southern Command, FAC acquired experience and skills in handling and operating the UAV, as well as knowledge of the small aircraft’s capabilities. The ScanEagle is 1-by-3 meters and weighs 19 kilograms. “Each branch of the Armed Forces has some level of capability. The Army uses it for tactical missions; FAC at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels; the Navy for operations at sea; and the National Police at the tactical and operational levels,” FAC Major Adolfo Salamanca Guzmán, deputy director of modernization for the Department of Capabilities of the Office of Special Operations, told Diálogo. UAVs proved their efficacy on anti-terrorist, anti-narcotics, and anti-insurgency missions in sensitive areas of Colombia’s interior and along the border. The aircraft can even be used to fight forest fires and prevent natural disasters. “Having this tool allows us to be more effective in each operation. Having sufficient range and instant information allows for rapid decision-making,” FAC Colonel John Jairo López Oviedo, head of the UAV Department, told Diálogo. Great autonomy and lower costs Two hundred specialists organized into teams of five run the operations, each with a mission commander, an operator, an image analyst, and two technicians. “Missions using UAV offer a great deal of autonomy. For tactical, operational, and strategic purposes we have models that can perform well in each theater of operation. We can fly for 25 to 30 hours straight; no manned aircraft could give us that kind of range,” Col. López said. Their advantage lies in efficiency, coverage, safety, and cost. They can fly day or night at altitudes of 6,000 m. “They can’t be spotted, which makes intelligence work easier. With this tool, we don’t have to put personnel in the air, which always involves some sort of risk. We estimate the cost to be 40 percent less than what would be spent on an operation with manned aircraft,” Col. López added. “We improved our techniques and procedures, and we are the first military in the world to fly UAV out of international airports,” Col. López told Diálogo. “This means sharing airspace with manned commercial aircraft controlled by the civil aviation authority, made possible through the development of a strong operational safety component. The use of this type of aircraft in our Air Force is a significant experience for aviation. This tool represents the future of world aviation.” Quimbaya, Atlante, and Coelo FAC’s fleet of UAV comprises the ScanEagle and Hermes 450 and 900. These aircraft carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, as well as advanced air control, emergency and natural disaster monitoring, and protection of critical national infrastructure. The capabilities the fleet acquired led FAC to develop its own models through the Ministry of Defense and in partnership with the Colombian Aerospace Industry Corporation (CIAC, in Spanish), which move the Quimbaya, Atlante, and Coleo projects forward. “The design and development phase of the Quimbaya project is complete, and the prototype is ready. We will run tests in July [2018] and begin manufacturing the aircraft in 2019,” Retired FAC General Flavio Enrique Ulloa Echeverry, director of CIAC, told Diálogo. “It will be a tactical UAV for the Air Force and the National Police used mostly for surveillance of the country’s critical infrastructure.” Atlante II is a fiberglass aircraft weighing 750 kg with a flight ceiling of nearly 7,000 m and a flight range of 200 kilometers. FAC and the Spanish Army plan to use it to reinforce their surveillance capabilities in the next 20 years. Lastly, the Coelo project will serve the Colombian Army, Marines, and Jungle commando units of the National Police. “It is a light UAV weighing approximately 6 kg, so troops can carry it as part of their equipment and launch it by hand. It monitors a 10- to 15-km area during an operation,” Gen. Ulloa said.last_img read more

Brazilian War College Receives US Award

first_imgBy Nastasia Barceló/Diálogo November 07, 2018 The Brazilian War College (ESG, in Portuguese) received the 2018 William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education from the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Each year, the center honors people or institutions that made substantial contributions to the fields of security and defense. The award committee selects people and institutions with the highest standards of academic excellence that have showed an enduring commitment to educational programs on current and future security and defense challenges. Political, diplomatic, and military leaders of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru, among others, attended the award ceremony on September 20, 2018. Representatives from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. universities also attended the ceremony. Brazilian Army General Décio Luis Schons, commandant of ESG, received the award from U.S. Army General Frederick S. Rudesheim, commandant of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. “We hope to continue our bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the United States in the coming years,” said Gen. Schons, highlighting the values, such as respect for democracy and the rule of law, both countries share. “My administration focused on increasing the institution’s international projection, so we hired 15 new Brazilian and foreign teachers, all with a doctorate, 13 for the campus at Rio de Janeiro and two for the one in Brasília. Investing in education and training for defense is currently essential for Brazil and the region,” Gen. Schons said. The award, the officer said, is an incentive to continue to strengthen the policies adopted in recent years. “The school’s territorial expansion should continue to be one of the guidelines for our work. For example, in 2011, ESG expanded into Brasília. ESG continues to be the most important venue to define international relations strategies for Brazil,” Gen. Schons said. William J. Perry Award The award was named after former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who proposed the creation of a center for hemispheric defense studies in the mid-1990s, after the two first conferences of Defense Ministers of the Americas. The center was founded in 1997 as a regional academic venue, where countries could strengthen leadership in defense and security. It was renamed after Secretary Perry in April 2013. Nueva Granada Military School of Bogotá, Colombia, received the award in 2017. The Guatemalan Security Council’s Technical Secretariat and Center for Defense Policy Studies, Mexico’s Superior Naval Studies Center, El Salvador’s Strategic Higher Studies College, and Chile’s Political and Strategic Studies Academy were also recognized with the award in past years under the center’s institutional category. War College and international relations ESG has been promoting international relations at the government and academic levels through regional and international coordination of armed forces, research bodies, and think tanks throughout its 69 years. About 8,000 defense specialists have trained at ESG since its inception. The Joint Operations Doctrine Institute (IDOC, in Portuguese) in Rio de Janeiro works with ESG to standardize the doctrinal teaching of higher education institutions of the Brazilian Navy, Army, and Air Force. IDOC and ESG organize events, such as the Joint Operations Doctrine Seminar between Brazil and Paraguay, and the South American Regional Seminar Countering Transnational Threat Networks, promoted jointly with Colombia. According to Brazilian Army Brigadier General Ramos de Andrade, who took part in the award ceremony, both institutions work in synergy with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations to carry out joint projects in the future. “These activities enable us to evaluate and coordinate military diplomacy actions, and politically and strategically plan international security and national defense.”last_img read more

Chilean Army: Committed to Capacity Building, Interoperability

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook July 22, 2019 Since assuming command in March 2018, Army General Ricardo Martínez Menanteau, commander of the Chilean Army, has focused on an institutional challenge: to continue professionalizing his personnel to confront future challenges. Transforming the curriculum of officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and continuous capacity building are his priorities. Diálogo spoke to Gen. Martínez to learn about his goals, the institution’s interoperability, and participation in regional training events, among other topics.Diálogo: What is your most important challenge as chief of the Chilean Army?Army General Ricardo Martínez Menanteau, commander of the Chilean Army: Leading an institution of more than 40,000 men and women who joined the Army to serve their country as their professional vocation. The most relevant capability of the Chilean Army is not its weapons or operations systems, it’s the quality of its human resources. The capability officers, NCOs, and soldiers have to meet the demands they’re entrusted with is our institution’s greatest value. Likewise, it’s important to me that Chileans respect and value the institution.Diálogo: You’re committed to institutional modernization and good practices. What developments have you made in this respect?Gen. Martínez: The Army initiated a process of transformation and modernization almost two decades ago; the structure of the land force was consolidated and we now have a professional army with an updated doctrine. The professionalization of officers and NCOs is one of my main objectives, that is why we updated the training curriculum in the main academies for officers and NCOs to train the type of officers and NCOs needed for future decades. Similarly, the Chilean Army is committed to having better control over its human and financial resources to assure the nation that our resources are used properly, thus raising the levels of integrity and transparency.Diálogo: What type of interagency work does the Chilean Army conduct by way of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (EMCO, in Spanish)?Gen. Martínez: EMCO is responsible for the joint training of the Chilean Armed Forces, and the Army cooperates with means to achieve those objectives. We’re part of the National Humanitarian Demining Commission, which coordinates demining efforts according to Chile’s agreements in the Ottawa Convention, under which the military is committed to clearing the national territory of antipersonnel mines by 2020. Additionally, we support EMCO in assisting the population and advising civil authorities in a catastrophe.Diálogo: How are you organized to confront these catastrophes?Gen. Martínez: We have more than 1,000 soldiers ready to deploy from Arica to Porvenir, for example, to respond to forest fires. We have 34 relief and military rescue patrols; 35 fundamental emergency units; command posts ready to be deployed for use by civilian and military authorities, who are responsible for responding to these emergencies; a modular field hospital; and medical posts.Diálogo: In addition to peacekeeping missions, in what other international efforts is the Army involved in?Gen. Martínez: The Army, like Chile’s other institutions in the Armed Forces, cooperates with military observers in the India-Pakistan conflict, in the Middle East or wherever Chile has commitments. In that sense, we have a standby force ready to deploy in a joint and combined way with Argentina known as Southern Cross, with land, naval, and air components in order to undertake peacekeeping missions.Diálogo: What type of combined efforts does the Chilean Army conduct with the U.S. Army, specifically with U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH)?Gen. Martínez: The United States is our main ally. Our relationship has been very solid for many years. We coordinate through EMCO, but we also work directly with ARSOUTH. We participate in Exercise Southern Star, and we have a training agreement with the U.S. 7th Special Forces Group. We also participate in PANAMAX, Fuerzas Comando, and Rim of the Pacific, among others. And this year, we will be at the Leapfest parachute competition for the first time. We also have scientific exchanges with the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command. In sum, a large part of our instruction and training budget is with the United States.Diálogo: What are the benefits of working with the United States and countries of the area to combat common threats?Gen. Martínez: The importance of these combined and joint exercises is having a common doctrine to consolidate a common language. Having different countries understand the same thing in order to conduct any activity is very relevant. Being able to conduct exercises in Chile, the United States, or in other countries of the Americas helps us update the doctrine, verify what the training is, establish parameters with equipment, and standardize procedures.Diálogo: What’s your message for regional army commanders?Gen. Martínez: The Chilean Army considers all armies of the region as comrades in arms who have the great responsibility of instructing and training our soldiers for the needs of the state and the region, and particularly of supporting citizens in case of a catastrophe.last_img read more

Foundation grants $10 million to legal aid to the poor programs

first_img January 1, 2001 Managing Editor Regular News Foundation grants $10 million to legal aid to the poor programs Foundation grants $10 million to legal aid to the poor programsMark D. Killian Managing Editor The Florida Bar Foundation awarded close to $10 million in IOTA grants December 8 to Florida legal aid providers and devoted another $1 million to “special purpose” programs to help meet the legal needs of the poor. The grants represent an almost uniform 8.3-percent across-the-board cut in Foundation funding for legal aid programs or almost $870,000 less than the Foundation was able to grant a year ago, according to William H. Davis, chair of the Foundation’s Legal Assistance for the Poor Grant Committee. Cuts in bank interest rates over the past few years have taken a toll on the IOTA program. In the past, the program has raised as much as $19 million a year to fund legal aid, administration of justice and law student assistance projects. From 1993 until 1998, annual grant allocations were kept relatively stable through the use of the IOTA contingency reserve which was established before bank interest rates began to drop and by allocating more and more of the Foundation’s income to legal assistance to the poor programs and less to the administration of justice and law student assistance projects. The Foundation was also able to offset declines in IOTA contributions by the favorable returns it received on its investments. The reserve funds, however, are now depleted, necessitating the cutback of legal assistance grants. The applications for general support grants for local programs are based upon a per capita formula, depending upon the number of poor people in a county. In 1999, the programs provided legal assistance to almost 94,000 persons. Services are provided through staff and pro bono attorneys. The cases handled are determined through local community priorities set by local boards of directors. Predominantly, the cases handled are family, housing, income maintenance and consumer matters. The Foundation’s board of directors approved the general support grants on the recommendation of its Legal Assistance to the Poor Grant Committee. Of the funds distributed, $5 million went to general legal services programs that also receive Legal Services Corporation funds; $1.2 million went to legal aid organizations that do not receive any LSC money; slightly more than $1 million was awarded to immigration service projects; $423,000 was provided for legal assistance to the institutionalized; $30,000 went to law school clinical projects; and almost $1 million was awarded to statewide legal aid programs. LSC Programs Foundation grants for general support to programs which also receive LSC funding include: Bay Area Legal Services, $607,162; Central Florida Legal Services, $458,845; Florida Rural Legal Services, $673,859; Greater Orlando Area Legal Services, $212,098; Gulf Coast Legal Services, $457,487; Jacksonville Area Legal Services, $360,527; Legal Aid Services of Broward County, $456,689; Legal Services of Greater Miami, $582,119; Legal Services of North Florida, $491,087; Northwest Florida Legal Services, $228,804; Three Rivers Legal Services, $324,466; and Withlacoochee Area Legal Services, $259,098. IOTA general funding grants awarded to organizations which do not also receive LSC funding include: Brevard County Legal Aid, $72,387; Clearwater Bar Foundation, $32,740; Community Law Program, $42,817; Cuban American Bar Association, $28,479; Dade County Bar Association, $256,062; Heart of Florida Legal Aid Society, $96,190; Lee County Legal Aid Society, $48,176; Legal Aid Foundation of the Tallahassee Bar Association, $32,151; Legal Aid Society of Collier County, $32,095; Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, $292,064; Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $238,581; Okaloosa County Legal Aid, $22,652; and the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, $54,331. Immigration Services Foundation grants to organizations which provide immigration services include: American Friends Service Committee, $111,030; Dade County Bar Association, $67,412; Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, $363,396; Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center Homeless Project, $65,190; Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center Outreach, $209,449; Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, $124,208; and Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, $77,725. Grants for legal assistance programs for the institutionalized or incapacitated went to Florida Institutional Legal Services, $217,126; the Florida Justice Institute, $149,432; and the Guardianship Program of Dade County, $54,958. IOTA grants for law school clinical projects in the amount of $5,000 each went to Florida State University, Nova Southeastern University, St. Thomas University, Stetson University, the University of Florida and the University of Miami. General support grants for statewide projects went to Florida Legal Services, $873,733, and Southern Legal Counsel, $75,342. Special Purpose Grants The Florida Bar Foundation also gave slightly more than $1 million in special purpose grants to four legal aid programs providing representation that federally funded programs can no longer offer. The money will be used to fund class actions, migrant farm worker representation, policy advocacy and cases that might generate attorneys’ fees. Federal legislation enacted a number of years ago prohibits programs that accept Legal Services Corporation funding from working in those areas. To file class actions and cases that might generate fees, the Foundation awarded the Florida Justice Institute $162,911, the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County $118,454, andSouthern Legal Counsel $134,389. The Foundation also awarded Florida Legal Services $376,713 for its Migrant Farmworker Justice Project and $304,215 for its policy advocacy. The Foundation said each of those grants are subject to the condition that any attorneys’ fees received from activities under the grant will be used to fund similar work by the grant recipients. The Foundation board also awarded one new grant, $16,506 to the Legal Aid Society of Manasota. The 2001 grant year will mark the 19th time IOTA funds have been awarded in the legal assistance for the poor category. Florida’s IOTA program, the first in the nation, has awarded more than $123 million in IOTA LAP grants over the program’s 18-year history.last_img read more

March 15, 2004 Disciplinary Actions

first_imgMarch 15, 2004 Disciplinary Actions March 15, 2004 Disciplinary Actions Disciplinary Actionscenter_img The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders suspended eight attorneys, disbarred four, accepted the resignation of three, reprimanded two, and placed one attorney on probation.The following lawyers are disciplined: Robert Michael Arcaini, P.O. Box 5435, Hialeah, suspended from practicing law in Florida for two years, effective retroactive to April 12, 2001 following a November 6, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice : 1994) Arcaini engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice and declined or terminated representation. (Case no. SC03-1814) Gilbert Carrillo, 2651 S.W. 109th Ave., Davie, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 30 days, effective 30 days following a November 6, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1976) Among several Bar violations, Carrillo committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects; engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; and engaged in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. (Case no. SC03-485) Robert Ian Claire, 1900 N.W. Corporate Blvd., Ste. 300W, Boca Raton, disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective immediately following a December 11, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1984) Among several Bar violations, Claire failed to comply with The Florida Bar Rules Regulating Trust Accounts; failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer; and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. (Case no. SC03-921) James Gaultney Etheredge, 226 Troy St. N.E., Ft. Walton Beach, resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings without leave to seek readmission, effective 30 days following a November 6, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1972) At the time of Etheredge’s resignation, he was under investigation for several pending cases, including allegedly failing to file monthly psychiatric reports and failing to pay monthly monitoring fees; failing to advise clients of the dismissal of suits or his option of rehearing or appeal; and engaging in false, misleading, and deceptive advertising. (Case no. SC03-970) Jeffrey Martin Herman, 17701 Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 200, Aventura, resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings with leave to seek readmission after five years, effective 30 days following a November 20, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1985) At the time of Herman’s resignation, he was under investigation for several pending cases concerning allegations of neglect; misuse of funds and trust accounting violations; and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. (Case no. SC03-1674) Robert Carroll Hesson, 2247 Herrington Manor Road, Oakland, Md., suspended from practicing law in Florida for 91 days, effective 30 days following a November 6, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1981) Among several Bar violations, Hesson failed to pay annual Bar membership fees and failed to comply with continuing legal education requirements; engaged in practicing law while a delinquent member; and failed to respond, in writing, to an official inquiry by Bar counsel. (Case no. SC03-687) Kristopher A. Hollands, 1613 Chelsea Road, Ste. 318, San Marino, Ca., disbarred from practicing law in Florida,effective immediately following a November 20, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1993) On April 22, 2002, Hollands was convicted of mail fraud in California, a felony. Hollands participated in criminal misconduct; committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer; engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. (Case no. SC02-2708) Cheryl Johnson Howard, P.O. Box 1231, Princeton, N.J., disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective immediately following a November 20, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1988) Howard failed to respond, in writing, to official inquiries by Bar counsel. (Case no. SC03-85) Carolyn Karettis, 3107 Stirling Road, Ft. Lauderdale, reprimanded for professional misconduct following a November 26, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1987) Karettis engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and failed to promptly notify the client or third person upon receiving trust account funds. (Case no. SC03-1946) Kathleen Ann Kearney, 1317 Winewood Blvd., Tallahassee, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 91 days, effective 30 days following a December 11, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1981) Kearney failed to provide the Bar with a change of address and failed to respond, in writing, to any official inquiry by Bar counsel or a disciplinary agency when conducting an investigation. (Case no. SC03-923) Jay M. Kolsky, 1320 N.W. 14th St., Miami, reprimanded for professional misconduct following a November 6, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1973) In representing a client, Kolsky knowingly made a false statement of material fact or law to a third person. (Case no. SC03-1775) Edward Paul Kreiling, 2668 Edgewater Drive, Weston, permanently disbarred from practicing law in Florida, effective immediately following a December 11, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1975) Among several Bar violations, Kreiling violated The Florida Bar Rules Regulating Trust Accounts; committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer; and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. (Case no. SC03-1225) Jorge Enrique Luna, Jr., P.O. Box 3663, Orlando, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 91 days, effective 30 days following a December 11, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1996) Among several Bar violations, Luna failed to provide a client with competent representation; failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; and neglected to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter. (Case no. SC02-2303) Joseph Pardo, 416 W. San Marco Drive, Miami Beach, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 90 days, effective 30 days following a December 11, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1950) Pardo failed to adequately communicate with a person represented by counsel and failed to provide competent representation to a client. (Case no. SC03-792) Donald Vaughn Phillips, 301 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 10 days, effective 30 days following a November 20, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1984) Phillips failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; failed to keep a client informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and failed to respond, in writing, to an official inquiry by Bar counsel or a disciplinary agency. (Case no. SC03-1184) Rose J. Spano, P.O. Box 50136, Lighthouse Point, placed on probation for one year, effective immediately following a December 4, 2003 court order. In addition, Spano must enter into an agreement with Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. ( Admitted to practice: 1985) Spano committed a criminal act that reflects adversely on her fitness as a lawyer. (Case nos. SC00-222 and SC01-275) Robert Eugene Tamm, 408 N. Wild Olive Ave., Daytona Beach, resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings without leave to seek readmission, following a November 13, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1976) At the time of Tamm’s resignation, he was under investigation concerning allegations that he misappropriated estate funds while in the capacity of personal representative and counsel of record. (Case no. SC03-1354) James Vance Walker, P.O Box 676, Ponte Vedra Beach, suspended from practicing law in Florida for 10 days, effective November 21, 2003 following a December 8, 2003 court order. ( Admitted to practice: 1976) Walker failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client; failed to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and for failing to promptly comply with the reasonable request for information; and failed to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation. (Case no. SC03-38) Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline.last_img read more