Interview with Alejandro Garuz, Vice Minister of Public Safety, Panama

first_img PANAMAX 2012, a military exercise designed to prepare countries of the Western Hemisphere for the protection of the Panama Canal, started on Aug. 6 with the participation of military forces from 17 partner nations. Alejandro Garuz, Vice Minister of Public Safety of Panama, spoke about that and other subjects in an interview granted to Diálogo during the VI South American Defense Conference. Diálogo: Every year, the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), works together with the militaries from almost 20 countries from Central America, South America and the Caribbean, to conduct PANAMAX. From your point of view, what is the importance of this exercise for Panama? Alejandro Garuz, Vice Minister of Public Safety of Panama: Panama received the Canal from the U.S. government on Dec. 31, 1999, and has since started the PANAMAX exercise to provide protection and security for the Panama Canal, together with several countries from the region and from Europe, by summoning the canal treaties and a treaty of neutrality. This exercise is, therefore, definitely paramount. The world economy transits through it and we must provide it with the international security that it requires. Diálogo: Panama accepted the invitation from SOUTHCOM to participate in the IV South American Defense Conference, although it is geographically a Central American country. Why? Vice Minister Garuz: Panama has always participated, because due to its geographical location, part of South America extends to our territory. We also participate in the Central American market, in other words, we maintain two positions: with South America and with Central America. Diálogo: The countries gathered here that have armed forces are confronting a huge problem, mainly with drug trafficking. How does Panama, which does not have armed forces, take on this great challenge? Vice Minister Garuz: After the invasion on Dec. 20, 1989, Panama took the courageous decision to eliminate the armed forces because for 25 years they were involved with the Colombian drug-trafficking cartels. That was when, in a referendum, the defense forces were eliminated in Panama. Now, as a public force, as the Ministry for Public Safety, we face the challenge of taking on narcoterrorism. Unfortunately, due to its geographical location, Panama is the first country in the region to get hit by three drug-producing countries in South America. In a study we conducted at the beginning of Ricardo Martinelli’s presidency, we decided to confront narcoterrorism because it was causing us too much damage. They were using our maritime space, our air space and our land to push drugs through to the northern markets. Part of those drugs evidently remained in our country and was affecting our youth. And that is when our president decided to confront narcoterrorism by earmarking millions of dollars for the purchase of radar equipment for coastline surveillance, aerial radar equipment, and aircraft, helicopters, and patrol boats, to make them available to the public forces to confront narcoterrorism. Diálogo: If a regional defense force was created, even to support in natural disasters, would Panama be willing or interested in being part of this organism? Vice Minister Garuz: Why not? It has already been proposed that we participate with entities organized for that purpose. In Panama, we are even creating a type of central intelligence agency designed to deal exclusively with narcoterrorism, in order to be able to share the information with all the countries in the region. Remember, Panama is a country where information is generated, first because it boasts of an advantageous geographical position, the Panama Canal is within its boundaries, it is the epicenter of all the transfer ports for world-wide shipments, it is a financial hub and because of the importance of the duty-free zone in Colón, which is the second largest commercial center in the world. All of it here, in our own territory. Diálogo: Is Panama participating in Operation Martillo? Vice Minister Garuz: Of course! It is participating in Operation Martillo and we are convinced that everyone, in South America as well as Central America, must join forces to combat narcoterrorism. By Dialogo August 10, 2012last_img read more

Wisconsin wins despite slower night for Tucker

first_imgBy the time the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team had finished its 29-4 run by the second half of play to bury the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, it was abundantly clear that this team isn’t the “Alando Tucker and friends” show that many have made it out to be.Instead, it was yet another incarnation of the complete-team effort Wisconsin fans have become accustomed to.On a night where the much-ballyhooed Tucker scored just five points and took only one shot, the Badgers still rolled to a 38-point victory, with almost every player on the team contributing points.Though Tucker is undoubtedly Wisconsin’s biggest offensive threat, most dynamic player and the go-to guy on any given night, how well the team can perform when its star is having an off-game will be one of the key factors in how successful UW will be this season. If Saturday’s game is any indication, UW should be fine.Tucker, a pre-season all-conference selection and candidate on the Wooden Award watch-list, didn’t have a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, despite only putting up five points. The junior forward made the only shot he attempted and provided three assists, two rebounds and a steal in 24 minutes of play.”He was getting a lot of attention and some teams are going to do that to him — probably a lot of teams. But there were guys that were open,” Ryan said. “He didn’t have to shoot a lot, other guys were open. There are guys out there who think about awards and how to impress people and things like that. He’s just going to play and do what’s best for the team and I don’t even have to say anything.”One shot was all the star needed to take, as Wisconsin showed the kind of offensive team chemistry that has become the signature of the Bo Ryan era. The Badgers turned the ball over only 11 times, while dishing out 23 assists.As Coastal Carolina tried to keep Wisconsin out of rhythm, changing defenses seemingly every time down the floor, the Badgers were able to calmly swing the ball around the perimeter and into the post for open shots. Thus Tucker, his creativity, and his playmaking skills weren’t necessary, at least not on this night.”He didn’t force anything, but when you are getting the kind of shots we were getting … there was no reason to force anything,” Ryan said.An interesting side note that bodes well for Wisconsin should Tucker have more quiet games like Saturday’s: the Badgers are 15-1 all-time when Tucker scores fewer than 10 points. The only loss came against Illinois last year in the Big Ten tournament championship game, when Tucker was held to nine points.Williams gets quality minutesRedshirt freshman guard DeAaron Williams played a career-high 15 minutes Saturday and made his presence felt, scoring eight points on 4-of-8 shooting while chipping in six boards. Williams was very active and drew the crowd’s applause on several occasions, most notably when the former Illinois slam-dunk champion took to the sky to convert an alley-oop from Michael Flowers in the first-half.”Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have guys who just try to make the most of the minutes that they do get,” Ryan said. “DeAaron just wants to play. He is going to try and take advantage of the minutes he does get, to try and get more minutes.”last_img read more

Sisters Village gets ICT hub

first_imgThe first Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub for 2018 was officially launched on last week, in Sisters Village on the East Bank of Berbice (EBB).The ICT hub’s establishment was made possible through a partnership between the Ministry of Public Telecommunication (MoPT), the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), and the Guyana Police Force (GPF).Cutting of the ribbon: Director Phillip Walcott assists two young members of Sister Village to officially launch the ICT hub. Looking on is Commander of ‘B’ Division Lyndon AlvesAddressing residents, Director of Community Development and Social Management, of the NDMA, Phillip Walcott said the Government is working to introduce more services online. Soon, residents of Sisters Village will be able to apply for birth vertificates, passports, make land registry queries and access other services online. Walcott urged villagers to share their knowledge with others who are willing to learn, “so no one gets left behind as the country moves into the digital age”.Also expressing his satisfaction with the establishment of the ICT hub was Commander of ‘B’ Division, Linden Alves. The Commander noted that the community will now be able to benefit from the internet service. He also expressed appreciation to the MoPT, on behalf of the Guyana Police Force, and made a commitment that the GPF is prepared to collaborate to establish hubs in other communities.In August 2016, a survey was conducted in the village by Regional Staff of the National Data Management Authority (NDMA) to determine the youth population, the number of micro, small, and medium enterprises; safe spaces within the community and the cost of assessing internet service, among other factors.Commander of ‘B’ Division Lyndon Alves and Director of Community Development and Social Management, NDMA, Phillip Walcott.Following a thorough assessment, it was discovered that the Sisters Community Centre was inhabitable as a result of vandalism.  However, through Community networking, the decision was made to approach the GPF to assist with providing a safe space within the Sisters Police Station to facilitate the ICT hub. Commander Alves readily agreed to the idea.The Sisters Police Station has a youth group of over 70 youths between the ages of seven and eighteen. These youths are involved in skills building activities such as arts and craft which they proudly displayed at the launching ceremony.This hub takes the total to 17 established in Region Six , with a further 18 more slated to be operational by December 2018.last_img read more

Howedes a doubt for Juve

first_imgSerie A Howedes a doubt for Juve derby clash Nicholas McGee Last updated 2 years ago 05:48 22/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Howedes-Cropped Bongarts Serie A Juventus Juventus v Torino Torino The Serie A club may have to be without the defender against Torino in the Derby della Mole this weekend Benedikt Howedes is a doubt for Juventus’ derby clash with Torino on Saturday.Old Lady 19/20 to win -1 handicapThe Germany international, who joined Juve from Schalke on a one-year loan deal in August, suffered a thigh injury in training on Thursday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing No time to rest! The derby is just over 48 hours away! #ForzaJuve— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 21, 2017A statement on Juve’s website read: “During today’s training session, Benedikt Howedes reported a muscular issue to the left thigh, which will be evaluated in the coming days.”Juve go into this weekend’s match second in Serie A behind Napoli after beating Fiorentina 1-0 on Wednesday.last_img read more