Guatemala’s Pérez: Cartels fight for smuggling routes

first_imgBy Dialogo January 15, 2013 GUATEMALA CITY – Powerful Mexican drug cartels in Guatemala have waged war for control of smuggling routes and are penetrating state institutions, President Otto Pérez said. Pérez said Los Zetas, considered the bloodiest Mexican criminal group, dominates two of the three major narco-trafficking routes in the region and is engaged in a turf war against the Sinaloa cartel for control of the third. Los Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel have bolstered their partnerships with Guatemalan gangs, turning the Central American nation into a transshipment point for narcotics. “Intelligence work has determined Mexican cartels keep expanding into Guatemala,” Pérez said. “They have infiltrated several institutions, including police stations, and have gotten to some judges.” Guatemala recently strengthened its police force with the hiring of an additional 664 policemen trained in field techniques and tactics. “This will give us an operational capability within our country and improve security along the borders Guatemala shares with El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Mexico,” Pérez said. There are about 25,000 police officers in Guatemala, which has a population of about 14.3 million. Pérez said narco-traffickers fatally burned seven people, including an attorney, in the municipality of Huehuetenango, near the border with Mexico, on Dec. 23. “Gangs are used in some activities of interest to drug traffickers, such as vehicle thefts, killings or drug dealing,” he added. Guatemala shares nearly 1,000 miles of border with Mexico. The border region is forested and permeated by hundreds of members of illegal groups, Pérez said. But Guatemala has bolstered its narcotics fight through its participation in Operation Martillo, an international mission that gathers Western Hemisphere and European nations in an effort to curtail illicit trafficking routes on both coasts of the Central American isthmus. Nearly 90% of the cocaine that reaches the United States comes through Mexico and Central America, according the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. Meantime, violence struck Guatemala again on Jan. 14, when Carlos Enrique Castillo Medrano, the mayor of the eastern town of Jutiapa, was fatally shot inside a barbershop. Castillo Medrano, 39, died at a nearby hospital after being shot six times by two killers, who fled on a motorcycle. The killing came just after Pérez had complimented the Central American nation for a decline in violence, as there were 5,174 homicides in the country in 2012, 526 fewer than in 2011, Pérez said. Still, Guatemala is home to an average of 16 homicides a day, giving it one of the highest murder rates in Latin America. [AFP (Guatemala), 13/01/2013; BBC (Guatemala), 14/01/2013; El Occidental (Mexico), 13/01/2013; El Universo (Ecuador), 12/01/2013]last_img read more

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PREMIUMGovernment delays incentives for foreign tourists after COVID-19 hits Indonesia

first_imgLog in with your social account LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? Google Facebook Topics : Linkedin The government has decided to hold off on giving out incentives to attract foreign tourists after it was announced that there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia.Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said the postponement would take place until the pneumonia-like illness is contained.“For now, we will focus on handling foreign tourists that enter Indonesia, while improving the quality of our tourist destinations through [maintaining] environmental sustainability, health and hygiene and safety and security,” Wishnutama said in a statement on Monday.   Read also: State budget deficit to widen as government counters virus effects: Sri MulyaniAt the time, he added, the government would also implement preventive and risk mitigation measures so that the disease would not spread in the country while increasing su… COVID-19 Tourism-and-Creative-Economy-Ministry Wishnutama incentives tourism-industry foreign-touristslast_img read more

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Rising star Jyotika Dutta wins fencing gold

first_imgBhubaneswar: Size does not always matter. Ask Himachal Pradeshs Jyotika Dutta, the epee specialist who is taking the Indian fencing world by storm. Petite, lean and more often than not the shorter fencer in a competition, that has rarely come in her way of overpowering taller and bigger opponents.The 22-year-old underlined her growing stature in the sport on Sunday, clinching the first gold for Guru Nanak Dev University at Amritsar in Punjab in the fencing competition of the Khelo India University Games here.Just back from a highly productive stint in France, at the International Fencing federation’s high performance centre, Jyotika used that experience to bail herself out from a tricky start.“Adversity teaches you a lot,” she laughed, brushing aside her two defeats in the group stage. “I had some rough starts but was determined not to make the same mistakes in the knockouts.”And sure enough she didn’t. Up against an opponent at least six inches taller than her in Yashkeerat Hayer, Jyotika raced to a five-point lead and completed an emphatic 15-5 win.The final was a much tougher proposition, with Linthoi Haobam (Manipur University) matching her point by point. Yet, Jyotika prevailed 15-14 in a tense bout, using her small frame and quick feet to her advantage.The Rohru girl started fencing almost 15 years back at the behest of her cousin Jiteshwar Dutta, a fencer and a part-time coach. No one around her, in her small town, had ever heard of the sport.“In the early days my cousin would train me. He would procure the equipment and teach me the basics,” she explained. “I was a sprinter earlier; so I was obviously fitter than most girls my age.”Almost immediately her talent was obvious, and cousin Jiteshwar registered her for a trial at NIS Patiala. It has become Jyotika’s home since then.She attracted attention at the 2018 Asian Games, powering her way all the way to the quarterfinals. In the two years since then, she has only been climbing up, making it to the higher echelons in the sport. IANSAlso Read: Archana Dutta to Lead Assam in Senior T20 Women CricketAlso Watch: Burglars breaks into a house in Lumding, steal 21-tola Gold and cash of Rs 45,000last_img read more

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