By Dialogo July 28, 2010 Outgoing Colombian president Álvaro Uribe’s administration announced the new armed forces high command that will serve under Juan Manuel Santos, who takes office on 7 August. Adm. Édgar Cely was designated as the new commander of the armed forces (the highest position within the armed forces), replacing Army Gen. Freddy Padilla, who submitted his resignation in May, effective 7 August. Cely, fifty-eight years old, has wide experience in military strategy, since he was one of the military personnel who created Task Force Omega, an elite force specialized in fighting leftist guerrilla groups in the country’s jungles. With graduate studies in security and national defense, in addition to a specialization in international relations and humanitarian law, Cely has been head of operations for the National Navy, director of the War College, and naval attaché at the Colombian embassy in Great Britain. The defense minister, Gabriel Silva, also announced that Gen. Alejandro Navas has been named the new commander of the Army, Adm. Álvaro Echandía will be the new commander of the National Navy, and Maj. Gen. Julio Alberto Gonzáles will be the commander of the Air Force. At the same time, Gen. Oscar Naranjo was confirmed as the national director of the police. The new military high command is well known to Santos, who was defense minister for two years, until May of last year, when he gave up the position in order to launch his presidential campaign.
Monthly Archive: December 2020
By Dialogo December 16, 2010 With GDP expansion of 9.7%, Paraguay will lead regional growth in 2010, followed closely by Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil, which have rebounded strongly from last year’s crisis, while the Venezuelan economy will shrink 1.6%, according to ECLAC data. Paraguay is seeing a notable recovery of its economy after it contracted 3.8% in 2009 due to the international crisis and the effects of a persistent drought. This year the Paraguayan economy was favored by the growth of the agricultural and livestock sector – especially soy production – by good climatic conditions, and by cattle production, according to the report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). A GDP growth rate of 3.5% is expected for 2011. Uruguay and Peru also rank high on the charts. After recording 2.9% growth last year, the Uruguayan economy will expand 9%, the second highest rate of growth in the region, followed by Peru with 8.6%. The Peruvian economy was stimulated by the growth of domestic demand in the context of low inflation, a reduction in the budget deficit, and a current-account balance of payments surplus. The forecasts for 2011 point to a 6% expansion. Argentina, meanwhile, will grow 8.4% in 2010, while a 4.8% expansion is expected for 2011. ECLAC estimates that Brazilian GDP will grow 7.7% in 2010 and 4.6% next year. In 2010, the Brazilian economy consolidated its recovery, together with a strong increase in jobs motivated by growth in domestic demand, due especially to public policies of increased spending and borrowing, directed particularly toward investment. In contrast, the Venezuelan economy is the one that will contract most this year, although a 2% expansion is expected for 2011. Venezuela was affected by a severe energy crisis, to which was added a fall in investment and private consumption, in a context of high inflation and an increase in unemployment. The restriction of electricity consumption particularly affected sectors such as the manufacturing industry, retail, and services. In addition, exports, private consumption, and gross fixed capital formation contracted, ECLAC explained.
Specializing in aquatic and helicopter missions in jungle and mountainous environments and with the use of explosives, the BOPE undertakes almost daily combat missions, where they are greeted with heavy fire by drug traffickers. The most dangerous maneuver in an operation in a built-up area is between positions, when the Soldiers are exposed to snipers and automatic fire, being clearly framed among the streets and buildings. To protect the squad during an incursion into a shantytown, the police officers are supported by urban snipers, a solution also used by Brazilian Marine rifle squads to support the progress of their Amphibious Commandos in operations in Haiti. When the Soldiers go into a shantytown and are met by hostile fire, it is the job of the sniper to locate the source of the fire and eliminate it so that the force can proceed with greater security. The BOPE intends to acquire a range of equipment for detecting explosives and for special tactical missions in advance of the 2014 soccer World Cup. The battalion also hopes to acquire machine guns and replace some of its aging rifles. By Dialogo April 01, 2011 Combat in the urban environment is a scenario of complex and demanding tactics. The buildings not only prevent Soldiers from having open firing and surveillance fields, they also provide the defensive enemy with several safe firing positions. The large number of civilians in the area of action can create a need for humanitarian aid and limit troop positions and options. In this sense, the operational theater in the city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most complex in the world. In just one place there are elements of combat in built-up areas, jungle and mountains. This operational environment is well-known by the Special Police Operations Battalion of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro, or BOPE. It is considered one of the most experienced police units operating in urban warfare in the world. Since its creation three decades ago, it has had to develop its own doctrine for deployment. Even today, there are no military or public security manuals to guide deployment of troops in operations, such as those undertaken in Rio’s shantytowns. Dressed in black uniforms with a skull printed on the sleeves of their tunics, the BOPE officers are the elite of the Rio State Military Police. Their actions became famous on the movie screen, and how they operate has reached the limit that separates the security forces from defense forces. The battalion has a staff of 400 and is linked directly to the chief of staff of the Military Police, from whom it receives its missions. It keeps a company constantly on guard, and for events involving hostages, the BOPE has a Tactical Intervention Unit, with negotiators, sharpshooters (snipers) and a rescue and recovery group.
Colombia and Peru have committed to implementing a plan to fight criminal organizations along their shared border, the defense ministers of the two countries, meeting in Bogotá, announced on January 25. “Colombia and Peru have energetically decided to confront that organized crime that does not respect borders, manifested in drug trafficking and illegal logging and mining along our borders,” Peruvian Minister Alberto Otárola said at a press conference at which he was accompanied by his host, Juan Carlos Pinzón. The two ministers are considering implementing an agreement that would make it possible to adopt, “within the shortest period of time, a series of measures, by way of the Armed Forces and police, for them to enter those areas where the criminal organizations are currently established,” the Peruvian minister said, without going into detail about the scope of those measures. In addition, Peru pledged to bring the issue of the fight against transnational crime before the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Pinzón revealed, stating that it is a matter that “continues to affect more countries, and coordinated work among nations is becoming more necessary.” For Peru, “crime has no borders,” and for that reason, it is seeking cooperation with “brother countries,” Otárola said. The ministers agreed to carry out joint actions “in the next few months” against criminal groups in the border area. The operations will be accompanied by social initiatives in favor of the population on both sides of the 1,600-km border. In order to evaluate the situation, the two ministers agreed to meet again in March, at the border, and they hope that Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim will also attend that meeting. By Dialogo January 27, 2012
On November 14, at the Southern pier of the Navy Arsenal in Rio de Janeiro, the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) “Amazonas” was transferred from the Material Sector to the Navy Operative Sector, during a ceremony led by the Commander of Naval Operations, Admiral Gilberto Max Roffé Hirschfeld. The OPV “Amazonas” completed its route bound for Brazil on October 5; it arrived in Rio de Janeiro after a two-month journey along the coasts of Europe, Africa, and America, after its incorporation to the Navy on June 29, in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. The ship was built by BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships, and named after the class to which it belongs, the “Amazonas.” This class will be acquiring two more ships by 2013: OPV “Apa” and OPV “Araguari,” both are names of important rivers in Brazil. The OPV “Amazonas” started its construction in February 15, 2008, and the keel laying happened on June 15 of that same year. It sailed on February 10, 2009, and was completed in September 2010. The acquisition of the three Oceanic Patrol Vessels brings important value to the Navy, allowing it to intensify the Naval Patrol and Inspection activities, focus on the waterway traffic security, environmental pollution prevention, and also to increase the Search and Rescue (SAR) capability along the course of an extensive maritime area under the responsibility of Brazil. During the journey to Rio de Janeiro, the ship docked at ports of Lisbon (Portugal), Las Palmas (Spain), Mindelo (Cape Verde), Cotonou (Benim), Lagos (Negeria), Sao Tome (Sao Tome and Principe), Natal (Rio Grande do Norte – Brazil), Salvador (Bahia – Brazil), and Arraial do Cabo (Rio de Janeiro – Brasil). On the African Continent, it performed demonstrations on antipiracy exercises and maintenance trainings between ships with the Cape Verde Coast Guard, the Naval Force in Benin, the Nigerian Navy, and the Coast Guard in Sao Tome and Principe, as well as protocol and public visitations. By Dialogo November 16, 2012
And on August 19, 2014, Troops with the Army’s Presidential Guard Battalion and the Judicial Police arrested an alleged high-ranking leader of Clan Úsuga in Bosa, south of Bogotá. The apprehension followed an intelligence operation that extended over several months and was conducted by the Army with the cooperation of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Attorney General’s Office. Allegedly, the suspect was in charge of a criminal network comprised of at least 14 Clan Úsuga operatives suspected of collecting ransom and extortion payments and committing assassinations in eastern Colombia. Yikes, bunch of cool guys these men I hope they hit those scruffy s.o.b.s hard. Long live my dear Colombian army brothers “From [Antioquia], Clan Úsuga brokers drug deals and transports drugs into Central America through Panama,” Minister Pinzón said. “It’s no secret that there are large quantities of narcotics here.” The task force, which will also combat extortion, smuggling, and illegal mining, will be based in the municipalities where Clan Úsuga maintains a major presence: Turbo, Chigorodó, and Urabá in Antioquia. Colombian security forces have been highly successful in their fight against Clan Úsuga in recent months. The initiative, known as Operation ‘ Toma Masiva del Urabá’, will be carried out by the Neptuno Task Force, which combines 12 existing task forces and includes members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and National Police. Rear Admiral Ricardo Hurtado Chacón will oversee the task force, while Major General Ricardo Alberto Restrepo Londoño, the head of the Colombian National Police’s Counter-Narcotics Division, will lead the operation. On January 18 in the municipality of Darién in Valle del Cauca Department, the Army captured a suspect who allegedly coordinated drug deals between Clan Úsuga and the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two Mexican transnational criminal organizations. His extradition has been requested by the United States, where he is wanted on narcotrafficking charges. The initiative, known as Operation ‘ Toma Masiva del Urabá’, will be carried out by the Neptuno Task Force, which combines 12 existing task forces and includes members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and National Police. Rear Admiral Ricardo Hurtado Chacón will oversee the task force, while Major General Ricardo Alberto Restrepo Londoño, the head of the Colombian National Police’s Counter-Narcotics Division, will lead the operation. On January 18 in the municipality of Darién in Valle del Cauca Department, the Army captured a suspect who allegedly coordinated drug deals between Clan Úsuga and the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two Mexican transnational criminal organizations. His extradition has been requested by the United States, where he is wanted on narcotrafficking charges. The task force, which will also combat extortion, smuggling, and illegal mining, will be based in the municipalities where Clan Úsuga maintains a major presence: Turbo, Chigorodó, and Urabá in Antioquia. The Colombian government will mobilize hundreds of members of the Armed Forces in the Department of Antioquia to combat Clan Úsuga, one of the nation’s largest and most active narcotrafficking groups, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón and General Rodolfo Palomino, director of the National Police, said recently. Colombian security forces have been highly successful in their fight against Clan Úsuga in recent months. As part of the operation, security forces have already captured 15 alleged members of Clan Úsuga and from the country’s two largest guerrilla groups – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Their main objective, however, is to capture Clan Úsuga’s leader, who is known by the alias ‘Otoniel’. The Colombian government has issued a reward of $1 billion Colombian pesos (about $402,090) for his apprehension, Palomino said, adding that security forces are “getting closer to capturing him.” And on August 19, 2014, Troops with the Army’s Presidential Guard Battalion and the Judicial Police arrested an alleged high-ranking leader of Clan Úsuga in Bosa, south of Bogotá. The apprehension followed an intelligence operation that extended over several months and was conducted by the Army with the cooperation of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Attorney General’s Office. Allegedly, the suspect was in charge of a criminal network comprised of at least 14 Clan Úsuga operatives suspected of collecting ransom and extortion payments and committing assassinations in eastern Colombia. “From [Antioquia], Clan Úsuga brokers drug deals and transports drugs into Central America through Panama,” Minister Pinzón said. “It’s no secret that there are large quantities of narcotics here.” The Colombian government will mobilize hundreds of members of the Armed Forces in the Department of Antioquia to combat Clan Úsuga, one of the nation’s largest and most active narcotrafficking groups, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón and General Rodolfo Palomino, director of the National Police, said recently. By Dialogo February 25, 2015 As part of the operation, security forces have already captured 15 alleged members of Clan Úsuga and from the country’s two largest guerrilla groups – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Their main objective, however, is to capture Clan Úsuga’s leader, who is known by the alias ‘Otoniel’. The Colombian government has issued a reward of $1 billion Colombian pesos (about $402,090) for his apprehension, Palomino said, adding that security forces are “getting closer to capturing him.”
By Taciana Moury/Diálogo July 05, 2018 Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese) service members traveled to England for the incorporation of the HMS Ocean, a helicopter carrier of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. MB designated its newly acquired ship as the Multipurpose Helicopter Carrier (PHM, in Portuguese) Atlântico, raising the Brazilian flag aboard for the first time during a ceremony presenting arms on June 29, 2018, in the United Kingdom. More than 300 MB service members participated in the transfer and transit process of PHM Atlântico to Brazil. The Royal Navy Training Center will provide operational exercises to train the Brazilian crew to man the ship efficiently. The ship is expected to arrive at São Pedro da Aldeia Naval Base in Rio de Janeiro on August 25th. According to Vice Admiral Petronio Augusto Siqueira de Aguiar, MB Program Management director, the transition process began in Brazil, with the training of military personnel in specific courses for onboard personnel and air operations. “In the United Kingdom they took part in training and classes from the British Navy and the manufacturers of the ship’s main systems and equipment,” said Vice Adm. Petronio. The helicopter carrier will also undergo an inspection before incorporating the Brazilian naval fleet. Maintenance services began in February to ensure the ship is fully operational. “A multidisciplinary group, consisting of 11 service members from the technical board and the Brazilian Navy training center, supervises these services, as well as training and classes,” said Vice Adm. Petronio. MB’s operational capacity PHM Atlântico will enhance MB’s projection of power on land, sea, and air, as well as in its command and control of maritime areas. The new ship will be the largest in the Brazilian Navy and can transport up to 632 service members. The 203-meter-long vessel sails at a speed of 15 knots, about 30 kilometers per hour, with a range of 8,000 nautical miles, about 15,000 km. The vessel allows for vertical launching and landing of as many as 18 helicopters, with simultaneous operation of up to seven. “MB’s entire helicopter model fleet, SH-16 Seahawk; UH-15 Cougar, UH-15A, and AH-15B; AH-11B lynx; UH-12 and UH-13 Esquilo; and IH-6B Bell Jet Ranger III will be able to operate from the helicopter carrier,” said Vice Adm. Petronio. “The ship’s operational characteristics ensure a substantial increase in the training and work of the military, especially in carrier air and amphibious operations,” said Vice Adm. Petronio. “The Brazilian Navy will employ them based on the context of the mission, preparation, and the use of naval power.” Rear Admiral André Novis Montenegro, deputy chief of Strategy of MB’s General Staff, addressed the ship’s potential for humanitarian missions. “It can be used in strategic logistics missions and to transport service members, ammunition, and equipment,” he said, highlighting the ship’s capabilities for health services, providing support to a naval force in the event of war, humanitarian, or personnel evacuation operations. Making a difference in the region Brazil will be the only country in Latin America to have an active helicopter carrier. “We will be a benchmark in international operations, humanitarian missions, natural disaster aid, and peacekeeping operations, since we will count on a ship suited for these missions,” Rear Adm. Montenegro said. MB Captain Giovani Corrêa will command the new ship. Rear Admiral Montenegro said the number of crew members to staff the vessel would soon be determined. “At the moment, the ship has a reduced crew known as the receiving group,” he said. Once incorporated, PHM Atlântico will be MB’s fleet flagship, transporting naval leaders and its General Staff, who will command and control naval operations. The São Paulo aircraft carrier, decommissioned in February 2017, previously held this role. According to Rear Admiral Luiz Roberto Cavalcanti Valicente, director of MB’s Public Affairs Office, the construction of a new aircraft carrier was MB’s third priority, after the Submarine Development Program and the construction program of Tamandaré class corvettes. The officer indicated that fixed-wing aircraft would continue to operate from land bases.
By Geraldine Cook/Diálogo February 03, 2019 Combined and joint work to achieve regional security is important, said Dominican Army Major General Braulio Alcántara López, vice minister of Defense for Military Affairs of the Dominican Republic, during the 2018 Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC), held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, December 4-6, 2018. Maj. Gen. Alcántara spoke with Diálogo about the armed forces’ responsibility in hemispheric security, national support for initiatives to combat transnational crime, and humanitarian assistance in natural disasters, among other topics. Diálogo: What’s the importance of the Dominican Republic’s participation in CANSEC? Dominican Army Major General Braulio Alcántara López, vice minister of Defense for Military Affairs of the Dominican Republic: CANSEC allows us to integrate to seek combined action between armies of the region, and to commit to a common effort to counter threats and provide operational standards to successfully confront the crises that natural phenomena, which occur frequently in the Caribbean, create. CANSEC also paves the way for the professionalization of noncommissioned officers, which we’ve worked on since its introduction in the Dominican Republic’s Organic Armed Forces Law No. 139-13. Diálogo: One of CANSEC’s main topics is the combined work to confront regional security threats. What’s your country’s contribution to the regional effort to achieve this objective? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: Our contribution is combined and coordinated work experience, particularly in the face of natural disasters. The integration of government agencies to work along with military forces in cases of natural disaster yielded very good results. Diálogo: Why is it important for the armed forces to conduct combined and joint work not only at the national level, but also with their partner nation counterparts to confront common threats? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: With joint and combined work we can achieve better results, due to the harmony and fraternity that exists between the countries of the region. The environment of interoperability, joint, and combined operations at the national and international levels provides the opportunity to achieve the necessary synergy to obtain positive results and confront common threats more efficiently. Diálogo: The Dominican Army led Task Force Border Fence kicked off in September 2018. What’s the objective of that interagency task force? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: The goal is to strengthen security in the border area to increase controls already in place and have a greater number of detentions and seizures of foreigners trying to enter the country illegally, or of unlawful weapons, drugs, or other goods coming in. Special forces units and government agencies that interact at the border make up this task force. Diálogo: Members of the Ministry of Defense met with representatives of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in September 2018, to coordinate Exercise Humanitarian Allied Forces 2019 (FAHUM 2019, in Spanish). What’s the importance of your country hosting FAHUM 2019? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: FAHUM 2019 will allow us to project our force’s capabilities and carry out multinational humanitarian assistance operations in a multidisciplinary and international environment, along with SOUTHCOM and guest nations, where participants will plan and organize a rapid response to a disaster within 72 hours of its occurrence. FAHUM allows the Armed Forces to act in coordination with other countries and gain experience in procedures and lessons learned on humanitarian assistance operations. Diálogo: The Ministry of Defense’s Counterterrorism Special Command offers the Special Tactical Operations in Urban Areas course to international forces. What’s the importance of this international reach? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: We would like partner nations to get closer and interact more with the Dominican Republic through these exercises. Our counterterrorist unit was founded more than 20 years ago and has the capability and experience to teach this type of course. It also received intensive training from SOUTHCOM. We would like to share this unit’s capabilities with international students to strengthen bonds of friendship with our sister nations in the region. Diálogo: Through the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Graduate School (EGDH-DIH, in Spanish), the Ministry of Defense facilitated the graduation of hundreds of members of the armed forces and police, as well as civilians from the Dominican Republic and other Central American countries. What’s EGDH-DIH’s contribution in promoting respect for human rights in Central America? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: EGDH-DIH was the first institution of its kind in the region. Since its creation, human rights in the Dominican Republic started to be addressed differently, especially in the military environment. Today, the Armed Forces act under the premise of respect for human rights. Through EGDH-DIH’s programs, we train representatives of Central American countries in a field vital to all the nations that come together under the Human Rights Enforcement Mechanisms of the United Nations and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Human Rights System. Diálogo: What are the most significant advances in the professionalization of Dominican noncommissioned officers? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: The main initiative was the creation of the Noncommissioned Officers Training School at the Army’s General Directorate of Military Education, Instruction, and Training, which is the main basis for the successful development of this new command role within the Dominican Armed Forces. Law No. 139-13 established the noncommissioned officers career and we now have the ranks of second lieutenant I, second lieutenant II, and second lieutenant III. Diálogo: The Unified Joint Command of the Dominican Armed Forces is part of the Internal and Civil Security Plan in Support of the National Police. How do the forces operate under this plan? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: The Unified Joint Command was created to achieve better coordination between the Armed Forces and the National Police. It’s a unit that responds to support requests from the National Police for civil security and any other aspect. This experience enabled the Armed Forces to collaborate and provide support to other operations with several government agencies that relate to national security. Diálogo: What’s your message to the commanders of military and security forces of Central America and the Caribbean about combined work for regional security? Maj. Gen. Alcántara: We need to support the initiatives that foster collaboration and cooperation among partner nations armed forces, contribute to regional stability, and help counter transnational crime. CANSEC proves that we can sit down together, identify threats, and look for solutions.
MELLON UNITED NATIONAL BANK in Miami recently helped fund an Equal Justice Works fellowship through The Florida Bar Foundation that represents low-income Haitian immigrant women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Pictured from the left are Dwight Hill, executive vice president of Mellon United National Bank; Sabrina Salomon, the Equal Justice Works fellow who works through the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center in Miami; and Mario Treba, president of Mellon. Mellon United December 15, 2004 Regular News
Board of Bar Examiners vacancy Florida Board of Bar Examiners Vacancy : Lawyer applicants are being sought to fill a vacancy on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. The Board of Governors will be selecting three nominees for the lawyer vacancy at its December 16 meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill the remainder of a five-year term commencing immediately and expiring on October 31, 2009.Attorney members must have been a member of The Florida Bar for at least five years. They must be practicing lawyers with scholarly attainments and have an affirmative interest in legal education and requirements for admission to the Bar. Appointment or election to the bench at any level of the court system will disqualify any applicant. Law professors or trustees are ineligible.Board members of the bar examiners must be able to attend approximately 10 meetings a year in various Florida locations. Members volunteer 300 or more hours per year on board business depending on committee assignments. Actual travel expenses connected with the meetings and examinations are reimbursed.Persons interested in applying for this vacancy may download the application from the Bar’s Web site at floridabar.org or should contact The Florida Bar at (850) 561-5600, ext. 5757, to obtain the proper application form. Applications may also be obtained by writing the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, 32399-2300. Completed applications must be received no later than the close of business December 5. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews. November 15, 2005 Regular News Board of Bar Examiners vacancy