Monthly Archives: December 2020

Uribe Concludes U.S. Visit Marked by Honduran Crisis and FTA

first_imgBy Dialogo July 01, 2009 I’m glad to see the collaboration. Washington, 30 June (EFE).- Today the president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, concludes his visit to Washington, which has been marked by the crisis in Honduras and by Uribe’s efforts to unblock the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and the United States, awaiting ratification by the U.S. Congress. Uribe’s presence in Washington comes to an end with his participation in a forum at the Woodrow Wilson Center, where he will discuss the incentives his administration is offering to investors and the achievements of his security policy. Subsequently, Uribe will travel from Washington to Panama to attend the inauguration ceremony of the elected Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli on the following day. During the last forty-eight hours Uribe has pursued a tight agenda of meetings with high-ranking U.S. government’s officials, with whom he has discussed Colombia’s need to unblock the FTA and the fight against drug trafficking, among other issues. Nevertheless, the most important appointment was the one held yesterday at the White House, where he spent over an hour with President Barack Obama in a meeting that included the discussion of the ongoing crisis in Honduras. At the end of the meeting, both leaders were firmly condemned the military coup that, in Obama’s opinion, would set “a terrible precedent” for the Latin American region if it were to succeed. The two leaders devoted a good portion of their talks in the Oval Office to discussing the FTA, which Obama criticized when he was the Democratic candidate for president. U.S. Congressional Democrats resist the ratification of the treaty as they call for more guarantees for the protection of human rights and union activists in Colombia. In this regard, the U.S. president acknowledged that “there remains work to do,” but declared that he was “confident” in the possibility of progress toward the implementation of the treaty, which his predecessor, George W. Bush, described while in office as “pivotal” for U.S. national security. He declared that Uribe has guaranteed his wish to resolve issues about respect for human rights and that “great progress has been made.” Earlier, after meeting with the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ron Kirk and Gary Locke, respectively, Uribe noted the fall in Colombian exports. Concretely, he remarked the problem of unemployment in Colombian cities that depend on the export of manufactured goods. According to Uribe, despite the preferential treatment given to Colombian exports under the ATPDEA program, cities like Medellín, Pereira, and Ibagué have an 18 percent unemployment rate, although the national average is 12.1 percent. He assured that, for this reason, the approval of the Free Trade Agreement, signed by both countries in November 2006, is key to “making progress toward the consolidation of security.”last_img read more

Haiti Promises To Decentralize Its Economy And Make Massive Investments With Aid

first_imgBy Dialogo March 25, 2010 Haiti will decentralize its economy and has designed for this purpose an infrastructure investment plan that will be presented at the international donor conference to be held in New York on 31 March, Haitian finance minister Ronald Boudin declared. “Hypercentralization did not serve the goal of development. We can’t reproduce the Haiti that existed before the 12 January earthquake,” Boudin declared during the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The capital, Port-au-Prince, and its surrounding region, severely affected by the earthquake, concentrated around 60% of the Caribbean country’s economic activity. In New York, Haiti hopes to present “an ambitious reconstruction plan” based “on the decentralization and relocation” of industrial production, the minister explained. Speaking to the member countries of the IDB, Boudin promised a plan of “massive infrastructure investments” for this purpose. These plans will be implemented by a mixed commission, headed by the Haitian prime minister and a representative of the international community, before then becoming entirely Haitian. Haiti hopes to obtain a minimum of 3.8 billion dollars for the next year and a half at the New York conference, and up to 11.5 billion for the next decade. Boudin confirmed earlier information from a source at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that tax collections will fall 50% for 2009, representing a budget gap of up to 350 million dollars.last_img read more

Action Targets Hezbollah’s Network Responsible for Fundraising and Recruiting

first_imgBy Dialogo June 13, 2013 U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the designated individuals, and any assets of those designees subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. “As Hezbollah continues to use its global network of operatives and supporters to extend its malign influence beyond the borders of Lebanon, we will continue to use all tools at our disposal to take action to disrupt these efforts,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “These actions are increasingly important as the funding from Hezbollah’s traditional patron, Iran, is squeezed by international sanctions.” The Treasury has also targeted Hezbollah support networks run by Ali Mohamad Saleh in South America. Even as Hezbollah claims to be a resistance organization, its expansive global network is sending money and operatives to carry out terrorist attacks around the world and fighters to the front lines of the Syrian civil war. In addition to targeting Hezbollah’s terrorist operations, the Treasury Department has exposed Hezbollah’s links to vast narcotics trafficking and money laundering operations by both designating the network of narcotics kingpin Ayman Joumaa as well as employing Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act against Lebanese exchange houses transferring illicit profits into the international financial system. These combined actions have exposed and disrupted Hezbollah’s attempts to expand its influence beyond the borders of Lebanon. Nonetheless, Hezbollah has shown that it is determined to adapt and use its international networks to support terrorist attacks against civilians around the world. The designations, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and their supporters, further expose the alarming reach of Hezbollah’s activities and its determination to create a worldwide funding and recruitment network to support its violence and criminal enterprises around the world. On June 11, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated four Lebanese supporters of Hezbollah who are responsible for aiding the organization’s attempts to extend its influence throughout West Africa. Ali Ibrahim al-Watfa, Abbas Loutfe Fawaz, Ali Ahmad Chehade, and Hicham Nmer Khanafer, who are responsible for Hezbollah’s activities in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Gambia respectively, have organized fundraising efforts, recruited members, and in some cases presented themselves as ambassadors of Hezbollah’s Foreign Relations Department. last_img read more

Colombian National Army’s Sword of Honor III Scores Major Victory

first_imgThe Colombian National Army’s ” General José María Mantilla” Artillery Battalion No. 18 seized 490 kilograms of marijuana that allegedly belonged to the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the Department of Arauca as part of the Sword of Honor III campaign. The Army did not immediately report whether Soldiers captured any suspects in connection with the marijuana seizure. Sword of Honor III is a continuation of Sword of Honor, a counterinsurgency effort launched by the Colombian Armed Forces in 2012 to confront and defeat illegal groups nationwide. Under the initiative, Soldiers combat terrorist attacks, dismantle landmines, and persuade hundreds of guerrillas to demobilize and enroll in a government program that provides them with training so they can enter the workforce and peacefully rejoin civil society. Sword of Honor III is a continuation of Sword of Honor, a counterinsurgency effort launched by the Colombian Armed Forces in 2012 to confront and defeat illegal groups nationwide. Under the initiative, Soldiers combat terrorist attacks, dismantle landmines, and persuade hundreds of guerrillas to demobilize and enroll in a government program that provides them with training so they can enter the workforce and peacefully rejoin civil society. By Dialogo March 03, 2015 The ELN, the country’s second-largest guerrilla group behind the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), uses revenue it generates from drug trafficking to fund terrorist attacks. The marijuana, which was valued at 50 million pesos (about $3.35 million), allegedly belonged to the ELN’s Domingo Laín Sáenz Front. Troops seized the marijuana from an abandoned residence on the bank of the Arauca River in the village of El Caracol, the Army reported on its website on February 25. The marijuana, which was valued at 50 million pesos (about $3.35 million), allegedly belonged to the ELN’s Domingo Laín Sáenz Front. Troops seized the marijuana from an abandoned residence on the bank of the Arauca River in the village of El Caracol, the Army reported on its website on February 25. The Army did not immediately report whether Soldiers captured any suspects in connection with the marijuana seizure. The Colombian National Army’s ” General José María Mantilla” Artillery Battalion No. 18 seized 490 kilograms of marijuana that allegedly belonged to the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the Department of Arauca as part of the Sword of Honor III campaign. The ELN, the country’s second-largest guerrilla group behind the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), uses revenue it generates from drug trafficking to fund terrorist attacks.last_img read more

Peru Discusses Importance of Peacekeeping Missions

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo September 12, 2016 Gracias Peru has a long standing tradition of participating in peacekeeping missions; it is even a founding member of the Organization of the United Nations (UN). It was under the leadership of Peruvian UN Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar that the UN Peacekeeping Forces received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988. Diálogo leveraged the participation of Peruvian Admiral Jorge Moscoso, chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces at the South American Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC) 2016, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from August 16th to 19th, to to speak to him about these and other related topics.Diálogo: Can you tell us about your country’s participation in international peacekeeping missions and other related activities?Admiral Jorge Moscoso: Part of our state policy includes support for the international system and for international law. We have been participating in peacekeeping operations for many years, both as part of the staff and as observer officials, as well as with contingents. We currently have a contingent in Haiti, which is a combined battalion with Uruguay, and it is providing us very interesting experiences that will serve us for future missions. We have the support of partner nations, including the United States, that always help us with training and with some equipment. The other mission we have is in Central Africa, where an engineering company, consisting of 260 men, plus a large amount of engineering equipment and machines, has been deployed. The company is supporting the Force Commander in Central Africa in maintaining airfields, and all related infrastructure. It is a very interesting new experience, because the creation and deployment of the company have generated many experiences that have taught us many lessons. The sustainment phase is next. Logistics in Central Africa is a very complicated matter that will require very fine and very coordinated work among the Force Commander, our partner nations, and us.Diálogo: If the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) phases out this year, as the UN announced, what will happen to the Peruvian contingent over there? Is it going to be deployed to another region?Adm. Moscoso: Indeed, as part of Peru’s offer to the UN, we will maintain an infantry company ready to be deployed with minimal warning time, and we are complying. The idea is that as part of the participation process in Central Africa, the company will deploy throughout the country’s territory, because, right now, we are in one or two places, and that will require an important security component. Therefore, the idea is to prepare the company, build their capacity to move it to Central Africa so it can assist in the deployment process for the engineering company over time. It is a process that we maintain in coordination with the UN in New York, and with the Force Commander in Central Africa.Diálogo: Can you tell us a little more about the Peruvian mission in Central Africa?Adm. Moscoso: The mission that we are participating in with the UN has given us a range of responsibility. For the moment, we are working on airfield maintenance in two places, but the idea is to advance progressively and, in order to do that, we must keep improving our skills, and training our people. In fact, we have encountered technical issues that require professionals who are accredited by international organizations to certify the airfield for insurance purposes, or issues related to security. So, we are preparing people, Army and Air Force officers, who are certified to do the work and can properly provide guidance for the airfield maintenance work.Diálogo: In terms of the evolution of the military role in Latin America, the main topic of SOUTHDEC 2016, Peru has had that in mind for many years. Likewise, it has served in the fight against drug trafficking for many years, especially against the Shining Path, a function that is not specific to the military. How is that joint collaboration between the Armed Forces and the Peruvian Police going?Adm. Moscoso: Indeed, we have been involved for quite a few years in the fight against what we now call the remnants of this illegal organization, the Shinning Path, which has a close tie to drug trafficking. The mission of the Armed Forces is to fight the remnants of the Shining Path. However, we manage the integrated operations with the police, because you cannot separate one from the other. There are areas or scenarios where there is greater presence of elements of the Shining Path, while there are others where the two coexist. Because the Shining Path provides security for the movement of drugs, for which it charges money, and this has already been proven. In this scenario, in that part of the country, we work with the police in an integrated manner so that if there is evidence of a crime, and if it is drug trafficking, we provide the entire security component, and the police intervene. So, as shown in that example, we are working jointly with the Peruvian Police.Diálogo: Shining Path, as has been published by the government and the military forces of Peru, is actively present in the region of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro rivers Valley, better known as VRAEM. But is it in other areas of the country as well? Is there participation of the Armed Forces in other regions specifically for that reason?Adm. Moscoso: In other parts of the country, the only service that has the legal authority to intervene with criminal activity is the Navy, through the General Directorate of Captaincy and Coastguards. They have their own law and also work with the police in other areas, mainly at sea, in ports, in coastal areas, maritime areas, navigable river areas, the Amazon, Lake Titicaca, and other lake areas. There, the Navy has the power to intervene in the presence of crimes, including drug trafficking.Diálogo: And the Air Force?Adm. Moscoso: The Air Force controls the airspace through a capacity that is governed by the law on airspace control, which allows for intercepting hostile aircraft, which are aircraft that do not have a flight plan or an authorized destination, and invade the airspace. They are then intercepted by our aircraft, so they cannot commit a crime. This is regulated by a law with all its protocols.Diálogo: How do the Peruvian Armed Forces participate in terms of humanitarian aid, particularly internally in the country?Adm. Moscoso: Within the country, we organize the military internally into security subzones that allow the armed forces to provide support to the population. For example, after an earthquake like the one just two or three days ago, an airlift is immediately established, and the Army uses helicopters to transport aid from the civil defense system to the area of the event, in this case, the earthquake, and transport the injured to cities so that hospitals can take care of them. That is a very clear example of how the armed forces participate. In the case of flooding in areas of the Amazon, for example, the Navy provides support to evacuate victims, or the Army or Air Force organizes airlifts or shelters to protect the population. In Peru, the Armed Forces participate in preparedness and response within the civil defense system. We have much evidence on the highly qualified and prepared response we provide, because we have capabilities for this: command and control, logistics, assets, and the Army, Navy, and Air Force that can help mitigate the impact of these disasters if they occur.Diálogo: Do you exchange this kind of assistance with neighboring countries?Adm. Moscoso: We maintain a very good relationship with them. The Air Force continually conducts exercises with them, because there are administrative and logistical aspects that are very important. I may want to help a country if they suffer a disaster, and the first thing you want to do is send aircraft, but the loads must be placed on pallets so packages can be transported in different kinds of aircraft. This logistics system is used by the Air Force with its peers in the region, so that when the aircraft arrive, we send the packages that are properly packed in pallets that can can be shipped and not create a problem for the country we are trying to help.Diálogo: Such as in Haiti, for example, right after the earthquake in 2010…Adm. Moscoso: Exactly. Everyone wants to help, but they send boxes or packages that cannot be shipped. This organization is handled by the Air Force very well, so that when help arrives, no time is wasted sorting cargo or support. It comes already prepared with a logistics plan. In the case of the Navy, we have units such as a logistics ship that allows us to transport medical personnel and drinking water units. We have helicopters on board to conduct local airlifts. There are a number of capabilities that we coordinate with partner nations and neighbors to provide support if an event occurs, such as the one that took place in April in Ecuador, which was a significant event that allowed us to transport aid, carry cargo, and also provide support in the affected areas.Diálogo: Do you work together with the United States in that part of humanitarian aid?Adm. Moscoso: Yes, we have a very good relationship with the United States in terms of training and preparedness. We also have the possibility of the United States sending support vessels and medical personnel to conduct humanitarian work in coastal areas. There is good coordination work and community support.last_img read more

Brazil Close to Achieving Nuclear Independence

first_imgBy Nastasia Barceló/Diálogo January 13, 2017 Using only domestic technology, the Brazilian Navy’s Technological Center in São Paulo (CTMSP, per its Portuguese acronym) assembled and manufactured an isotopic enrichment cascade, an instrument which separates uranium isotopes into parts to supply the Brazilian Multipurpose Reactor (RMB, per its Portuguese acronym), which produces nuclear fuel. RMB has many objectives related to nuclear medicine, including the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It can also be applied in areas like agriculture and the environment. The project is part of the Brazilian Navy’s nuclear program launched in 1978. CTMSP is located on the campus of the University of São Paulo, and the Aramar Experimental Center in the municipality of Iperó, also in São Paulo. Both military organizations were inaugurated between 1986 and 1988 by the São Paulo state government to encourage and develop research in coordination with other public and private institutions useful to the Brazilian Navy. The state of São Paulo was selected as the site for research and other projects in the nuclear area because of its premier industrial park, engineering school, and research centers. CTMSP is the main body responsible for the Brazilian Navy’s Nuclear Program. The center’s director, Rear Admiral André Luis Ferreira Marques, told Diálogo that during its 30 years of operation, three projects stand out in the nuclear sphere: the Fuel Cycle Project, the Electronuclear Energy Generation Laboratory Project, and the Infrastructure Project. The last innovation incorporated by CTMSP was the isotopic enrichment cascade, which will give Brazil independence in the nuclear sphere by facilitating the production of nuclear fuel. The cascade was put into operation on December 8, 2016, and has the capacity to enrich uranium to 19.95 percent. “The RMB ensures Brazilian nuclear independence,” explained Rear Adm. Ferreira Marques. “The goal is to decrease external independence with respect to the inputs used in radiopharmaceutical research procedures. Also, it will be used in materials tests and fuels used in the construction of the nuclear submarine.” “The RMB project was developed when the goals for the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications were established in 2007. However, it was in 2013 when it began to go from paper to reality,” said Dr. Luís Antônio Albiac Terremoto, researcher and member of the University of São Paulo’s Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN, per its Portuguese acronym). “Through the production of radioisotopes, Brazil will be able to pay for this large investment in at least 20 years,” Dr. Albiac said. According to the Brazilian Air and Naval Defense website (, the isotopic enrichment cascade was developed by the National Nuclear Energy Commission in conjunction with the Foundation Park of High Technology Iperó Region and adjacencies, and financed by the Financier of Studies and Projects. “With the implementation of the cascade, it is very possible that the quantity of radiopharmaceuticals may be doubled, opening up the possibility of exporting surplus material to a market that is currently dominated by Canada, France, Holland, and South Africa,” Dr. Albiac said. Dr. Albiac explained that between 2009 and 2011 nuclear reactors manufactured in Holland and Canada were facing a profound crisis in terms of the supply of radioisotopes, which resulted in the subsequent suspension of millions of processes around the globe. In this sense, the start of the cascade constitutes an achievement for science and technology in Brazil. Brazilian Navy nuclear program The Brazilian Navy’s nuclear program was founded in 1978. Among its most notable achievements is its success in obtaining low-enriched uranium in 1987, which led to the inauguration of the Aramar Experimental Center in 1988. Budget cuts forced the Navy to suspend the construction of its nuclear submarine in 1996. However, it kept CTMSP models of nuclear-attack submarines in a naval base, as a clear sign that it was not completely abandoning its plans. In August 2005, it was publicized that the first domestic prototype of a nuclear reactor had been completed and warehoused. A few months later, Brazil inaugurated a uranium enrichment plant in Resende. In 2007, the Navy confirmed through the National Defense Strategy document that Brazil was officially resuming construction of its nuclear submarine. The document stated that that, “to ensure the goal of denial of the use of the sea, Brazil will have a submarine naval force encompassing conventional submarines and nuclear-propulsion submarines.” This gave rise to the Submarine Development Program.last_img read more

Honduras to Have Logistical Support Vessel

first_imgBy Iris Amador/Diálogo April 14, 2017 A keel-laying ceremony marked the start of construction of a logistics support and cargo vessel (BAL-C, per its Spanish acronym) by the Colombian Navy for the Armed Forces of Honduras. The ship is being built by the Science and Technology Corporation for Development of the Naval, Maritime and Riverine Industry of Colombia (COTECMAR, per its Spanish acronym). The February 27th ceremony in Cartagena, Colombia was attended by officials of both military institutions. During the ceremony, Vice Admiral Jorge Enrique Carreño, president of COTECMAR, said that the project marks a new stage of cooperation between Colombia and Honduras. He compared the union between the two countries with the weld strength that joined the sections of the ship together. “The resistance in the welding is greater than the resistance of the steel itself, and it is our hope that our cooperation is even stronger than the welding,” Vice Adm. Carreño said. He also indicated that the cooperation between Honduras and Colombia in the fight against transnational crime, intelligence, naval operations, and training dates back many years. “Today, we begin cooperation in a different realm, the technological realm.” Security and support “Honduras has vast expanses that can be reached only by air or maritime routes. The difficulty we have in accessing and communicating with them, and the need to protect those zones, led the country to invest in the purchase of a logistics and transport support vessel,” Rear Admiral Jesús Benítez, commander of the Honduran Navy, told Diálogo. “This ship will fulfill a multiplicity of missions, some of which will be geared towards supporting isolated communities, bringing them supplies and other kinds of humanitarian aid, and other missions will be focused on sustaining our operations in the fight against drug trafficking,” Rear Adm. Benítez indicated. Because of its geographical location, Honduras is used as a gateway for drug traffickers in their attempts to move drugs from South America to North America. But the country’s efforts to protect its Pacific and Caribbean waters have made their transit more difficult. “Since we began reinforcing our Maritime Shield in January 2014, drug traffickers have had to change their way of operating,” Rear Adm. Benítez stated. “They have kept away from our coasts and they have been forced to use sailboats, fishing boats, and small motorboats, which means it takes them more time and involves a higher cost.” First in Central America The Honduran Navy commander explained that in addition to reinforcing the nation’s defense, they are looking to strengthen its maritime and river capabilities to assist neighboring countries in emergencies. “With the BAL-C, we are acquiring the greater capacity to aid countries in the region in the event of natural disasters, because this vessel can transport cargo below decks and on deck: food, water, trucks, dump trucks, and fuel for vehicles and airplanes,” he stated. Honduras will be the first nation in Central America to have a BAL-C, which can transport 210 metric tons on its loading deck, can reach speeds of nine knots, and can be deployed at sea for 40 days. It also has its own desalination plant that produces up to 2,000 gallons of potable water per day. With enough room for 15 crewmembers, its length overall will be 160 feet and its beam 36 feet. “One of the main advantages of this ship is that it can dock on a beach without a pier. It doesn’t need port infrastructure, and it can make approaches to the coast without running aground,” Rear Adm. Benítez pointed out. Knowledge and technology transfer Honduras and Colombia signed a cooperation agreement in April 2016, and in November of that year, the president of Honduras and COTECMAR formalized an agreement for the construction and the transfer of knowledge and technology to officials in the Honduran Navy. “The accord includes two years of maintenance support and training for three of our officers,” Rear Adm. Benítez said. He also indicated that mechatronics engineers are already in Colombia enrolled at Admiral Padilla Military Naval School, where they will earn a master’s degree in Naval Engineering. Lieutenant Johnnie Sibrián is one of the Honduran officials in Colombia. “We are going to take part in the process of building this ship from the cutting to the assembly of the sections. The hull has already come a long way,” he said. “What we learn here, we want to transfer to others.”last_img read more

U.S. Service Members Train in Colombia

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo August 10, 2018 For more than 11 weeks, Colombian and U.S. service members strengthened their knowledge on techniques and resources to transmit messages to hostile, neutral, or friendly audiences to support the Colombian Army’s institutional objectives. The Colombian Army’s School of International Missions and Comprehensive Action (ESMAI, in Spanish), taught the Basic Military Information Support Operations (MISO) Course that ended June 1, 2018, in Bogota. Among different topics, the course covered the Colombian Armed Forces’ lessons learned on comprehensive action tasks that strengthen the Colombian government governance while providing humanitarian assistance to communities in need. “It’s not our role, but the military forces [are] part of the state. So we seek new ways for the state to reach those areas,” Colombian Army Colonel César Alberto Karán Benítez, commandant of ESMAI, told Diálogo. “We need to find other roles that favor the country’s development,” Col. Karán added. “[We have] a myriad capabilities to offer the Colombian people. Our new Army doctrine focuses on how to help more, how to face the new challenges that come after conflict.” Pioneer in the region ESMAI has become a pioneering school for regional training, evidenced by the high number of international students. In recent years, more than 300 foreign officers and noncommissioned officers trained in different disciplines. In June, two U.S. officers finished the Basic MISO Course, while one Ecuadorean and two Mexican students took part in the next edition of the course, in July. Other ESMAI courses attract international participation as well, such as the Combat Camera Course that ended in August with 14 foreign students enrolled. “[In 2018] we had the pleasure of having two students from the U.S. Army, an officer and a noncommissioned officer. We worked closely for two and a half months,” said Col. Karán. “We did things that we thought were fine, but when we saw how they did them, we realized we could improve the process significantly. The same happened to them.” “Our presence here serves two purposes. First, to attend the course and learn about comprehensive action, because it’s something new for us,” U.S. Army Captain Jake Bruder, a course participant, told Diálogo. “We want to learn how to support and help Colombia in the peace process and in the Army’s development.” MISO was previously known as Psychological Operations. “This tool can be very powerful,” U.S. Army Sergeant Russell Robson, another student in the course, told Diálogo. “We use it to win wars without firing weapons; it helps induce behavior in our targets that favors our objectives.” Knowledge exchange The experience allowed students to better understand the context in which operations are conducted, and get to know their counterparts. “It’s been very good for us; especially for me, because I made many friends here. I was able to see their situation in their unit, outside the school, such as what they have to do when they get here,” Sgt. Robson said. “That helps us have a vantage point on how to improve things. It also serves as an example to be better soldiers, better leaders.” Unlike the U.S. Army, the Colombian Army implements MISO in exercises carried out in Colombia. “[We conduct] MISO outside [the U.S. territory], in Colombia and other countries,” Capt. Bruder said. U.S. participants contributed to the course with suggestions, such as ensuring that MISO is connected to the Victoria Plus Plan, the Colombian Army’s strategic plan. They also recommended clarifying the reasoning behind each intervention, measuring its impact, and delving into target audiences. “One of the changes that should occur before reaching an international level is a deeper understanding of target audiences,” Sgt. Robson said. “We are not talking about classes or big groups of people; it might be only one person. And that’s the analysis we should do—an analysis of psychographic and demographic conditions, as well as vulnerabilities.” “You must look ahead. How will I do it, how to connect the whole strategic plan, and how will I carry it out when I’m not from that country, when I don’t speak their language?” Sgt. Robson said. For Capt. Bruder, the experience and knowledge acquired from the course must be passed along. “I’m going to use that knowledge to develop my team’s operations with comprehensive action brigades and battalions,” he concluded.last_img read more

Rule 4-4.2 to be discussed in September

first_imgRecommended changes to Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 4-4.2 will be discussed at a special meeting during the upcoming General Meeting.And that means any amendments, which were originally planned to go to the Board of Governors at its August 16 meeting, now are tentatively slated for the board’s October meeting.The special meeting was set up after several sections expressed reservations about suggested changes to the rule, which deals with attorneys contacting parties who are represented by counsel.A special board committee has been studying the rule. It originally focused on prosecutors’ concerns that the rule would prevent them from contacting defendants during the course of an investigation, even if it involved something separate from matters they were facing.Prosecutors eventually concluded that the rule shouldn’t be changed because the uncertainties that would create might be worse than dealing with the current rule.But the committee was set to recommend that the rule be changed concerning lawyers who represent parties suing government agencies. Members noted the rule prevents a lawyer from addressing government officials at a public forum and recommended a change.But that caused some sections, including the Environment and Land Use Law Section and the City, County, and Local Government Law Section to express concerns. The special committee decided to hold the gathering at the General Meeting. It is set for 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, September 12.For more information, contact Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert at (850) 561-5780 or at Rule 4-4.2 to be discussed in September August 1, 2002 Regular Newscenter_img Rule 4-4.2 to be discussed in Septemberlast_img read more

Sections weigh in on proposed MJP rules

first_imgSections weigh in on proposed MJP rules Sections weigh in on proposed MJP rules Following requests from two sections and a committee, proposed rules on multijurisdictional practices will be reconsidered before final approval by the Bar Board of Governors.The Business Law Section, International Law Section, and Rules of Judicial Administration Committee — all of which met during the Bar’s recent Annual Meeting — expressed reservations including difficulties the changes could cause in Florida’s effort to became an arbitration and mediation center for business and trade disputes in the Americas.The Board of Governors had reviewed the amendments, recommended by a special commission, at its May meeting. Final passage was set for the board’s August 22 meeting, but the item has been pulled from the agenda. The MJP commission reviewed recommendations from the ABA before making its own proposals to the board.The catch in the rules is a prohibition of foreign lawyers from appearing in litigation and arbitration.That would prevent foreign lawyers representing companies in their home countries from coming to Florida to arbitrate cases under the 34-nation Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) organization. Florida is vying to get the secretariat of that group to be located in the state, although Atlanta is also trying to attract the organization.“This would lead to Florida not being the seat of arbitration.. . . These rules will have a dramatic effect, a dramatic negative effect, on international arbitration in Florida,” said Ed Davis, a member of the International Law Section who presented the issue to the Business Law Section Executive Council.He added that the concern was limited to arbitration issues, not litigation restrictions in the rules.The arbitration center is projected to have an $80 million impact on the state.The two sections passed a resolution prepared by the International Law Section calling for a new commission to study the MJP issue. The rules committee asked to have the matter reconsidered, since it removed judges’ discretion to allow more than three pro hac vice admissions in a year.Although the rule changes had been advertised in the Bar News and articles also appeared about the issue, Davis said lawyers involved in the trade arbitration didn’t realize how it would affect the FTAA.“It was something no one paid any attention to,” he said.Bar Unlicensed Practice of Law Counsel Lori Holcomb, who acted as staff for the MJP commission, said the arbitration issue hadn’t been raised to the commission. She said as soon as Bar President Miles McGrane heard about the reservations about the MJP rule, he ordered the item pulled from the August agenda. He also asked the commission to meet again to consider the points raised by the section and committee.“We welcome any input,” Holcomb said.She said the Governor’s Office had also contacted the Bar about the foreign lawyer arbitration issue. McGrane wrote back, promising, “It will be sent back to our Commission on MJP for review and requested to either come up with an exception to the rule or a rule change to accommodate foreign lawyers who will be affected by the new rule.”McGrane also said the Bar would welcome guidance from the Governor’s Office on how best to accomplish that.center_img July 15, 2003 Regular Newslast_img read more