Month: December 2020

  • Giant Cocaine Laboratory with Colombian Technology Found in Bolivia

    first_imgBy Dialogo December 15, 2010 A giant laboratory with Colombian technology, capable of processing five hundred kilograms of cocaine a week, has been discovered by the counter-narcotics police in Bolivia, a police source has told local media. Although drugs were not found in the police operation. nor was anyone detained, it was possible to establish that the laboratory “had a production of approximately five hundred kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride a week,” said Col. Eduardo Barrientos, head of the counter-narcotics police of Santa Cruz, where the discovery was made. According to the evidence collected, the laboratory had been operating for three months in a region 215 km from the city of Santa Cruz, around 1,100 km east of La Paz, with around twenty-five workers, Barrientos added. “This laboratory is of a Colombian type; (in addition) containers of soft drinks made in Colombia were found, or in other words, Colombian nationals were working in this laboratory,” the police commander declared. Barrientos mentioned that in order to have an idea of the scale of the laboratory, it should be taken into consideration that “more than two tons of solid chemical substances and twenty-four thousand liters of liquid chemical substances were found.” Bolivia has succeeded in seizing over twenty-seven tons of cocaine this year and has eliminated eight thousand hectares of coca, the chief raw material for manufacturing the drug.last_img read more

  • Interview with the Chief of the Uruguayan Armed Forces, General José Ramón Bonilla

    first_imgBy Dialogo November 02, 2011 From August 29 to September 2, 2011, Diálogo attended the Third Annual South American Defense Conference, held in Santiago, Chile, where it had the opportunity to speak with some high-ranking military representatives of the participating countries. The interview with the Head of the Uruguayan Defense General Staff, Air Force General José Ramón Bonilla, is below. DIÁLOGO: General, Uruguay is a relatively small country, with a small population, but one that is recognized internationally for its participation in humanitarian aid when there is a disaster or a problem in other countries… General José Ramón Bonilla: Historically, Uruguayan society has been very open, both to receiving foreigners and welcoming them and more so in the way locals are treated, and it has had a strong vocation for humanitarian aid and peacekeeping, to the point that it’s our country’s foreign policy. We’ve always been present, starting a long time ago, in aid of all kinds. Even if, as you said, it’s a small country with few possibilities and very limited resources, we still have the best resource to offer the world, which is undoubtedly the human resource, which is always present to the extent of our country’s possibilities. We’ve been in Japan, we’ve been in Chile; in Chile we were the first aid that arrived by air. We’ve been in Haiti, of course, and so on, looking back many years, because we’ve always been present, because that’s our character. DIÁLOGO: You just mentioned Haiti. There’s now the idea that the MINUSTAH troops are going to leave the country; is that also a possibility for Uruguay, or not? Gen. Bonilla: No, that’s being looked at politically. It’s being evaluated. How long can you offer aid inside a country? It can’t be forever, right? There should be a process that [determines] when the people themselves should start to move [forward on their own]. And that capability that our soldiers have is the same capability that Uruguayans feel, of being very open. And they succeed in all these missions of this kind due to their empathetic character; they’re very much affected by the tears and the happiness of a child or an adult, they feel solidarity with them, they’re ready to give a great deal of themselves in order to benefit those people who are there, and this results in our forces being much appreciated in that region. This helps open channels of communication that need to exist in order to raise the standards, at least in Uruguay’s peacekeeping mission. DIÁLOGO: With regard to the conference, do you think that the next natural step would be to create a joint regional body across countries to provide humanitarian aid? Gen. Bonilla: I think so. Prevention is where the strength of all these things lies, and when a country has a particular impact or a specific event and has to respond to an emerging situation and does not have the capability, shall we say, to ask the community for help through the press, then that body outside the region can have the capabilities and preexisting ties, the protocol to arrive with the aid that the country may need. Because sometimes, and we’ve been saying this here, many actors with the best intentions arrive with very valuable aid that isn’t coordinated. Another case may involve this aid arriving in one place and then suddenly needing to be transported someplace else, when it could have been coordinated to arrive directly at the epicenter, or where that medicine or that food is needed to begin with. DIÁLOGO: Do you think that Uruguay, due to its tradition of humanitarian aid, would be a natural leader for the region in developing a possible transregional body? Gen. Bonilla: The Defense Ministers of the Americas met last year and wanted to move forward on all the initiatives that exist in favor of this so that someone can lead the whole thing. The conclusions that we reached at the conference of heads of General Staffs include defining a computer support structure where we can input all our aid capabilities, and a place where the headquarters of this body could be located. We belong to UNASUR, and since it’s a South American Defense conference, we have to advise our political branches of government through UNASUR so that through it, the Inter-American Defense Board could possibly be the lead organization, because it’s going to leading the entire American continent. When you have the possibility of helping, you don’t pay attention to who it is, you can’t pay attention to who it is. What’s more, it could even extend beyond the hemisphere, for example, the humanitarian aid that Uruguay took to Japan. So we think that this international body into which all the countries are integrated through the Inter-American Defense Board could be the body giving direction to that system to coordinate and provide needed support to the country that may need it. DIÁLOGO: To conclude, General, is it important to have U.S. participation, for example, in an initiative like the one we’ve mentioned? Gen. Bonilla: It is important to count on their participation with everything involving the computer infrastructure, the computer support system as the U.S. forces presented it, and why is that? Because they can keep it up over time. I can have a very good plan to move everything forward; Chile, in fact, made a very good presentation; Argentina as well; and Brazil. In addition to all this, we’re united by the experience of the unfortunate events that we’ve lived through recently, but APAN, the system proposed by the U.S. Southern Command’s 12th Air Force [Air Force South], offers the possibility of continuing to enrich it with resources and with the necessary infrastructure. The framework is already there, it’s already approved.last_img read more

  • Brazilian President Expects to Visit Cuba and Haiti

    first_img The president included the hemisphere’s poorest country on her foreign agenda, a country from which growing numbers of Haitians are migrating to Brazil in search of work, often with the help of human traffickers who abuse them, as a human-rights official recently told AFP. In the city of Brasileia alone, on the northern border with Peru, 1,250 Haitians have arrived – many of them in the first week of January and with health problems – and are receiving state aid, said Nilson Mourão, the secretary of justice and human rights of the Acre state. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff plans to visit Cuba and Haiti at the end of January, on a trip intended to strengthen cooperation with Havana and expand aid to the Haitians two years after an earthquake devastated their country, official sources announced. A source in the president’s office told AFP that she will also offer her support for the “construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Artibonite River, in southern Haiti,” the source added. center_img Rousseff, who has completed her first year at the head of Latin America’s largest economy, will begin her activity abroad with a pair of visits to Havana and Port-au-Prince on January 31, and February 1, respectively, according to the state information agency. By Dialogo January 10, 2012last_img read more

  • FARC Rebels Declare End to Kidnappings as Prelude to Peace Talks

    first_imgBy Dialogo March 01, 2012 BOGOTÁ — In an apparent breakthrough that could open the door to peace talks with the government, Colombia’s FARC rebels announced Feb. 26 that they would no longer kidnap civilians for ransom. They also vowed to release the last of 10 captured soldiers, some of whom have been held in the jungle for 13 years. President Juan Manuel Santos has insisted that the FARC stop the practice of kidnapping and other acts of terrorism if the group wants to begin peace talks with his government. Thus, the FARC’s announcement was widely interpreted as a first step towards formal talks, which would be the first in a decade aimed at ending the 48-year-old war. “A lot has been said about the retention of civilians by the FARC for financial gain,” the rebel organization said in a communiqué posted on its website. “We announce that from this date forward we are banning this practice.” The FARC added that after decades of war, “we believe there should be no more excuses to put off holding conversations.” Since it first rose up against the government in 1964, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has abducted thousands of civilians. At one point, rebel commandos were kidnapping more than 1,000 people annually. Thus the declaration was greeted, in some quarters, with both optimism and relief. An editorial in the Bogotá daily El Tiempo, the country’s most important newspaper, called the FARC statement “transcendental.” Former President Ernesto Samper called it “historic.” Former hostage Betancourt says she’s ‘hopeful’ Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, who was held along with 14 other captives — including three U.S. military contractors — for six years by the FARC before they were rescued by the Colombian Army in 2008, said: “I am hopeful. The announcement signals a change in strategy for the FARC.” Rather than war, she said “it looks like politics is now at the top of their agenda.” But for every expression of hope and optimism, there were skeptics who claimed that the FARC had taken a cynical half-step geared for public relations purposes rather than a fundamental change in behavior. “The government must not let its guard down,” said Juan Lozano, president of the ruling U Party. “Any softening up of the government’s strategy to combat this terrorist organization would be a monumental error.” Lozano and other politicians pointed out that the FARC still holds scores of civilian hostages and has made no mention of their fate. “The FARC announcement is incomplete,” said Luís Eladio Pérez, a former hostage who spent time in captivity with Betancourt and the three U.S. contractors. “The FARC has not said anything about hundreds of their victims.” What’s more, the FARC apparently plans to continue abducting police and army troops in an effort to exchange them for imprisoned guerrillas. As a result, Camilo Gómez, who was the main government negotiator during the last round of talks, called on the FARC for more coherence. “You can’t go half-way,” Gomez said. “Either you stop kidnapping people or you don’t.” Santos was also voiced caution on his Twitter account. “We value the announcement by the FARC to stop kidnapping as an important and necessary step,” Santos tweeted. “But it’s not enough.” Economics behind FARC decision to suspend kidnappings The FARC’s motives are a long way from altruistic. Analysts said the rebel group is likely moving away from kidnapping not because it’s considered by the international community to be a crime against humanity, but because abductions are becoming more trouble than they’re worth. A Colombian Army offensive, launched in 2002, has wrested back much territory from the FARC, led to the killing or capture of dozens of high-ranking guerrilla commanders, disrupted communications and has reduced the rebel organization’s numbers from 16,000 foot soldiers to about 8,000. That’s made it far more difficult for FARC units to snatch and hold hostages. By some estimates, the FARC must assign up to five guards for every prisoner. Moreover, the rebels must provide them with shelter, food and healthcare and, amid Army operations, quickly move them through difficult jungle and mountain terrain in order to keep them alive while ransom negotiations proceed. If the weakened FARC wants to break out of its military and political isolation through peace talks, said Bogotá security analyst Alfredo Rangel, it must first cleanse its image by renouncing the practice of kidnapping civilians. “Obviously, it’s urgent for the FARC to start formal peace talks to obtain political benefits,” Rangel said. “Just the fact of sitting down to negotiate is an advance for the FARC given their current isolation and the condemnation of the national and international communities.” FARC steps up extortion, drug trafficking activities As a result, the FARC may be finding it easier these days to earn money from other sources. The guerrillas have long been active in the illegal drug trade. They’re also stepping up their extortion schemes by blackmailing businesses for monthly payments, known as vacunas, or vaccinations, because they prevent the victim from suffering the even worse fate of being kidnapped. Amid Colombia’s oil and mining bonanza, the FARC has found many new targets. Oil companies, in particular, are being targeted in southern Caqueta department. Police officials believe that a recent spate of rebel bombings targeting oil tankers and infrastructure in southern Colombia — as well as last year’s kidnapping of three Chinese oil workers and their translator came in retaliation for the refusal of petroleum companies to continue handing over extortion payments. Eduardo Pizarro, who has written several books about the FARC, said the organization also earns huge sums from the gold-mining industry by forcing small-time prospectors in areas where the guerrillas operate into handing over a share of their earnings. Even so, the FARC’s new policy on kidnapping could open some doors with the Santos government. The FARC appears to have adjusted to the Army offensive and, over the past three years, the rebels have stepped up their attacks. On Feb. 27, FARC rebels attacked the town of Caloto in southern Cauca department on the same day Santos was holding a national security council meeting in the nearby city of Popayan. The president has pursued a dual strategy — prosecuting the war while holding out the possibility of peace talks. And as the fighting in Caloto suggests, a final battlefield victory for either side seems remote, making it more likely the two sides may eventually find themselves in negotiations. Yet Colombians by and large appear to have little enthusiasm for another round of talks. The 1999-2002 negotiations ended in failure after the rebels refused to make any concessions and continued to kidnap civilians en masse. Those talks were cancelled 10 years ago this month after FARC commandos skyjacked a commuter plane, forced it to land on a rural highway and kidnapped a Colombian senator onboard. Critics also ask why the country should negotiate with a group that has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States and Europe and enjoys a public approval rating of less than 1 percent in opinion polls. The FARC represents no one, according to these critics. The world would be better without the FARC I LIKED IT 122354568525 If you really believe the hostages of Colombia represent for you part of the genome as Colombians and awakens in you the feeling of solidarity, I tell them: God is with them. Visit this link and you must know that the Virgin of Carmen will release them. Pray in this song and soon we will reunite them with our Colombia family http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wGObciu_IQ Colombians: the farc have very clear objectives: the seizure of power for “The DICTATORSHIP OF THE PEOPLE” using any means. It is a violent and intolerant theory, like the NAZIS, seizure of power at any price. The farc in its long career have not built a single hospital for the peasants, not a single University to graduate doctors that can relieve the health of the poorest, they kill and speak of peace (as the NAZIS did), have concentration camps, train children for war, kill anyone who is not their slave, included their own soldiers. THEY CAN CONTINUE LYING BUT NO ONE IN COLOMBIA BELIEVES THEM. The farc should be subjugated militarily, sending their butcher leaders to jail. Do not believe that you are going to win space with deceptive promises, farc are drug traffickers para-politicians, criminals that have no redemtion, as the bloody Mono JOJOY said: “I can not imagine myself without a rifle, I would be nobody,” that is the farc, they only know how to kill, steal, live in chaos, they are Colombian society’s cancer. Atte, Alfonso Cano I believe that the colleagues should continue eroding the Government with abductions because otherwise they will be those imprisoned and we will be very aware that we are not fulfilling our goal, I do not agree with making passes to the yankee colombian extreme right It is good thing that the farc stop kidnapping, but one wonders now that the group is declining, who can save us? that class that has run the country for two hundred years and has plunged the people in poverty and scandalous exploitation. Funny that the U.S. has never said a word in favor of the people that been so exploited, and when in a country emerges a Government with advanced policies that seeks to help the people, it is considered an enemy that must be destabilized. The Farc say they want dialogue and the truth is they are drawing back, they are going to try to make us believe they want peace as a last desperate gesture and delay their fall, the only negotiable thing is an unconditional surrender; hang in there, President Santos. sirs, the farc are not rebels, they are not the people’s army, they are not simple peasants upraised in arms looking for social demands; they are drug traffickers, terrorists, assassins of masses of unarmed Colombians; an armed army whose purpose is to subdue a democracy and profit from an entire nation in order to be even wealthier; large landowners in the southern part of Colombia were tirofijo, mono jojoy and his war staff; they traded drugs at large scale and became the barons of cocaine,like one of their chiefs the so-called negro acacio, they have filled Colombia with deaths and kidnappings and were privileged by Governments such as former President Andrés Pastrana Arango who rewarded them with an extensive area for them to rearm, regroup, to strengthen and they were on the brink subjugating society and State, protected by a former President who in his big ego only saw a nobel peace prize as a goal. these unscrupulous criminals all they do is lie, kill and they will continue to kill while all the corrupt people in the army and politicians make a lot of money, keeping the people with lies. Go, be tough, otherwise our brothers will be killed. I would like to form part of you all because I like your ideals and I agree with them Truly,I do not believe the farc will give up that purpose, because for its leaders it is more fruitful to continue receiving easy money from extortion and kidnapping; also where will so many crimes, committed by that organization,end up. that’s like asking for credit to have a clean slate and start from scratch, and the pain of so many bereaved families, feeling pain and impotence before those criminals. Gentlemen, our Liberator Simón Bolívar said: “to the shadows of the mystery, only crime works” and that is to throw soil to the blood of so many innocent people and in a way it it to believe that the Government has not cared and that on behalf of that peace, this is the last handful of soil that is thrown upon those victims. I do not want or wish peace with impunities. I thank God because those kidnapped people reached their homes, but we should not forget the civilians that nobody knows how many they are and where they are, my thanks to former Senator Cordoba, always putting herself on the line and so criticized. When will they understand that she has been the only one that has risked her life for these hostage. Not one Minister, councilman or Congressman has said I will go with her, I sincerely congratulate you Mrs. Cordoba and the women that preceded her. Thank God for these demonstrations of wanting to reach a peace agreement. I believe that we must believe in the Lord. He has placed at the heart of this group that the road to the good life is peace, a dignified peace, with new dreams, sharing the most precious gift that is life as a family, giving and receiving love, love from their parents, their children. I believe that Colombia will welcome them and there will be forgiveness in the heart of all Colombians. LET US JOIN TOGETHER IN PRAYER FOR THIS MIRACLE TO TAKE PLACE AND THAT PEACE OF THE CONTINENT BEGINS IN COLOMBIA. Santos is clear to point out that the announcement made by the FARC about ceasing the abductions is an important and necessary step, but it is not enough for the peace negotiations. Obviously, there are other collateral elements of the guerrilla strategy, such as blackmailing and extortion (supposedly justified by relative needs of provisioning, when, in reality, cocaine should be a sufficient income; and also by the stubborn will of impacting socially and politically by any means) that prevents that one deems as Ad Portas the end of hostilities and the blossoming of a Colombia in peace. However, I do not believe that only the guerrillas should be consistent and abandon abductions entirely (and incidentally, extortion and blackmailing) but also the Government, which should persist in the implementation of programs tending towards the social and economic equilibrium of all classes that make up the largest country, and above all, to prove through actions against corruption that devours it from within that there is- in spite of everything – a strong decision of Justice and a deep desire for understanding towards the ones from “the bottom”. In the same fashion, the Government must prove that it can control the vociferous ultra-right that just like the most unrestrained and antisocial left, does not want peace but the elimination of the “enemy”, no matter what was its social and historical origin. Indeed, there should be no place,- guerrilla or Government- an excuse for not thinking tentatively in making these talks happen. Tomorrow will be the result of what we do today. Why is it that whenever people who have been deprived of their freedom are rescued there is so much publicity, and I am referring to the people that belong to the armed forces of Colombia. Why is it that during peace talks they have not been able to tell the Colombian people that soon all those civilians that are still in captivity in the jungle will soon be freed. There are so many families awaiting the day to see their loved ones again and they have spent all their lives awaiting a miracle from God so this can be a reality. Aren’t they Colombians, too? I agree 100% with the final sentence of this article: THE FARC REPRESENTS NOBODY IN COLOMBIA, with the exception of the ringleaders and the little chiefs of this drug trafficking organization. There is no doubt that what is most depressing for the future of the members of this bloody criminal gang is the absence of a true leader that is able to see the reality in a clear and transparent way.Some one that be able to acknowledge that after more than half a century of causing a brutal, merciless war against the Colombian people, today the only thing they have reaped is the total disrespect of 47 million fellowmen, and a State that is armed to the teeth and fighting in a monolithic way, and is chasing them by land, sea and air. To top it off, the whole nation is so focused on their frontal struggle against these bandits, that it is already prepared for another half-century of combat against this terrorist group. Will the demoralized, dying and totally discredited Farc hang in there?????. If we, as civilians, have so many needs and misery in a country that is so wealthy, war will never end if there isn’t a real change in politics and kick out all these thieves. In the meantime, they continue to send our children, the children of poverty, to a guerrilla movement that is waiting for them, and showing them, according to them, a real change. And not having an alternative, the war will increase even more, while the white collar thieves continue their wrong doing with what belongs to all Colombians Media should not be asking to so many people their opinion on such a delicate subject.These opinions are from different people who do not live the conflict and whose interest is only personal because these concepts are never going to be taken into account neither by the Government or by the guerrillas, and they only tend to confuse the perception that people have of the conflict the farc is a strategy to mislead the international community and the peoples We have to combat them with heavy weapons at any given place. Colombia allied with the United States is going to exterminate that scourge. Of course, innocent people are going to die, but this is a small price to pay for exterminating that scourge. I WONDER HOW MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE KILLED BY THE GUERRILLA DAILY. THINK ABOUT IT AND ACT. what the FARC is pure strategy to deceive the people and the international community, that force must get heavy weapons at any point where this in Colombia of course allied with United States to end that kankrina, if a thousand vece if you have innocent deaths, BUT THIS iS VALUABLE BUT iS JUST THAT PLAGUE, I wonder KILLS iNNOCENT AS THE DAILY GUERRILLA, think and act. Mining is the new source of funding for the guerrillas, at least we can see it in the South of Bolívar where the united gangs (Bacrines-Narcos-Guerrillas) are destroying the forest reserve of the San Lucas highlands. Currently each backhoe that belongs to that conspiracy pays to the commanders both the Farc and the Eln 5,000,000 pesos per month. According to the same authorities, there are more than 150 of these machines illegally exploiting alluvial mines in the basins of the most important rivers of the municipalities of Santa Rosa del Sur – Morales Bolívar-Monte Cristo, Bolívar – Simití Bolivar – San Pablo Bolívar-Arenal Bolívar — among others. The seriousness of the situation is that in addition to extorting the small miners, they are destroying rivers wetlands and natural aquifers. Is it possible that the authorities will act in this case? We must kill the 8 thousand without contemplation, they are a scourge of the world… the Colombian Government should give a prudent deadline so that the guerrillas can repent and leave the FARC and if they do not, give the order together with an international command to kill and liquidate them. It will be 8,000 dead or some detainees but it will be the satisfaction of millions of citizens of the world…… Go ahead,Colombian Government, firmly grasp power. Its people and the world will appreciate it… death to the scourge of criminals… the so-called farc … Let me doubt about that opinion survey. Who in Colombia would dare to openly express sympathy for the guerrillas. He/she would have a worse fate than the trade unionists, popular leaders and human rights advocates. It seems to me that you are very objective when publishing news, that is why we always read it with my family. President Santos wants to return to the Pastrana era with his anti-war speech On the concept of the future vision of the community, for whom wield power, those interested in the Colombian history, who are planning a future and transformative vision in this process of collective construction, in a pluralistic democratic state; I think there are sufficient events,they deserve a profound analysis with an ethical conduct to assess the causes that have originated this chain of events in which the protagonist is violence in different ways.-In order to sustain this concept it would be important to have a broad debate in the media, known as constructive guidance and free expression “it is a parameter of the political Constitution of Colombia” , likewise in education centers, preferably high school and college level and to include in them the community leaders; organized participation allows us to get familiar with the popular consciousness and the need to accept constructive criticism without satirical arguments and without sponsoring offenses in any sector; finally, excluding manipulations, summarize, organize, publish this plurality of opinions so they can be analyzed and taken into account by the Executive and legislators of the Colombian State. Thousands of comments from the Yankees, who do nothing else but try to take over Latin America, it’s all the gringos’ fault,move forward, farcep fellows. While there is a guerrilla standing, the project continues. Since 1964 we have had 48 years of permanent belligerence, and what does Santos do?, what did he say in his campaign?, just rant. All speculations are worth as simple speculation. The FARC continue to impose conditions. They must be invited to participate in general elections and period. Ensure them amnesty and total freedom. The boys are tired of the jungle, if the Colombian right continues to rule, Uribe was the most typical server of rupestrian democracy that only protects those who are strongest, that is, it is best to compete in the same field. Now the left is ruling in Latin America and nobody cries for that democratic change. The privileges had been extended to everybody If they refuse, they lose because their allies will consider them intransigent, as if they wanted to live by expediency in the current conditions of clashes. THE FARC is the true army of the Colombian people that fight for a big Latin America! Not as it is today:Colombia is just one more province of the United States They are nothing in life. DOCTOR CARLOS ALBERTO HERNANDEZ HERNANDEZ WAS KIDNAPPED BY FRONT 51 OF THE FARC ON NOVEMBER 23, 1997. THEY HAVE NEVER GIVEN PROOF OF SURVIVAL. WE DEMAND HIS RELEASE OR A RESPONSE FROM THE FARC. WHY is a lead so poorly written still in the headlines of my PC when I read the news? First of all, they are not rebels, they are terrorists; second, they not stick to their commitments, they have kidnapped again: oil Chinese entrepreneurs (china suppresses news for its ideological affinity) and a French journalist; third, the lead seems to favor the dying terrorist sub-group. I would ask for them to write more appropriate headlines. This farc is a garbage, rubbish, they are parasites and rogue, a scum of the worst, these cowards. Decadent communism and the rupestrian and outdated ideology of the damned farc. It would be better that they continue living in Venecuba, in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, because in Colombia they have not been welcomed for a long time. For Chavez’s godsons, they should be talked to in the same language: A RAIN OF BULLETS, PIPETTES OF GAS, CYANIDE, RAT POISON, ANYTHING SHOULD BE UTILIZED TO EXTERMINATE THEM. I would like to request information about the kidnapping of a Military Police Officer called: Juan Carlos Chavarro Sierra, the kidnapping happened more than 14 years ago by FARC’s Military, my wife is Juan Carlos’ sister she still hopes to find him alive; I am Brazilian and I work as a Radio Broadcaster in the city of Manaus – Amazonas Brazil. Thank you for any information. Att. Jaimar Saraiva my e-mail: jaimarsaraiva@hotmail.com Go forward, President Santos, you have been able to clearly interpret the Colombian problem, don’t be intimidated by the CORRUPT PEOPLE in this country, that they are much worse than any kind of terrorism and crime that affects this country. Go ahead, Mr. President, with your peace and understanding policy among peoples. Do not continue to allow the activities of the major transnational weapons industry, getting wealthier thanks to the impoverished and hardworking Colombian people who do not deserve it… Those who do not know in depth the conflict should not issue concepts. They should emit concepts only after having studied the subject thoroughly and in an impartial way. The FARC are not a bunch of bandits as the politicians from the right and far right like to say, with the desire to depict them as “terrorists”. That is a lie. A guerrilla was born of an urgent need from the heart of the people,regardless of which one.Let´s read Colombian political history, seriously. At this time, the Farc have reached a degree of organization, which has a very well defined hierarchical scale and it is rigorously observed. Its dome is comprised of professionals in different areas, and they have extensive experience in the conflict. All the hierarchical rank is ready to assume positions of responsibility and that is why when one of its members falls, there is another one, even better prepared, that takes his place. But they not only know and face the national inequality, they also know and contribute to eradicate the other inequities of the continent. All America knows its real history and its actions, except the Colombians, uninformed victims of cultural precarity of reporters of the common, employees of the two largeempires in the country, supported by other Governments of well-known right-wing brand. They have had wrong moments, yes, they have and they have suffered for that.Something hurts them: the educational poverty of the average Colombian who doesn’t allow them to think in a more industrious nation, business, University, and much less petty politics. They know that other countries are emerging, are improving their lifestyle, and Colombia is becoming endangered, poor and hungry. They are asking for better ways for the East, not better military supplies. Who hears them? Terrorists! is the answer. From Paraguay I would like to send a message to the guerrillas of the Farc: it is not necessary to continue fighting with weapons, because the best weapon is the pen, to know how to explain, to demonstrate in concrete facts what is happening in their country. If you continue with this fight, you will only receive hate and rejection from the democratic world. We say no to communism, and we say yes to a democratic socialism, for the defense of the farmers’rights. This is my humble opinion as a patriotic Paraguayan. As long as a Colombian stand ready to fight, the Yankees will never be able to take over our homeland. Long live FARC EP, go forward with your heads up high, you are the war’s barons, FARC and ELN, present and not absent…. More deaths were caused by the paramilitaries in a few years, supported by Uribe who was the worst President and the guerrilla are fighters of the people and are simple people. We know the great problem of our Colombian brothers since the 1970s, which has devastated entire populations, like the southern territory when plan Colombia that, by having mercenaries in their ranks, did not respect nor distinguished who was Farc and who was not. If the long nightmare of Colombia ends, what happiness! Even I was a victim of a bomb placed in Bogotá in 1997 and I saved my life miraculously, but not so two people working together with me who lost their lives and the bad memory of those bodies which at times looked like meat that is sold in the Uruguayan butchers, will not be erased of my mind. If it wasn’t for this, I would currently live in Bogotá, because I was really very well treated, despite not being Colombian. Therefore, if peace finally comes, we should celebrate it. I followed the case of Ingrid’s kidnapping and I read her biography, and I almost entered in a depressive state when I read about what this woman went through along the other captives. I really think this is a great cruelty what the FARC did to its hostages.. but thank God that is all over……. I think that the governments don’t provide support to the most distant areas of the countries, and the population becomes too needy and they let people in a very fragile state, a lot can be obtained with schools and high quality education, that can even be leveled with the first world, if people who are educated are compared to the ones who are not and without any match, and the only way to make a great life turn You cannot talk about peace when they destroy bridges that peasants use to take their products out to sell. It cannot be accepted to say that they are in favor of people when they bomb the poorest villages. Kidnapping is a horrible crime, release all abductees, stop drug trafficking, deliver the weapons and make opposition with Smart Reasons. I think that the guerrillas should be given the opportunity to be rehabilitate themselves with the people. We don’t want more violence. We want peace. HI, I ALSO WANT, I AM LONGING TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO JUAN CARLOS CHAVARRO SIERRA. MANY YEARS HAVE ELAPSED IN WHICH I’VE LOOKED ONLINE, I HAVE INQUIRED IN MANY PLACES AND NOBODY GIVES ME A REASON, SIMPLY NOBODY SAYS ANYTHING… Blessed peacemakers for they are God’s children. We are going through the best time thanks God. President, the Colombians are supporting this Treaty in company with God THE STUPID SANTOS DOES NOT REALIZE THAT THOSE DRUG-TERRORISTS ARE ARMING THEMSELVES WITH ALL THE ARSENAL THAT CHAVEZ AND CORREA ARE GIVING THEM. THESE NARCO-TERRORISTS CONTINUE WITH THE STRATEGY TO SPEAKING ABOUT PEACE WHEN THEY ARE CORNERED. THE VENECO-FARC KEEP BLACKMAILING, KIDNAPPING CHILDREN FOR WAR, KILLING PEASANTS, ATTACKING DEFENSELESS PEOPLE. The first stick in the wheel that was placed by the guerrillas is Trinidad, and he is sentenced to 60 years in jail for kidnapping Americans, not even Obama has the power to issue an amnesty, this corresponds to the judges. Chavez is losing the elections, and thus the guerrilla won’t have a safe place in Venezuela. They say and they deny that they have no hostages. Santos is facing increasing problems. According to the reports, the leadership of the Farc does not have command upon all fronts. So where is the Government of Santos? We have always maintained that the coordinates facing the heroic struggle of the FARC EP are those of Latin America. It is not only to expel the gringos from the homeland of Santander, the priest Camilo or commander Marulanda. It is the Patria Grande. It is the motherland liberated by Bolívar and his lieutenants – Creole or foreign – as Colonel John McKintosh, hero of Pichincha, 1822. It is the homeland of Alfaro, victimized in Quito, 1912. And as the dialogues prompt the excited support of all progressive sectors of Latin America, from the Anglican pulpit we offer our solidarity prayer, our collaboration, our willingness to join the FARC EP delegation in these dialogues in Oslo, in Havana, or where it is designated by the history. Until Victory Always. Fatherland or Death, We shall win!last_img read more

  • Mexico and Colombia Reaffirm Their Skills at Sea

    first_imgBy Myriam Ortega Torres/Diálogo September 06, 2017 Three Colombian ships, one aircraft, and several rapid response units met in Málaga Bay to carry out Operation Pacífico III. The Colombian Navy’s Pacific Fleet led the training with the participation of the Mexican Navy ship ARM Zapoteco. “You have to make tactical formations,” Rear Admiral Luis Hernán Espejo Segura, the commander of the Colombian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, told Diálogo. “You have to remain within the stations on the maneuvering board assigned to you for exercises in which the ships have to navigate skillfully under various orders that are announced by the person commanding the task group.” During the early July exercise, participants practiced maneuvers for weighing anchor, interdiction tactics, navigation in restricted waters, and naval weaponry firing. These complex duties require high levels of coordination and maneuvering, especially considering that the ships exceed 1,000 tons. Common threats and shared opportunities Operation Pacífico III is an international exercise led by the Colombian Navy’s Pacific Fleet for the purposes of improving monitoring and security at sea, standardizing procedures, and facilitating combined operations with the navies of other nations with interests in the Pacific. The exercise was held for the first time with Panama April 24th to 28th, the second time with Ecuador May 16th to 17th, and this third time with Mexico. Operation Pacífico has prioritized holding these exercises to develop skills directed at tackling real-world challenges. “The struggle against transnational crime, security aspects of human life at sea, and aspects of conserving the environment [are] shared objectives that our nations have in the face of common threats but also shared opportunities,” Rear Adm. Espejo said. In this respect, Mexico is a very important country in the fight against drug trafficking. Large amounts of drugs leave countries such as Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, and pass through Mexico before arriving at their final destination in the United States. That is why it was timely to have a Mexican ship in the operation. Mexican participation “At this time every year, cadets from the Mexican Naval Academy set out on various Navy ships,” Mexican Navy Rear Admiral Cecilio Olvera Malagón, the naval attaché in Colombia, told Diálogo. “They conduct instructional cruises that allow the cadets to train and practice what they learned in the classroom.” That is how the presence of the ARM Zapoteco in Colombian waters was leveraged to carry out one phase of the operation. “The ships have different flags, but they have to be sure of their ability to operate via mutual agreement under the coordination of a defined command,” Rear Adm. Espejo told Diálogo. “To be safe operating at sea, we need a common language.” “Initially, the training trip aboard the ARM Zapoteco included just a formal visit to Málaga Naval Base,” Rear Adm. Olvera added. “However, through Rear Adm. Espejo’s initiative, it was proposed that we conduct exercises at the end of the visit.” The crew of the ARM Zapoteco comprises 217 members, among them, 190 cadets. “It was very enriching for the cadets to have this opportunity to take part in exercises held on ships belonging to the Colombian Navy’s Pacific Fleet,” Rear Adm. Olvera noted. Common interests Operation Pacífico will continue to be held annually. That is why there are plans to boost the results of the exercises already held with Ecuador and Panama, nations with which Colombia shares land and sea borders that are patrolled by the Colombian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, whose jurisdiction covers 1,320 kilometers of coastline and 339,500 square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean. Together with other nations that make up the Pacific Rim, Colombia is doing its part for the common interests of the region. “As a nation, we make up part of the Pacific Rim. Everything aimed at strengthening our relations and our capacities to work together at sea guarantees and preserves a key activity for our nations, such as international commerce with secure lines of communication, which is one of the responsibilities of navies throughout the world,” Rear Adm. Espejo concluded.last_img read more

  • Illegal Armed Groups Fight Over Border Control Between Venezuela and Colombia

    first_imgBy Diálogo December 18, 2019 At least 10 illegal armed groups from various political sectors are fighting for control of Venezuelan territory near the border with Colombia, reports from the Strategic Center for Homeland Security and Protection (CESPPA, in Spanish) — an institution of the Nicolás Maduro regime — indicate.In November 2018, CESPPA produced a detailed mapping of these organizations in the states of Zulia, Táchira, Apure, Bolívar, and Amazonas near the Colombian border, based on data provided by the Integral Defense Strategic Regions of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB, in Spanish).Venezuelan nongovernmental organization FundaRedes, devoted to promoting human rights and democracy, had access to the CESPPA report, which indicates the presence of three Colombian insurgent groups in Zulia state: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the National Liberation Army, and the People’s Liberation Army (FARC, ELN, and EPL respectively, in Spanish). In addition, the report also identified Colombian criminal rings, such as the Clan del Golfo and Los Rastrojos narcotrafficking networks, as well as the paramilitary group Águilas Negras.Táchira is the state where the largest number of groups operate, FundaRedes said, adding that the CESPPA document indicates that Los Rastrojos, the Clan del Golfo, the Venezuelan guerrilla group Bolivarian Liberation Forces (FBL, in Spanish), and Tren de Aragua, a very violent Venezuelan criminal gang, operate in the area. The ELN is the group with the largest presence, with 700 members deployed in several municipalities throughout the state.According to InSight Crime, a U.S. research organization that specializes in security threats in Latin America and the Caribbean, these groups are behind the increased violence in the state, with frequent shootings and murders (33 victims of violence in October 2019 alone) to control human trafficking, narcotrafficking, and smuggling on the border.Javier Tarazona, president of FundaRedes, told Diálogo that the ELN controls a radio station and a magazine (Antorcha Elena) in Zulia and Táchira, and that according to their research it also recruits minors. Their activities, he said, include extorting ranchers and farmers and controlling the government’s program that distributes food at subsidized prices known as CLAP.David Smolansky, coordinator of the Organization of American States’ Working Group for Venezuelan Migrants, said that another profitable activity for criminal groups is controlling the movement of people and goods between Venezuela and Colombia through hundreds of unofficial border crossings. Smolansky said that the activity may yield up to $10,000 a day.According to FundaRedes, authorities detected the presence of the FARC and ELN in Apure, where they also control the CLAP program. The state is home to the FBL, but the group is splitting into factions, Tarazona said, with some members remaining close to the Maduro regime and others accusing him of betraying Hugo Chávez’s original project.In Bolívar and Amazonas states, where the gold mines of the Orinoco Mining Arc are located, FundaRedes said that the FARC and ELN (with more than 500 members) have joined forces to control mining resources.Tarazona warned that a large part of the FARC has withdrawn into Venezuela since their former leaders announced their return to the armed struggle in late August. “Now, they not only want to have armed men, but also to consolidate a parallel economy in Venezuela,” he said.Rear Admiral (ret.) Carlos Molina Tamayo, former FANB director of armaments who is in exile in Spain, said the Maduro regime has partnered with FARC and ELN leaders.“It’s clear that the FARC and the ELN have a safe haven in Venezuelan territory. They are partner forces. The only way to change this is to change the regime,” he said.last_img read more

  • Courts’ budget being debated

    first_imgThe Florida court system is doing reasonably well as the state House and Senate work on their 2005-06 budgets, but still faces some difficulties, according to State Courts Administrator Lisa Goodner.The courts are getting much of what they want in initial budgets approved by the House and Senate early in April, but there are some shortfalls, and much remains to be settled in the closing weeks of the session.“We have a better allocation of dollars in the House budget than in the Senate budget, but we have a lot of opportunities for negotiation in conference [between the two chambers],” Goodner said. “We are very optimistic that those negotiations will go well and we will be treated well in our major budget priorities this year.”Overall, the House budget boosts spending for the judicial branch by $24.7 million, while the Senate is looking at a $9.5 million increase. The branch had requested an additional $72 million.Goodner said that $72 million was based on all 110 new judges requested by the Supreme Court being approved and funded as of the July 1 start of the 2005-06 budget year. The major differences with the legislative budgets is on judges.The House budget has 108 judges [two new requested district court of appeal judges are not in the House plan], with the appointments staggered over the year beginning in the fall. The Senate plan has only 18 judges for 2005-06, and 16 judges the following year.One top priority for the court system is to get enough money for authorized staff positions, which has been a continual problem that has forced the courts to leave some positions unfilled for extended periods.“We are disappointed that we’ve not gotten much response in either house in dealing out our salary budget shortfall problem,” Goodner said. “That has been one of our most significant issues.. . . We’re still working on that issue and we are engaged in dialogue with members and staff regularly to try to persuade them that’s an issue we should have more substantially funded.”The courts are also hoping for an overall boost in salaries for court system employees, although Goodner noted that is typically decided in the last days of the session.“The branch is falling further and further behind the rest of government in terms of the salary and benefits we offer our employees,” she said.Legislators have also recognized maintenance issues, especially with the Supreme Court, and lawmakers have included a $2.7 million security upgrade. However, with the district courts of appeal, “we are still short, in the Senate particularly, on some really critical building and maintenance issues,” Goodner said.The legislature had included new positions for Goodner’s office to help manage the implementation of Revision 7, which last year had the state take over more trial court funding from the county. There is also money for two new security positions and some new administrative positions for the Supreme Court, she said.“There has not been a great deal of new positions funded for the trial courts, but we had a lot of new positions funded last year [as part of Revision 7],” she said.The biggest difference between the two chambers remains the number of new judges. The House originally had 108 new circuit and county judges, while the Senate had all 110 certified by the Supreme Court, including the two DCA positions. But in early April, the Senate Justice Appropriations Committee changed that to 34 judges, 18 this year and 16 next year.At the time, committee chair Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa, and other members assured supporters of more judges that the change was only a posturing and negotiating tactic and that Crist and the committee supported at least 55 new judges this year and 55 more next year. The change led to speculation the Senate was using the number of judges as a negotiating “chip” to win other concessions from the House.“There are always so many issues in play with the legislature that it’s hard as an outsider to know what this may be being used against,” Goodner said. “Whether this posturing is about the actual number of judges or another issue, I don’t know.” May 1, 2005 Regular News Courts’ budget being debatedcenter_img Courts’ budget being debatedlast_img read more

  • Lawyers urged to support Challenge for Children

    first_img May 15, 2005 Regular News Lawyers urged to support Challenge for Children Lawyers urged to support Challenge for Children Contributions may be made through The Florida Bar’s annual fee statement For those of us who have ever grumbled about not getting a good night’s sleep, consider, for a moment, the case of Chris.A 17-year-old foster care student, Chris was “placed” on a couch in an office of the Department of Children and Families. Chris had been removed from his parents because of physical abuse and neglect, and had gone through a dozen placements in six years. When legal aid learned Chris had been sleeping in a break room at DCF, it requested an emergency hearing to remove him from his “couch-residence.” 5 p.m. that day, a judge ruled for DCF to find a new placement for Chris — a home that met his basic needs.Thanks to legal aid, Chris is now living with his grandparents, where he has a shower, a bureau for his clothes, and a warm bed.This story is detailed in a letter from Bar President-elect Alan Bookman accompanying the 2005-06 Bar fee statement. In the letter, Bookman asks members to add in a charitable contribution of $45 or more to The Florida Bar Foundation, with payment of their annual Bar fees. The Foundation will dedicate all fee statement contributions to children’s legal services.“Is there a greater responsibility we have in society than to see that our children have every opportunity possible?” Bookman asked.John Thornton, the Foundation’s president-elect designate, said for many it’s difficult to comprehend a child who needs the services of an attorney, yet the need for increased funding for children’s legal services continues to grow.“As members of the legal profession, we already do a great deal for our community, including our pro bono work and contributions to legal aid,” Thornton said. “Yet, every year thousands of low-income children in Florida routinely are denied their legal rights to education, health care, and other services essential for these children to become productive adults.”Additional problems faced by poor children, according to Foundation children’s legal services grantees, include school officials filing criminal complaints against special education children without meeting the requirement to advise law enforcement of their disabilities; parents denied the right to examine and photocopy their child’s school files; and children who do not receive the medical services to which they are legally entitled.Efforts to address the need for children to receive legal services, however, are beginning to receive more attention, Bookman said.“Last year, our Lawyers’ Challenge for Children generated more than $180,000 to fund grants for children’s legal services,” Bookman said. “The Florida Bar Foundation has and will continue to fund annual grants for representation of children out of IOTA funds. But the needs of children stretch well beyond the reach of IOTA funding. The grants provided for children’s legal services by The Florida Bar Foundation help assure that legal assistance will be available to assist and protect the legal rights of Florida’s most vulnerable population.”The Foundation has several goals for its children’s legal services grant program, but emphasizes access to special education required by law and the protection of the legal rights of foster children. For example, for foster children moved repeatedly from one foster home to another, the opportunity for a decent education often is lost. Also, transition training, and related benefits required by law to prepare foster children for independent living as adults, often is denied. Frequently, foster children traumatized by the constant upheaval in their lives, and who suffer from mental health problems, go untreated despite legal requirements that treatment be provided.Thornton said there have been tangible results to funding children’s legal services.“In the special education area, our children’s legal services grantees report that children served by the program show long-term improvement in academic performance and in their behavior,” Thornton said. “It’s too early to report long-term results from our emphasis on foster children, but the cost of failing these children is too high.”Thornton added, “Our chief grantee serving foster children reports that studies show 20 to 40 percent of homeless people used to be foster kids. State prisons are filled with inmates who come from foster care backgrounds.”Thornton said the children’s legal services grant program is one of the Foundation’s most “important and rewarding” efforts.“When our legal aid grantees send in their reports describing the kinds of cases they handle, I’m astounded at the obstacles poor children and their families have to overcome, and I am awed by the lawyers—and the Foundation—that have helped them do so,” Thornton said.“You and I have another opportunity this year to make a difference,” Bookman said. “Please join me in supporting the Lawyers’ Challenge for Children.”last_img read more

  • Senate moves to draft constitution streamlining bill

    first_img Senate moves to draft constitution streamlining bill Gary Blankenship Senior Editor The legislative project to streamline the Florida Constitution has begun. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently ordered a bill drafted to correct 297 typographical, grammatical, and style errors, as well as remove outdated or unconstitutional sections – and to make the section governing the treatment of pregnant pigs into a statute.At the same time, the House Judiciary Committee heard from state constitutional experts as chair Rep. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said the House panel will follow the Senate committee’s lead.Both committees met January 25 during a legislative committee week in Tallahassee, and were scheduled to meet again early this month, after this News went to press.Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Daniel Webster, R-Orlando, who initiated the constitutional review process, repeated his goal is to streamline the constitution and perhaps remove some provisions to the statute book that don’t belong in the state’s basic charter. He insisted he does not want to make any policy changes, even if he disagrees with those policies.“My motivation is not to change issues that are there; my motivation is to make the constitution a real constitution and fix 297 errors,” he said.Webster noted he had unanimous committee support for drafting an amendment that would remove the constitutional provision on the treatment of pregnant pigs and make that a statute. Doing so in the first draft of the streamlining bill will create the template if committee members agree there are other parts of the constitution that should be shifted to the statutes, he said.The committee vote came after a presentation by Thomas C. Cibula, a senior attorney with the Judiciary Committee, on the constitution.Included was a delineation of 297 misspellings, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and sections which no longer had any relevance or had been declared unconstitutional. The latter included language about how past amendments were to be phased in or implemented but has now been rendered meaningless because the amendments are fully effective, and a section on term limits for Florida’s U.S. representatives and senators that has been declared unconstitutional.Cibula said the committee may also want to examine transferring what are considered “statutory”-type provisions in the constitution into state law. He noted that last November voters approved three amendments relating to medical malpractice suits and doctors; an amendment raising the minimum wage in the state; and an amendment allowing the use of slot machines, with local voter approval, in two counties. Other amendments passed in earlier years include the fishing net ban and ban on indoor smoking, he said.Cibula also said the committee may want to look at constitutional provisions that are unlikely to be utilized. As an example, he cited the 1998 amendment allowing counties and circuits to opt out of electing county and circuit judges and go to a pure merit selection and retention system. (The Florida Bar supported that amendment.) The amendment provided for a referendum in 2000 on switching to merit selection and retention for trial judges, which failed throughout the state. Cibula said it would take a petition signed by 10 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the most recent presidential election to have another local referendum on merit selection.That’s higher than the 8 percent requirement for initiative petitions, Cibula said, adding, “This may be one of those provisions that will never be implemented and as a result may not need to be in the constitution.”He said the constitution still contains references to local judgeships and rights of dower and curtesy which have been abolished by the legislature. There is also a provision in Art. V that provides that sections of Art. V contained in the state’s 1885 constitution, but not included in the new Art. V — but not inconsistent with its provisions — shall become statutes. Those provisions, Cibula said, have never fully been identified and have never been codified into Florida Statutes, although they have been held to have the force of law.Sen. Steven Geller, D-Hallandale Beach, said he was concerned that some citizen rights, such as the right to privacy spelled out in Art. I, might be seen as a statutory- type provision suitable for deletion from the constitution.But Webster said privacy is a fundamental right that is properly in the constitution. “I have no intention of doing anything to the right of privacy,” he said. “If you look at the definition of what the constitution is, it delineates the rights of people, and that [privacy] is one of them,”Webster is also open to the statutory status of any provisions voters approved making into law. He said the change could be accompanied by a provision that those laws could not be amended for three years, or that it would require a three-fifths or even unanimous vote of the legislature to change them or that they could be amended by a simple majority vote. Senate moves to draft constitution streamlining bill February 15, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

  • Bar backs ABA move to increase the number of minority attorneys

    first_img Bar backs ABA move to increase the number of minority attorneys April 30, 2006 Regular News The Bar Board of Governors has voted to endorse an ABA resolution aimed at increasing the number of minority lawyers and discussed another ABA effort to protect the attorney-client privilege between lawyers and corporate clients.Bar President Alan Bookman presented the minority resolution to the board at its April 7 meeting.It called on states to ensure that their bar exams do not have a disparate effect on minority passing rates. It also calls on state and local bars to support programs that help minorities attend college and then go to law school.The board voted unanimously to endorse that.President-elect Hank Coxe brought the second ABA matter to the board’s attention, but did not call for any action on it.He said the ABA, under the leadership of Miami attorney Neal Sonnett, has been trying to oppose what has been labeled the Thompson memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Justice a few years ago.That memo stated that it is government policy that in order for corporations under criminal investigation to get credit from the government for cooperation, they must waive attorney-client privilege.That, Coxe said, “had a significant impact on the ability of attorneys to help their clients.”It also led to such things as the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Commission adopting a rule that credit would be given in sentencing to corporations that waived the attorney-client provision and the government’s taking the position that corporations which provided counsel to their employees were not cooperating and might even be blocking government investigations.It also led to the unlikely partnership between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union to work to overturn the Justice memorandum, Coxe said.And those efforts have recently had some success.The guidelines commission, he said, has proposed a rule change that would drop the credit provision for waiving the attorney-client relationship. Unless Congress acts to contradict it, that change will become effective July 1.And Coxe said a federal judge has called into question the government’s pressuring of corporations not to provide counsel for their employees. In light of the Sixth Amendment, the judge “asked them how they could take that position,” he said.Although he didn’t call for any action at the meeting, Coxe said the ABA is interested in getting state bars to support its actions.center_img Bar backs ABA move to increase the number of minority attorneyslast_img read more