Colombian Security Forces Focus on Crop Substitution in Fight Against Drug Trafficking

first_img Expanding opportunities Between January 1st and February 10th, the PNC eradicated 300 hectares of illegal crops after destroying 4,966 hectares in 2015, Lt. Col. Roa Castañeda said. Aerial spraying operations, in which security forces used glyphosate, have helped authorities achieve a 57 percent decrease in coca crops in a span of 14 years. In 2014, there were 69,132 hectares of coca crops nationwide, well below the 162,510 hectares in 2000. “We are in the midst of the largest ever crop substitution, which is due to economic competitiveness because there are sectors such as cocoa beans that are having a bonanza and generating more income for farmers,” Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas explained during the forum “New Challenges for Drug Policy in Colombia”. Another successful example involves the Kogi, Arhuaco, Kankuamo, and Wiwa indigenous communities that inhabit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where farmers have replaced coca crops with pepper, rubber, sugarcane, and coffee. With the support of the Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), more than 134,000 families have benefited since 2006 by replacing their illicit crops with these products and activities such as fishing, beekeeping, crafts, and tourism. Higginbottom met with former coca farmers who have transitioned to producing cocoa, and she and Colombian Minister of Agriculture Aurelio Iragorri signed a joint declaration of intent on technical assistance and education. Colombia’s Ministry of Justice recently announced that it will support six new projects to replace illegal crops, benefiting 554 families in regions including Putumayo, Santander, Antioquia, Magdalena and Nariño. The government will support the initiative by investing around $270 million and will focus on the municipalities of Necoclí, Santa Marta, Sucre, Andes, Linares, and Valle del Guamuez. The Colombian government’s program to support the cultivation of legal crops is bolstered by security forces’ efforts to eradicate coca harvests. The Armed Forces have deployed 7,000 Troops to 21 departments throughout the country to strengthen eradication efforts, Villegas stated. Colombian security officials are emphasizing the substitution of illegal crops with legal alternatives as part of the country’s fight against drug trafficking, in concert with the Armed Forces’ continuing campaign to eradicate coca, the main ingredient used to make cocaine. By Dialogo February 29, 2016 The United States, a key partner nation, is supporting the effort by providing $5 million to support the “Cocoa for Peace” program, which will be implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Cocoa for Peace will support Colombia’s efforts to advance the legal rural economic growth through cocoa, particularly in areas affected by conflict,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom said during her visit to Colombia on February 19th. During the January forum in Bogotá, Villegas discussed the benefits of eradication and substitution programs for farmers that switch from cultivating illegal coca to growing legal export products like coffee beans, yucca, papaya, and cocoa. For example, farmers make about $700 for a ton of coca leaves but can earn more than $3,000 for a ton of cocoa or $3,400 for a ton of coffee beans. center_img “We have designed a new strategy in which more Security Companies for Eradication [Troops who will provide security] have been mobilized and a greater number of Mobile Eradication Groups were sent to areas of greater influence,” Lt. Col. Roa Castañeda told Diálogo. “This year, public forces plan to eradicate 16,279 hectares in various departments nationwide.” The Military has tripled the number of Troops in the Mobile Eradication Groups who will carry out their eradication mission in four phases. “The Armed Forces will be responsible for 22 Mobile Eradication Groups per phase, with more than 1,500 Soldiers to ensure the safety of the groups and some 2,560 uniformed personnel who will conduct eradication activities […] the Police will have 28 Mobile Eradication Groups with approximately 2,800 personnel handling security,” Villegas said. Meanwhile, Colombia’s National Police (PNC) is conducting manual eradication operations based on the density of illicit crops in the departments of Chocó, Nariño, and Guaviare, said Lieutenant Colonel José Roa Castañeda, the PNC’s Chief of Illicit Crop Eradication. The spraying strategy has been an effective tool but authorities are now emphasizing crop replacement. In 2015, Colombia suspended glyphosate spraying because the product was classified by the World Health Organization as a possible carcinogen. Success stories Eradication efforts In 2015, the Misión Chocolate organization marketed cocoa beans for export to European markets for the first time. International freight agent QL Solutions of Spain bought 25 tons of cocoa for export to Europe after verifying the product’s quality from the alternative development associations that are part of the crop substitution programs. Colombia’s new drug policy incorporates all of its successful crop substitution experiences in the fight against drug trafficking. For example, the Tarazá Cocoa Growers Association, under the framework of a Crop Substitution Program led by the United Nations, has converted the region of Bajo Cauca Antioqueño from a coca-growing area to one that produces tons of cocoa for export. Despite the successes, Colombia is still one of the world’s main coca producers, reaching 69,000 hectares in 2014, which represents a 44 percent increase over 2013, according to the latest Monitoring Report on Coca Cultivation in Colombia, released by the UNODC in November 2015. GENTLEMEN IN ORDER TO PUT AN END TO ILLEGAL CROPS YOU HAVE TO HAVE MANY INCOME PROGRAMS FOR THOSE RURAL PEOPLE WHO, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO WAY TO BRING THEIR PRODUCTS TO MARKET, THAT THEY HAVE TO GROW THAT CROP BECAUSE A KILO SELLS EASILY I am not a grower of those illegal cropslast_img read more

DB investors to use alternative credit for both opportunistic, structured allocation

first_imgThe use of alternative credit within defined benefit (DB) portfolios is used for both opportunistic investing and tactical asset allocation, research shows.A report, produced by CREATE-Research, into investor views on asset allocation and emerging markets found that while asset classes generally fall into either category, alternative credit is used in both.The same was found in emerging market equities.Research among 700 pension funds, pensions consultants, asset managers and sovereign wealth funds found 56% would use alternative credit for medium-term investing, matched with 48% for short-term opportunities. Within emerging market equities, 50% would use the asset class for tactical asset allocation, and 53% for opportunism.Emerging market corporate bonds were also picked by the majority of investors for opportunistic investments, compared with only 26% that would hold a medium-term allocation.The research, sponsored by Principal Global Invetsors, also looked at investor views on emerging markets.It found the proportion of investors looking for bond and equity opportunities in emerging markets jumped between 2012 and 2014.In 2012, only 15% of respondents said they would use emerging market bonds for opportunistic investing, compared with 51% in 2014, while over the same period those who would use them for buy-and-hold investing dropped from 44% to 34%.Jim McCaughan, chief executive of Principal Global Investors, said he interpreted this development as an indication of banks’ weakness.“Emerging market corporates that needed debt five years ago probably went to a European bank,” he said.He said, due to the financial crisis and regulatory changes, the shift away from banks had led to an increase in issuance for investment management firms and pension funds.“This included local currency, so investors are seeing this issuance, but also the volatility, and use it opportunistically rather than structurally,” he said.“You can also play them both long and short on currencies, as well as on the bonds.”The report also highlighted a growing consensus among institutional investors of a divergence between emerging economies and how different markets will grow in future.Sentiment for China remained strong. However, fellow BRIC nations India, Russia and Brazil all saw significant negative sentiment.Investors also expected developed and emerging economies to see a convergence among asset-class correlation and liquidity, but for buy-and-hold investing to remain a developed market concept.“This suggests a lot of trust in markets, or at least in the inevitability of adopting the Western system,” McCaughan said.“I’m not sure if that’s correct, but there is a widespread belief global best practices will spread to emerging markets.”last_img read more

Kindred Group contests Norway regulator’s Apple App Store ban

first_img Unibet backs #GoRacingGreen as lead racing charity  July 28, 2020 Share The governance of Stockholm-listed European online gambling operator Kindred Group Plc has moved to file a lawsuit against Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet (Lotteritilsynet) – Norway’s national gambling and lottery authority.Kindred has accused Lotteritilsynet of conducting unfair restrictions and regulatory overreach on its business services, including the blocking payment transfers and sanctioning a ban on Kindred apps listing on the Apple App Store for Norway.The lawsuit against Lotteritilsynet is filed by Kindred Group’s Malta MGA holding company Trannel International Ltd, with Kindred governance represented by Oslo law firm Glittertind AS.Anders Ryssdal, Partner at Glittertind, has confirmed to Norwegian national broadcaster NRK (NRK.no) that Kindred ‘has no choice but to move ahead with its lawsuit’, stating that his client’s services had been unfairly targeted by Lotteritilsynet actions.During H1 2018 trading, a Norwegian ‘parliamentary coalition’ demanded that an under pressure Lotteritilsynet significantly toughen its stance on unlicensed online gambling operators deemed to be targeting Norway’s consumers and undermining the funding of state-owned gambling enterprises Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping.Lotteritilsynet would enforce its strictest controls to date on bank/payment transfers, IP blocking, penalties, and further advertising restrictions, which saw the regulator demand that tech giant Apple remove all-gambling related apps from its Norway App Store (August 2018).In its filing, Kindred and Glittertind state that Lotteritilsynet actions had ‘exceeded its power of attorney’ by involving Apple a US technology firm to sanction a restriction aiding its own political purposes.With regards to payments, Glittertind charges Lotteritilsynet of ‘overreach in its regulatory conduct’, stating that it had enforced unfair blocks on a number ‘foreign intermediaries’ processing transactions with Norwegian banks, a service which does not infringe on Lotteritilsynet gambling monopoly framework. Mace launches EQ Connect to solve the industry’s ‘single view’ conundrum on identifying risk  August 10, 2020 Related Articles Kindred marks fastest route to ‘normal trading’ as it delivers H1 growth July 24, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon Sharelast_img read more

Alaska Marine Science Symposium preview

first_imgA study animal resting on ice in a group near Hubbard Glacier in Disenchantment Bay. (Photo by John Jansen, NOAA)In late January, scientists gather at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage to share the latest information on such things as seabird die-offs, the monitoring system for ocean acidification, the spread of pathogens in a warming climate, and shrinking sea ice. All of this is changing fast, and we’ll have a preview of this year’s Alaska Marine Science Symposium on science on the next Talk of Alaska.Listen NowHOST: Steve HeimelGUESTS:Dr. Wolfgang Lutz – Potsdam Center for Climate Impact ResearchZachary Labe – Atmospheric scientist, University of California IrvineStatewide callers Participate:Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcastPost your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send email to talk@alaskapublic.org (comments may be read on air)LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by email, RSS or podcast.last_img read more