Weapons Destruction Progresses in Central America

first_img GUATEMALA CITY – The Organization of American States’ (OAS) mobile system to destroy weapons and ammunition is eradicating arsenals no longer being used by law enforcement and military personnel throughout Central America. “The idea is to destroy the explosives and weapons that could constitute a danger to the commandos and the surrounding population,” said Col. Rony Urízar, spokesman for the Guatemalan army. “These explosives are literally a ticking bomb where they are stored.” Carmen Rosa de León Escribano, the director of the Training Institute for Sustainable Development (IEPADES), a Guatemala-based organization that promotes the danger of firearms in the hands of civilians, applauds the OAS’ initiative. “It is a joint OAS and Ministry of Defense process to destroy conventional weapons that should be carried out more frequently to keep them from deviating to the black market and into the hands of organized crime,” she said. “[But a] system of arsenal management must be implemented to centralize the management of the weapons deposits at one entity.” The Guatemalan government has dealt with an influx in heavy weapons as the result of an increase in narcotics trafficking. Cartels have turned the nation into a hub in the narcotics trade, which has led to gunfights between rival gangs and between cartel members and law enforcement agents, according to police. Guatemala is one of Latin America’s most violent countries, with an average of 18 killings daily, according to police statistics. The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation reported Guatemala is home to about 10,000 gang members, who are involved in weapons and narcotics trafficking. Since the beginning of last year, about 400 tons of no longer used or damaged ammunition and grenades have been destroyed by the Guatemalan military, according to the OAS. Grenades and bullets are destroyed in a “poporopera,” a machine created by the OAS and Guatemala’s Department of War Materiel of the Ministry of Defense. “[The machine] heats up the ammunition until the gunpowder that impels the bullets explodes,” Urízar said. By Dialogo February 10, 2011 But the OAS and the Ministry of Defense destroy guns by placing them in a chopping machine. The goal is to take the machines on a tour of Central America, so officials throughout the region can destroy their unused arsenals and weapons seized from criminals, especially those belonging to narcotics and weapons traffickers. Why destroy them? In 2005, there was an explosion at a weapons warehouse in the Mariscal Zavala Military Zone located north of Guatemala City. No one was killed during the blast, but the explosion cast doubt on whether the army was storing its weapons safely. Officials also are concerned the unused weapons are being stolen so they can be sold on the black market, where the guns can be purchased by criminals, which is what happened in 2007. At least five hundred guns and 1,000 grenades had been stolen from a depository at one of the largest army bases in the country. The guns were later used during a firefight between narcotics traffickers in the northern city of Cobán, police said. Two years after the robbery, Congress approved the Law of Weapons and Ammunition, which allows someone found guilty of possessing an unregistered weapon without a license to be sentenced to up to five years in prison. “Under this law, we have seized weapons of war such as the AK-47, AR-15 or M-16, several grenades and even mortars,” said Donald González, director of Guatemala’s National Civil Police (PNC) Communications Department. De León Escribano said the country needs tougher laws. “The problem is that the law is too permissive, because DIGECAM can authorize several licenses for the same person and this person can have as many weapons as licenses held,” De León Escribano said. The PNC estimates nine out of 10 violent deaths in the country are gun-related. Officials estimate there are at least 15 million firearms in the country, most of which are illegal. PNC officials said about 150,000 rounds of ammunition are imported daily in a country that does not have any laws regulating the sale of bullets.last_img read more

Social media is not for selling as much as a lawnmower isn’t for painting a house

first_imgI was recently talking to my mom about social media and how brands are, and should be, using these platforms to their advantage with all of the new capabilities, uses and connection opportunities they offer today.After a long pause, she said: “Holly, I love you. But I still don’t get why a brand would bother with keeping up all these accounts on social media, and how that work translates into a business making more sales…” I hear that a lot from people in this industry, outside this industry, friends, and really anyone who’s willing to listen to me talk — that second sentence at least!What followed was what I considered a successful social media conversion from the dark side. Since you’re reading this, you most likely already are on the right side of that conversation, but I wanted to share this story so you, too, can help others see the light in social media for brands.Social media is your brand’s curb appealI told my mom first you have to reframe your assumptions of what social media is meant to do. Those of you who know me well, know I love making analogies. So here it comes: Most people think the lawnmower is a useful invention. But if for some reason people in a parallel universe thought a lawnmower would paint their houses, they would be extremely disappointed each time they used it.“The paint job is terrible,” they’d say! “It’s not doing anything! I can do it myself and get better results!”But if you could talk to them, you might say, “Hey, your lawnmower is not painting your house because that’s not what it does. Not sure how you got the idea that it would, but it simply won’t. It will however cut your grass. And you need that, too, if you want to sell your house. Painting your house is something different—a different task. But you need both. No one will come to even consider buying your house if your grass is two feet tall outside your front door. I’ll show you how to use your lawnmower to mow your overgrown grass…” How nice of you.Social media is not a sales toolSomehow, somewhere, people got it in their head that social media, when used by a business, is a sales tool. I can’t stress this enough: social media is not for selling as much as a lawnmower isn’t for painting a house. Social media is not a replacement of your sales staff. It’s not your advertising plan. It’s not a roadside billboard or a radio or TV ad. It’s not a full page color ad in the New York Times, no matter how amazing your social media strategy is or how huge your social team is. No, social isn’t for selling.But it helps people want to buy from you. That’s an important, if subtle, distinction. Social isn’t for selling—it’s for making people want to buy from you. Ultimately, making people like you.Brands just want to be loved, tooNext, I asked my mom to describe why she personally uses social media, to be specific, why she first got on Facebook. She said at first it was to see what her kids were doing (thanks for Facebook stalking me, mom), to know what’s going on with them more often.“Great, now imagine you’re a brand and instead of your kids, it’s your customers. Do you see why a business would get value out of being there where their customers are, to see what they are doing, talking about, need, want, like,” I asked.She said, “Yes—if they understand what their customers are up to maybe they can be there for the right people, to be better at providing exactly the goods and services they need!”So then we talked about how not only does she watch what others are up to on social, but she also posts content often. Why? She said she wanted others to know what she’s about, how she thinks and feels—her values—and to get validation and support from others by way of their comments and likes. To truly feel connection with those in her network; that they see her, are thinking of her, and like her. Exactly.Then I said, “It’s all the same reason and benefit for a brand to use social media. There’s so much more you can do with it if you want to invest the time, from placing advertising on the sites, to running contests and campaigns, to using it as a driver to engagement on your own website, but at the core of it, it’s about knowing others, letting others know you, and showing people why they should like you. Really like you—not click-a-button like you.” Now my mom gets it. Win!So when you change your view, and see that the purpose of a brand on social is to be able to say who you are and what your values are—to be supported and loved and sought out by those that support and share those values—its the kind of empowered epiphany had by the person who just realized their lawnmower is meant to mow their grass…I’ll say it once more. Social media is not for selling. But it is your curb appeal to lead to someone buying your house. And it needs to be done…because the people selling for you can’t really do their jobs well without it.So get out and mow your grass! And remember, the better your lawnmower, the sooner you can get to painting and all the other things it takes to sell a house. 53SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Holly Fearing Holly lives and breathes social media; if you can’t find her IRL, try reaching out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll likely get her right away. … Web: www.filene.org Detailslast_img read more

Froome set for further Tour success

first_imgChris Froome will collect his fourth Tour de France title in Paris this evening.The Team Sky rider is assured of his third yellow jersey in-a-row after increasing his lead to 54-seconds in yesterday’s time trial in Marseille.Ireland’s Dan Martin is sixth in the general classification.last_img

Smith, Boyo, Babalakin Shine at Lakowe Club Golf Event

first_imgOlawale Olatunde trailed smith with one stroke having returned 164 (82, 82) at the event leaving Cobos Clasens to grapple with the third place.In the ladies category, Idowu Babalakin shot 183 (86, 97) to coast home with the lady’s title, leaving Njide Ndili with a distance runner up placement at the event.Omamofe Boyo also got rewarded for his two days golf as he emerged the best net player in the Men’s category, having edged Vivek Changrani on countback ruling after they both returned 147 at the event,Campbell Eliot, Director of Golf at the facility says that there are quite a number of improvements in this year’s event compared to previous edition and it includes the quality of play resulting from improved playing conditions.“There is no gain saying that Lakowe is the best facility in this part of Africa and our culture of constantly keeping the facility at tip-top shape all year round has won for us some of the most committed golf players and also raised the rating of the club among members and guest. We sure do have lofty plan for the future of the game and the club,”  he said. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Seven handicapper, Richard Smith was the run-away winner of the 2018 Lakowe Lakes Golf Club Championship in Lagos yesterday, after shooting 163, (81, 82) nineteen over gross score after 36 holes.Smith, who finished his first round of the two days championship outside of top-three yesterday, rode on his stable consistent scoring on the par 72 course to claim the club’s most revered honour and replace Tunji Adebayo as the 2018 Champion on Sunday.“The course was very well set up and I believe, the great atmosphere helped me to return these great scores. I also think I had good playing partners who helped my game” he said while receiving his winner’s trophy at the closing gala.last_img read more

Premier League set to resume on 17 June with Man City v Arsenal and Villa v Sheff Utd

first_img Source: BBC Sport The Premier League season is set to restart on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, the BBC has learned.The matches are the two games in hand.A full fixture list would then be played on the weekend of 19-21 June.Clubs are still discussing the idea at a meeting on Thursday, but it is understood all have agreed in principle at this stage.There are 92 fixtures still to play.The Premier League was suspended on 13 March because of the pandemic and it will be 100 days after Leicester City’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on 9 March that competition will resume, with games now behind closed doors.On Wednesday, clubs unanimously voted to resume contact training, having started non-contact training last week.So far 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2,752 tests across the league.Premier League players and staff will continue to be tested twice a week, with the capacity increased from 50 to 60 tests per club for the fourth round of testing.Any players or staff to test positive must self-isolate for a period of seven days.Plans for the third phase of Project Restart include a step towards normal training and build-up to competitive games.Liverpool currently sit 25 points clear at the top of the table while Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation places. Tags: ArsenalMan CityPremier Leaguelast_img read more