(COLUMBIA) Justice Dept Court Report: Belgian Security Services Company and Three Former Executives Indicted for Bid Rigging on U.S. Department of Defense Contracts #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.01: Today’s announcement demonstrates the culmination of extremely well-coordinated, diligent and tireless efforts by the FBI and our law enforcement partners working on the Procurement Collusion Strike Force to root out collusion that targets U.S. taxpayer dollars funding contracts overseas,” said Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office.

#AceDailyNews says a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Belgium-based Seris Security NV (Seris) and three executives for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers for defense-related security services, including a multimillion-dollar contract issued in 2020 to provide security services to the U.S. Department of Defense for military bases and installations in Belgium.

This is the second charge and first indictment involving an international conspiracy obtained by the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) and follows G4S Secure Solution NV’s (G4S) agreement to plead guilty in the investigation.

“The companies and individuals indicted are alleged to have rigged bids submitted to the U.S. Department of Defense and others, and abused the public trust placed in them as providers of security services at critical locations,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “We are committed to prosecuting procurement collusion that victimizes U.S. government agencies, wherever it occurs, and we are determined to hold those who seek to exploit U.S. government programs accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) is committed to protecting the integrity of the Department of Defense procurement system,” said Deputy Director Paul K. Sternal of DCIS. “This indictment demonstrates our resolve, alongside Department of Justice and Procurement Collusion Strike Force partners, to bring those who corrupt the competitive DoD contracting process and endanger U.S. national security to justice.”

The indictment, returned in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, charges former G4S Chief Executive Officer Jean Paul Van Avermaet; Seris Security NV (Seris); former Seris Chief Executive Officer Danny Vandormael; and former Seris Director of Guarding & Monitoring Peter Verpoort with conspiring to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers for contracts for the provision of security services that protect the national security interests of the United States in Belgium. All of the defendants worked in Belgium and are Belgian nationals.

According to the indictment, the charged individuals, on behalf of their companies, along with other co-conspirators, participated in a conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers for contracts to provide security services in Belgium, including contracts for the U.S. Department of Defense and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Those services included protecting military buildings and installations via the physical presence of guards, mobile monitoring and electronic surveillance. As part of the conspiracy, the conspirators agreed in advance which company would win certain security services contracts, and the price that each would bid for the contracts. As a result, the government received non-competitive and inflated bids, and was deprived of a competitive bidding process. The charged conspiracy began as early as spring 2019 and continued until as late as summer 2020.

The defendants are each charged with a violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals and a $100 million fine for corporations. The maximum fine for a Sherman Act charge may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine.   

The Antitrust Division’s New York Office is prosecuting the case, which was investigated with the assistance of the FBI’s International Corruption Unit New York Field Office, the DCIS’ New York Resident Agency and the Transnational Operations Field Office, the U.S. Army CID’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit, and other PCSF partners in Europe. Special thanks to the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of State for their assistance.

In November 2019, the Department of Justice created the PCSF, a joint law enforcement effort to combat antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes that impact government procurement, grant, and program funding at all levels of government – federal, state and local. In fall 2020, the Strike Force expanded its footprint with the launch of PCSF: Global, which is designed to deter, detect, investigate and prosecute collusive schemes that target government spending outside of the United States.

To contact the PCSF, or to report information on market allocation, price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct related to the security services industry, go to https://www.justice.gov/procurement-collusion-strike-force.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: July.01: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#belgium, #columbia, #dod, #doj

(COLUMBIA) Justice Dept Court Report: Defence Department Linguist Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison for Transmitting Highly Sensitive Classified National Defense Information to Aid a Foreign Government #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.25: “Thompson’s sentence reflects the seriousness of her violation of the trust of the American people, of the human sources she jeopardised and of the troops who worked at her side as friends and colleagues,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division”

#AceDailyNews says …..Mariam Taha Thompson, 62, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was sentenced today to 23 years in prison for delivering classified national defense information to aid a foreign government:

As part of her March 26 guilty plea, Thompson admitted that she believed that the classified national defense information that she was passing to a Lebanese national would be provided to Lebanese Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organisation.

That Thompson passed our nation’s sensitive secrets to someone whom she knew had ties to Lebanese Hezbollah made her betrayal all the more serious. Thompson’s sentence should stand as a clear warning to all clearance holders that violations of their oath to this country will not be taken lightly, especially when they put lives at risk.”

“The defendant’s decision to aid a foreign terrorist organization was a betrayal that endangered the lives of the very American men and women on the battlefield who had served beside her for more than a decade,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. “Let today’s sentence serve notice that there are serious consequences for anyone who betrays this country by compromising national defense information.”

“This case should serve as a clear reminder to all of those entrusted with national defense information that unilaterally disclosing such information for personal gain, or that of others, is not selfless or heroic; it is criminal,” said Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler, Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “By knowingly distributing classified information that would be passed onto a designated foreign terrorist organization, Mariam Thompson put our national defense in danger. The men and women of the FBI will continue to work tirelessly to defeat hostile intelligence activities targeting the United States and to hold those who assist our adversaries accountable.”

“Thompson was entrusted with highly sensitive information, and she chose to betray her country by providing classified defense information to a foreign terrorist organization,” said Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI Washington Field Office. “Today’s significant sentencing shows the dedicated work of the FBI, the U.S. Intelligence Community and our global partners to work swiftly and diligently to safeguard our national security information and hold accountable those who break our nation’s trust.”

According to court documents, Thompson worked as a contract linguist at an overseas U.S. military facility where she was entrusted with a Top-Secret government security clearance. Thompson admitted that, beginning in 2017, she started communicating with her unindicted co-conspirator using a video-chat feature on a secure text and voice messaging application. Over time, Thompson developed a romantic interest in her co-conspirator. Thompson learned that the unindicted co-conspirator had a family member who was in the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior and that the unindicted co-conspirator claimed to have received a ring from Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Lebanese Hezbollah.

In December 2019, while Thompson was assigned to a Special Operations Task Force facility in Iraq, the United States launched a series of airstrikes in Iraq targeting Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed foreign terrorist organization. These airstrikes culminated in a Jan. 3, 2020, strike that resulted in the death of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qasem Suleimani, as well as the founder of Kata’ib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Following Suleimani’s death, the unindicted co-conspirator began asking Thompson to provide “them” with information about the human assets who had helped the United States to target Suleimani. Thompson admitted that she understood “them” to be Lebanese Hezbollah, including an unnamed high-ranking military commander.

After receiving this request for information in early January 2020, Thompson began accessing dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information and photographs of the human assets, as well as operational cables detailing information the assets provided to the U.S. government. Thompson used several techniques to pass this information on to the unindicted co-conspirator, who told her that his contacts were pleased with the information and that the Lebanese Hezbollah military commander wanted to meet Thompson when she came to Lebanon.

When she was arrested by the FBI on Feb. 27, 2020, Thompson had used her access to classified national defense information to provide her co-conspirator with the identities of at least eight clandestine human assets; at least 10 U.S. targets; and multiple tactics, techniques and procedures. Thompson intended and had reason to believe that this classified national defense information would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of Lebanese Hezbollah.

Today’s sentencing was the result of the significant cooperation between law enforcement, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community in the successful resolution of this investigation led by the FBI Washington Field Office.

National Security Division Trial Attorneys Jennifer Kennedy Gellie of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and Jennifer Levy of the Counterterrorism Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cummings for the District of Columbia prosecuted the case.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.25: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#columbia, #doj, #minnesota, #rochester

(COLUMBIA) Justice Dept Court Report: U.S. Entertainer/Businessman and Malaysian National Charged with Back-Channel Lobbying Campaign to Drop 1MDB Investigation and Remove Chinese Dissident from U.S. #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.13: A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a superseding indictment Thursday charging a U.S. entertainer and businessman and a Malaysian national with orchestrating an unregistered, back-channel campaign beginning in or about 2017 to influence the then-administration of the President of the United States and the Department of Justice both to drop the investigation of Jho Low and others in connection with the international strategic and development company known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and to send a Chinese dissident back to China.

In May 2019, Michel and Low were charged in the District of Columbia for allegedly orchestrating and concealing a foreign and conduit contribution scheme in which they funneled millions of dollars of Low’s money into the U.S. presidential election as purportedly legitimate campaign contributions, all while concealing the true source of the money. According to the indictment, to execute the scheme, Michel received Low’s money and contributed it both personally and through approximately 20 straw donors.

According to the superseding indictment, Low Taek Jho, 39, also known as Jho Low, and Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, 48, are alleged to have conspired with Elliott Broidy, Nickie Lum Davis, and others to engage in undisclosed lobbying campaigns at the direction of Low and the Vice Minister of Public Security for the People’s Republic of China, respectively, both to have the 1MDB embezzlement investigation and forfeiture proceedings involving Low and others dropped and to have a Chinese dissident sent back to China. Michel and Low are also charged with conspiring to commit money laundering related to the foreign influence campaigns. Michel is also charged with witness tampering and conspiracy to make false statements to banks.

If convicted, Low faces a maximum penalty of five to 10 years in prison, per count. If convicted, Michel faces a range of maximum penalties from five to 20 years in prison, per count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kevin O. Driscoll of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Keith A. Bonanno of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Cyber Investigations Office; Assistant Director in Charge Kristi Koons Johnson of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office made the announcement.

The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General and the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office and International Corruption Squad in New York are investigating the case.

Principal Deputy Chief John D. Keller, Deputy Director of Election Crimes Sean F. Mulryne, and Trial Attorney Nicole R. Lockhart of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.13: 2021:

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#columbia, #doj, #imdb, #malaysian

(GRT MANCHESTER) Court Report: A man who was the “head” of a large-scale international drugs conspiracy with links to Columbia has been jailed for for 37yrs #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.13: Sheibani, 40, built a £5m ($7m) property empire masquerading as a legitimate businessman: He was sentenced to 37 years.

Aram Sheibani: International drugs boss with luxury lifestyle jailed: Iranian refugee Aram Sheibani, of Trafford, Greater Manchester used money from fraud and drugs to fund lavish yacht parties and luxury cars, Manchester Crown Court heard

Aram Sheibani
Aram Sheibani was sentenced to 37 years

Banksy and Warhol 

Between 1999 and 2010, Sheibani only declared his income on five occasions when he attempted to explain his amassed wealth with forged documents, the court heard.

When police raided his luxury apartment in Delamer Road, Bowdon, Altrincham, in April 2019, officers found a safe containing £167,000 in cash.

A total of £1.2m in cash was seized from searches at various properties belonging to the defendant, as well as cryptocurrency valued at £1.3m and original artwork from Banksy and Andy Warhol gained through illegitimate means.

Cash-counting machines – commonly used in drugs production – and cocaine, ketamine and ecstasy were also seized, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said. 

The court heard Sheibani enjoyed lavish yacht parties and had luxury cars, including two Bentleys, a gull wing Mercedes and a Porsche.

He also paid $45,000 (£31,781) for a hair transplant in Los Angeles in 2013.

‘No boundaries’

In December 2013, he had visited Colombia where he “mixed business with pleasure” as he soaked up the lifestyle of an international drugs supplier, the court heard.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Cross QC told him: “Your greed knows no boundaries.”

He said he was at the “very head” of a large-scale drugs conspiracy and close to the source of production in Colombia and the international drugs trade, which includes the supply of drugs in Europe, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and throughout the UK.

“You were not just a supplier but a processor of drugs.”

Sheibani, who had pleaded not guilty, was convicted after a 10-week trial of numerous offences including conspiracy to supply cocaine, fraud, money laundering, forgery and perverting the course of justice.

Det Sgt Lucy Pearson of GMP said Sheibani was a “calculated, deceitful and scheming criminal who believes he is above the law”.

BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Jun.13: 2021:

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#columbia, #grt-manchester, #iranian, #refugee

(COLUMBIA) JUST IN: Army tightened its control over Cali, the country’s third-largest city, after the latest anti-government protests left at least 13 people dead #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.30: The city’s streets were largely deserted after clashes late on Friday (local time) pitted police against armed civilians. The country is in the second month of protests against the government of President Ivan Duque:

COLUMBIA: ‘Protests Colombia against government leave at least 13 dead in Cali, marking a month of unrest over poverty and inequality in a city of 2.2 million, the smoking remains of barricades and rubble heaps testified to the chaotic night’ as Coronavirus crisis exacerbating inequality with unprecedented support from global governments, the stock market has boomed, driving up billionaire’s wealth, even while the real economy has faced the deepest recession in a century.

Posted 10h ago

A man walks holding his fist up in front of burning motorbikes and wreckage
Colombian young people are angry over inequality and further economic hardship caused by the pandemic.(Reuters: Julian Moreno)

There, as across the country, poverty and the pandemic have sparked widespread anger and resentment.

The month of protests has left at least 59 people dead, officials say, including the 13 who died in Cali. More than 2,300 civilians and uniformed personnel have been injured, according to the Defence Ministry.

Two uniformed soldiers pass civilians on a street in Colombia
Colombia has deployed some 7,000 troops to restore order.(AP: Andres Gonzalez)

Human Rights Watch cited “credible reports” of at least 63 deaths nationwide. It called the situation in Cali “very serious”.

The dead in Cali included an off-duty employee of the prosecutor’s office who had fired his gun at two protesters blocking a street, killing one of them.

Video on social media shows a crowd then pouncing on the shooter and lynching him.

Mr Duque, who has been in Cali since Friday, said he was deploying military troops to support the police there and elsewhere as rallies have morphed into a broad anti-establishment mobilisation.

The President ordered 7,000 troops to help clear and patrol blockaded roads, while a total of 1,141 soldiers were deployed in Cali.

Thousands of people march down the street with banners and Colombian flags
Colombians have taken to the streets for weeks across the country after the government proposed tax increases on public services, fuel, wages and pensions.(Reuters: Juan B Diaz)

‘Almost an urban war’

One witness, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, told AFP that a group of protesters in Cali were celebrating the one-month anniversary of the anti-government rallies when “shots rang out”.

Several paramedics in orange uniforms treat an injured protester
The government says more than 2,300 civilians and uniformed personnel have been injured amid the protests.(AP: Ivan Valencia)

“They started massacring people,” the 22-year-old said. He said the shots came from “five guys in civilian clothes behind the trees”.

Videos that went viral supported his account. Police said in a statement they were investigating.

“In the south of the city we had a real scene of confrontation and almost an urban war where many people not only lost their lives, but we also had a significant number of injuries,” said Cali’s security secretary, Carlos Rojas.

Mr Duque, who on Friday chaired a security meeting in the city, afterwards announced “the maximum deployment of military assistance to the national police” would begin immediately. 

Jose Miguel Vivanco, the Human Rights Watch executive director for the Americas, urged Mr Duque to take “urgent measures to de-escalate, including a specific order prohibiting agents of the state from using firearms”.

The police in Colombia are under the command of the military.

Protesters test homemade shields ahead of facing off against security forces
Protesters in Bogota test their homemade shields as they get ready to face off with security forces.(AP: Fernando Vergara)

Protests over poverty, disease, resentment

People in Cali’s poorer neighbourhoods told AFP the military deployment makes them more fearful, not less.

“We feel threatened, we feel more in danger,” said Lina Gallegas, a 31-year-old social leader.

“If something happens we cannot call the police because they are the ones who are killing.”

Luis Felipe Vega, a political scientist at Javeriana University, likened the deployment to “putting out a fire with gasoline.” 

Government mediation attempts have been largely futile, unable to contain the fury of increasingly politicised youth battered by the pandemic and angered about the country’s deep inequalities.

An estimated one third of those aged 14 to 28 are jobless and not in school.

sA man flashes a victory sign near the charred remains of a car that was burned by protesters
Rallies have morphed into a broad anti-establishment mobilisation.(AP: Andres Gonzalez)

Mr Duque’s attempts at negotiation have been further frustrated by forces in his rightist Democratic Centre party, who prefer an iron-fist approach with elections a year away.

Economists say more than 42 per cent of the country’s 50 million people live in poverty, and the pandemic has plunged many of the vulnerable into penury.

Analysts link the government’s militarised history to its response to the protests.

For more than 50 years, Colombia’s war against leftist FARC guerrillas eclipsed all other government priorities, leaving a militarily strong government but one weak on social redress.What was FARC?Colombian authorities estimate the country’s civil war involving the FARC rebel group killed 260,000 people, left 45,000 missing and uprooted 6.9 million.

In 2019, the year after Mr Duque took power, students took to the streets demanding free and more accessible public education and better jobs.

On April 28, fury at a proposed tax increase led people onto the streets again. 

The proposal was quickly withdrawn, but it had triggered a broad mobilisation that only grew amid a heavy-handed response by security forces.

Protesters have kept barricades burning countrywide and blocked dozens of key roads, causing shortages of many products.

AFP/ABC/

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.30: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#army, #columbia, #coronavirus, #inequality, #poor, #protests

(COLUMBIA) Protest Rights Working Group Report: According to the latest data from the Ombudsman’s Office, searches for 51 people are underway, another 38 have been found. The protests resulted in 352 civilians and 38 law enforcement officers receiving injuries #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.08: The organizations of the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances have transferred data on 379 persons who have gone missing since the beginning of the April 28 demonstrations to the present day to the [International Commission on] Missing Persons and the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office,” the human rights group wrote on Twitter late on Thursday:

Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against President Ivan Duque's government on Bolivar Square in Bogota on 5 May 2021.
Protestors Arrested:

COLUMBIA: Over 370 People Go Missing During 9 Days of Tax Reform Protests Rights Group Says: According to the latest data from the Ombudsman’s Office, searches for 51 people are underway, another 38 have been found. The protests resulted in 352 civilians and 38 law enforcement officers receiving injuries.

Violent Anti-Government Protests in Colombia

@Sputnik: 13:30 GMT 06.05.2021:

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A demonstrator gestures at a police water cannon during an anti-government protest in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, May 2021.
Demonstrators participate in a protest against poverty and police violence in Bogota, Colombia, 5 May 2021.
Police officers are seen during a protest against poverty and police violence in Bogota, Colombia, 5 May 2021.
Anti-government protesters throw tear gas canisters back at the police during clashes in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, 5 May 2021.
Demonstrators prepare to throw stones during a protest against poverty and police violence in Bogota, Colombia, 5 May 2021.
A demostrator walks past a burning barricade blocking a street during a protest against President Ivan Duque's government in Cali, Colombia on 5 May 2021.
A Colombian girl residing in Panama holds a lit candle during a protest against Colombian President Ivan Duque's government in support of protests taking place in her country, at Urraca Park in Panama City, on 5 May 2021.
People gather around candles and words on the pavement reading for our dead during a vigil on 5 May 2021 in Cali, Colombia, in honor of the demonstrators who died during protests against the government of President Ivan Duque.
Anti-government demonstrators protest in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, 5 May 2021.
Colombian residents in Chile shout slogans against Colombia's President Ivan Duque during a vigil against the violence happening in their home country, in Santiago, Chile, on 5 May 2021.
A police armored vehicle is pictured during a protest against poverty and police violence in Bogota, Colombia 5 May 2021.
An anti-government protester clashes with police in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, 5 May 2021.
A demonstrator participates in a protest against poverty and police violence in Bogota, Colombia, 5 May 2021.
Demonstrators protest against tax reform in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, 5 May 2021.

© AFP 2021 / Juan Barreto

Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against President Ivan Duque’s government on Bolivar Square in Bogota on 5 May 2021.

Rallies in Colombia against an increase in gas prices and utility bills as part of state-proposed tax reform have been underway since 28 April. Despite President Ivan Duque withdrawing the controversial reform on Sunday, protesters have continued to rally across the country. Demonstrators are now demanding a review of the sanitary emergency and health care reform, the dissolution of the ESMAD riot police, demilitarization of cities and punishing those responsible for killing protesters.

At least 31 protesters were killed, 1,220 were injured and 87 went missing in the first week of protests against the tax reform, according to the Colombian Institute for Development and Peace Studies. The United Nations condemned the use of violence against protesters.

#AceNewsDesk report …Published: May.08: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#arrests, #columbia, #protestors

(COLUMBIA) LATEST: A number of police stations have been attacked in the capital of Bogotá, as widespread protests run into a second week #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.06: Mayor Claudia López requested the help of the army to guard the stations, calling the violence “inadmissible”.

Colombia Protests: ‘At least 19 deaths have been confirmed since they started & the UN has urged the security forces to refrain from using firearms’ as demonstrators were gathering for fresh nationwide protests on Wednesday’

34 minutes ago

A demonstrator makes noise banging a pot during a protest against the government of President Ivan Duque on 4 May
Demonstrators are now calling for reforms in some other areas, including education and healthcare

The victims include 18 civilians and a police officer, Colombia’s ombudsman said. More than 800 people have been injured in clashes between the police and demonstrators while more than 80 others are reported as missing.

Bogotá’s city officials said 25 immediate response police commando posts, known as CAI for the initials in Spanish, had been attacked during the night. CAI are small police stations which can be found dotted across neighbourhoods and often consist of little more than a room or two.

One CAI was set on fire with 15 officers inside, who managed to escape alive, Mr López said. There were also reports of police being shot and being attacked by people with knives, she added.

On Wednesday, city officials said the night of violence across Bogotá had left 72 civilians and 19 police officers injured. Incidents were also reported in other cities including Cali, where the clashes have been at their most violent. 

Why are people protesting?

The demonstrations started on 28 April and were initially in opposition to the tax reform that the government said was key to mitigating the country’s economic crisis.

The rallies were organised by the biggest trade unions, but were also joined by many middle-class people who feared the changes could see them slip into poverty. 

AFP: The nationwide protests were initially against the now-cancelled tax reform bill

The proposal would have lowered the threshold at which salaries are taxed, affecting anyone with a monthly income of 2.6m pesos ($684; £493) or more. It would also have eliminated many of the current exemptions enjoyed by individuals, as well as increasing taxes imposed on businesses.

On Sunday, President Iván Duque announced he would withdraw the bill. But that was not enough to stop the protests, which have become a broad call for improvements to Colombia’s pension, health and education systems, as well as against what demonstrators say is excessive use of violence by the security forces.

What is happening in Cali?

Some of the most violent incidents have been reported in the western city of Cali, the country’s third largest. Roads have been blocked and dozens of police, public and private buildings attacked. The commander of the army has been sent to the city to co-ordinate the security efforts.

AFPCali has been the scene of some of the worst clashes

The United Nations’ human rights office said on Tuesday that it was “deeply alarmed” by the violence against protesters in the city.

It said that “police opened fire on demonstrators” in Cali on Monday. While no official figures have been released yet, local media say at least five people were killed.

Kevin Reyes, a community leader, told BBC Mundo that “hooded police and military officers fired using semiautomatic weapons and rifles” during a demonstration. “There were children and mothers,” he added. 

Experts say other factors have contributed to the unrest: this is one of the most violent cities in the country, located in a region affected by decades of conflict waged by paramilitary groups and drug traffickers. They also point to the high number of weapons in the area.

“There are civilian groups calling for de-escalation of violence,” said Katherine Aguirre, a human rights expert. “But we’ve also seen groups of citizens who have started shooting from their homes, vigilantism stimulated by the flow of weapons in the city.”

What is the government saying?

The government has blamed the violence on left-wing rebels. It says it is being stoked by members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) as well dissident factions of the Farc guerrilla group, who have not accepted the 2016 peace deal and have refused to disband.

“The violence was systematic, premeditated and financed by criminal organisations,” Defence Minister Diego Molano said.

Police officials say, in many cases, it was their officers who were attacked as they tried to prevent “criminal elements” from looting stores and torching buses.

Meanwhile, President Duque said the government was ready for national dialogue and announced the creation of a “space to listen to citizens and construct solutions”.

It is not the first time that anti-government protests have turned deadly in Colombia. Most recently, last September, at least seven people were killed in protests triggered by the deadly tasering of a man by police in Bogotá.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.06: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#bogota, #columbia, #demonstrators, #protests, #un

(MIAMI, Fla.) USCG REPORT: Coast Guard Cutter Tampa’s crew offloaded approximately 5,500 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $94.6 million, on Tuesday, after interdicting a low profile vessel off the coast of Punta Gallinas, Colombia #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.21: This event is the perfect example of numerous key partners unifying our efforts to counter transnational criminal organizations who look to exploit the maritime environment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman, Seventh District public affairs officer. “By strengthening partnerships, we counter threats together.”

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa offloads $94.6M in cocaine in Miami: ‘A maritime patrol flight spotted the vessel on April 9, and a law enforcement team from the cutter detained three suspects and discovered 87 bales of cocaine all the suspects are reported to be in good health’

U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin at 04/20/2021 06:35 PM EDTNews Release 

U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast
Contact: 7th District Public Affairs
Office: 305-415-6683
After Hours: 786-367-7649
7th District online newsroom

MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Coast Guard Cutter Tampa offloads 
$94.6M 
in cocaine in Miami

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa crew interdicts LPV near Punta Gallinas, Colombia
Coast Guard Cutter Tampa offloads approximately $94.6 million in cocaine in Miami
Coast Guard Cutter Tampa offloads approximately $94.6 million in cocaine in Miami
 Coast Guard Cutter Tampa offloads approximately $94.6 million in cocaine in Miami
 Coast Guard Cutter Tampa offloads approximately $94.6 million in cocaine in Miam

Editor’s Note: Click on images to download high-resolution version.

The vessel was destroyed as a hazard to navigation.

The interdiction was the result of multi-agency efforts in support of U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs, and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF).

On April 1, 2020, U.S. Southern Command began what was then known as Enhanced Counter Narcotics (CN) Operations in the Western Hemisphere to increase the disruption of drugs. This counter Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO)/CN operational approach, which has become enduring, supports our objectives to degrade the capabilities of TCOs and save lives. With our increased presence, we have bolstered support to U.S. and partner nation law enforcement by sharing information and intelligence to help expand target packages. Since then, our key partners have been involved in over 60% of drug disruptions since April 2020 (up from 50% in 2019).

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all suspects receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19. There were no suspects in these cases reported to have any COVID-19 related symptoms.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Apr.22: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#columbia, #miami, #uscg

(PHILADELPHIA) ICE/ERO REPORT: On Monday, March, 29, Officers removed a Colombian Crime Syndicate Leader’ sentenced to prison in connection with his role in a conspiracy to invest the proceeds from the sale of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine #AceNewDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.03: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO): From approximately 2001 to September 2014, Mira Perez was a high-ranking member of La Oficina de Envigado (Oficina) a Colombia-based organized crime syndicate involved in the distribution of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to locations worldwide, including the United States:

ICE removes Colombian crime syndicate leader: ‘Fredy Alonzo Mira Perez, a/k/a Fredy Colas 54, of Medellín, Colombia, was sentenced by the U.S. District Court in Boston to seven years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $25,000 fine, and forfeiture of $4 million’

Among other things, the organization served as a debt-collection agency for narcotics traffickers; controlled the flow of narcotics through Medellín and its surroundings; and invested in shipments of narcotics to the United States and elsewhere around the world. Members of Oficina have been known to employ kidnapping, violence and extortion to achieve these ends.

As one of the leaders of Oficina, Mira Perez conspired with others to import cocaine into the United States and to invest the proceeds from those sales. For years, including from 2012 to 2014, Mira Perez’s served as Oficina’s principal debt collector. Mira Perez also was responsible for the collection of debts on behalf of other drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico and Colombia. These organizations contracted with Oficina to recoup missing drugs and drug proceeds. Among other things, Mira Perez adjudicated disputes regarding any drugs or drug money that was lost, stolen or seized by law enforcement, and he conducted investigations to determine which parties would bear responsibility for the missing drugs and drug money. Mira Perez then set a repayment schedule. Mira Perez typically charged a forty-percent commission on behalf of Oficina for all recovered drug money and he invested the commissions to fund the ongoing operations of Oficina.

Mira Perez surrendered to U.S. law enforcement officials in Bogotá, Colombia in March 2015, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to invest illicit drug profits in April 2015. The U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), sanctioned Mira Perez and assigned him to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list based on the aforementioned activities.

Today, he was handed over to Columbian officials without incident.

ICE is charged with enforcing federal immigration laws enacted by Congress.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE Tip Line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Apr.03: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#boston, #columbia, #crime, #philadelphia, #syndicate

COLUMBIA: ‘ TWELVE COAL MINERS DIED IN UNDERGROUND MINE THAT FLOODED ‘

#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – October 31 – Twelve coal miners have died in north-eastern Colombia after a perforation made in a subterranean water source flooded the underground mine Thursday, trapping 28 workers, Ansa news agency reports (in Spanish).

“Unfortunately, all the miners are dead,” said Carlos Mario Usma, Amaga municipality’s environmental director. “They were trapped at more than 200 meters, and the cavern is completely flooded.”

He added that rescue workers are now focused on removing the miners’ remains.

#ANS2014 

#columbia

COLUMBIA: ‘ COMMANDER OF FARC TERRORIST ORGANISATION SENTENCED TO 27 YEARS IN PRISON ‘

#AceNewsServices – COLUMBIA – October 26 – Alexander Beltran Herrera, 38, a commander of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) terrorist organization, was sentenced on October 24 to 27 years in prison on federal hostage-taking charges stemming from the 2003 capture of three U.S. citizens in Colombia.  

Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)

Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)

All told, members of the FARC held the Americans hostage for 1,967 days.

The sentence was announced by John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia  and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Division.

Beltran Herrera, aka Jhon Alexander Beltrain Herrera, aka Rodrigo Pirinolo, pled guilty on March 18, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to three counts of hostage-taking.  He was sentenced by the Honorable Senior Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

 “In February 2003, the FARC – a Colombian terrorist organization – kidnapped three American citizens and held them captive for nearly 2,000 days,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  With the sentence handed down today, Alexander Beltran Herrera is being held accountable for his role in those offenses.

This case underscores our resolve to pursue and bring to justice those who target our citizens with violence anywhere in the world.  

I want to thank all of the prosecutors, agents, and analysts who made this result possible.”

History of FARC: 

According to the government’s evidence, the FARC is an armed, violent organization in Colombia.  Since its inception in 1964, it has engaged in an armed conflict to overthrow the Republic of Colombia, South America’s longest-standing democracy.  

The FARC has consistently used hostage taking as a primary technique in extorting demands from the Republic of Colombia, and hostage taking has been endorsed and commanded by FARC senior leadership.  The FARC has characterized American citizens as “military targets” and has engaged in violent acts against Americans in Colombia, including murders and hostage taking.  

The FARC was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Secretary of State in 1997 and remains so designated.

Beltran Herrera, a commander in the FARC, was involved in the hostage taking of three United States citizens: Marc D. Gonsalves, Thomas R. Howes, and Keith Stansell.  These three, along with Thomas Janis, a United States citizen, and Sergeant Luis Alcides Cruz, a Colombian citizen, were seized on Feb. 13, 2003, by the FARC, after their single-engine aircraft made a crash landing in the Colombian jungle. 

Members of the FARC murdered Janis and Cruz near the crash site.  Gonsalves, Howes, and Stansell were held by the FARC at gunpoint and were advised by FARC leadership that they would be used as hostages to increase pressure on the government of Colombia to agree to the FARC’s demands.  At various times, the FARC marched the hostages from one site to another, placing them in the actual custody of various FARC fronts.

At the conclusion of one 40-day long march, in or about November 2004, the hostages were delivered to members of the FARC’s 27th Front, who imprisoned the hostages for nearly two years. 

During part of this period, Beltran Herrera was responsible for moving the hostages and keeping them imprisoned.  Throughout the captivity of these three hostages, FARC jailors and guards used choke harnesses, chains, padlocks and wires to restrain the hostages, and used force and threats to continue their detention and prevent their escape. 

In July 2008, the Colombian military conducted a daring operation which resulted in the rescue of the hostages. 

Beltran Herrera was indicted in February 2011 and was extradited to the United States from Colombia in March 2012.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Division.  The case was indicted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Kohl, of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  

14-1174

National Security Division

#ANS2014

#columbia, #fuerzas-armadas-revolucionarias-de-colombia-farc

COLUMBIA: ‘ HALF A TON OF COCAINE SEIZED IN JOINT OPERATION BETWEEN COLUMBIA AND FRANCE ‘

#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – October 12 – Half a ton of cocaine has been seized in a joint operation between Colombia and France, according to the Colombian authorities.

500 kg of cocaine seized off Colombia's coast

500 kg of cocaine seized off Colombia’s coast

The special operation managed to intercept a speed boat travelling from Colombia to the Dominican Republic where the drugs were found.

Three Colombians aboard the boat were arrested, according to the El Heraldo publication.

So far this year alone, the Colombian navy has seized more than 29 tons of drugs in the Caribbean Sea.

RT 

#ANS2014 

#cocaine, #columbia, #columbian, #dominican-republic, #drugs, #france

SEA: ‘ Rise of the Child Soldiers of Pakistan ‘

#AceNewsServices – PAKISTAN – October 11 – The phenomenon of “child soldiers” is not new to this globe. From the far western shores of Americas, to Africa and Asia, the world continues to witness the rise of soldiers that are mere children

' Child Soldiers of Pakistan '

‘ Child Soldiers of Pakistan ‘

The world is stunned beyond limits to see that humanity has fallen to this level in the exploitation of young innocent children as child recruits for fundamentalist agendas.

The use of child soldiers has spread to almost all the global armed conflict. Though an exact number is impossible to define, thousands of child soldiers are illegally serving in armed conflict around the world.

According to Do Something Org, many countries are allegedly reported on use of under-age soldiers, these include Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Thailand, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and more.

 I am sure many are already geared up with the anti-Pakistani stereotypes that deem that whole of Pakistan is a terrorist country and on this list,  I get this hatred towards Pakistan is a global trend but not many of you know the dynamics of child militia here. And am taking this opportunity to shed some light on various important areas.

Pakistan|Trending Local Child Soldiers issue

The growing phenomenon of child militants in Pakistan is a horrific reality, one mirrored in various conflicts throughout history. Young innocent children are targeted because they can be easily brain washed by militant groups.

The cycle of poverty, large family size and economic hardships are factors that leave vulnerable parents little choice but to send children in local madrassas as they are free of cost.   The constitution Article 25-A says the State shall provide free and compulsory education to children between ages of 5 to 16. However that’s not being followed as millions of children are out of school and our literary rate is appalling low at 48%.

"Madrasa" is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

“Madrasa” is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

Most people have no choice but to send their children to religious schools or madrassas as. Moreover, there are huge discrepancies because education in Pakistan is heavily influenced by religion and in recent times Wahabi agendas.

The main source of funding for these madrasa groups is coming from Saudi Arabia. In fact, this whole phenomenon that we are confronting, which Al Qaeda is a part of, is very closely associated with Saudi Arabia’s financial and religious projects for the Muslim world as a whole. Its in greater interests to keep Pakistani children stuck into poverty cycles as they serve a greater agenda, shame on Pakistani government for colluding against its own.

Local madrassas cater Pakistani children as well as international students who avail the lucrative scholarship fundings  from Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. 

However coming back to Pakistan, the different militant groups including TTP, LeT and so on have been able to harness the young Pakistani children in scores through enticing tactics.

Local Militant Recruitment Mechanism

The militant have sinister agendas however on the forefront they are able to cajole and manipulate young children by reminding them the sufferings of the Muslim world and that they have to play a role in eradication of misery; through this jihad.

"Madrasa" is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

“Madrasa” is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious.

Upon meeting some under-age boy militants in Swat, I found out that for years they have attended the madrassas whose lecturers and mentors taught them things like ” The Pakistan Army is the ally of the Western capitalist world; they the  imperialists are all the enemies of Islam. The fight against them is justified; they are apostates, the friends of the infidels.”

The second message drummed into them is one which the world is facing today. The increasing intolerance towards Muslims and followers of faith Islam within their own regions and in the western world. Sadly this is capitalized upon very well by the militant groups. The young recruits are taught that they have to stand up against the helplessness of Muslim women, daughters and sisters that are getting dishonored by non-Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine etc.

They also watch videos purportedly showing the killing of Muslims by non-Muslims in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Instructors tell them that a war is being waged against Islam.

' Child Soldiers Recruited by Saudi Arabia as Terrorists as young as five '

‘ Child Soldiers Recruited by Saudi Arabia as Terrorists as young as five ‘

That the western world is at war with Islam has given a trump card to Pakistan’s militants for this sort of radical enticement of vulnerable children.

These main themes in lectures are taught to in both the senior recruits camps (ages 16 and older) and junior ones (ages 7 to 15), all are centered on vengeance and the need to do something for the wronged Muslims.The children are completely isolated from the normal outside world.

The young would-be suicide bombers are also persuaded by the promise of Paradise. This is, I repeat a huge blasphemy against the real teachings for if have to view from Islamic point of view; suicide is strictly forbidden along with the killing of innocent persons. Allah, God is the author of life that has granted us the gift of life and we mere humans don’t have the authority to take it.

This using of innocent children by militancy has to stop now. But. The inability of the Pakistan army to meet internal security challenges effectively is a particularly worrying factor. Three generations of Pakistani children are suffering due to the impact of this futile jihadi indoctrination.

It is time to seriously put an end to this madness, before it consumes us within the dark abysses of hatred and destruction.I am so exhausted to waking up in the mornings with the first thought in mind,What the hell happened Pakistan? And then trying to fix it some how in my way.

Though, we can’t bring back the already dead Pakistani children militants and can hardly ease the misery of the grieving parents, it is time for Pakistan to asses the complex root causes behind this phenomenon and design solutions for protection of children from becoming part of militancy.

Say No To Use of Child Soldiers. NOW. Download PDF 

Source:

SEA: Related News: DO Something NOW 

Pakistan|Child Soldiers A Growing Asset For Radicals

#SEAN2014

#aceguestnews, #afghanistan, #africa, #americas, #asia, #child-soldiers, #children, #columbia, #india, #iraq, #israel, #mali, #news-and-views, #pakistan, #sudan, #syria, #thailand, #yemen

SOUTH CAROLINA: ‘ Speaker Bobby Harrell Indicted by Grand Jury on Nine Charges ‘

#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES (Columbia S.C) – September 11 – South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell has been indicted by a grand jury on charges related to misuse of his office and campaign finance violations.

bobby-harrell

The indictments by the Richland County grand jury were announced Wednesday by First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe.

The nine charges against the Charleston Republican are two counts of misconduct in office, six counts of using campaign funds for personal use, and one count of false reporting candidate campaign disclosures.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Harrell should resign.

The indictments are the latest development in a bitter political dispute over how to handle this case that has lasted more than 18 months.

In February 2013, Ashley Landress of the South Carolina Police Council, a political group that advocates for smaller government, filed a complaint against Harrell with the State Ethics Commission. In it, she claimed the speaker used his office for personal gain for both himself and his family.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson asked the State Law Enforcement Division to look into the matter, and referred it to the state grand jury in January.

#ANS2014

#campaign, #charleston, #columbia, #finance, #grand-jury, #south-carolina, #speaker, #united-states

‘ Libyan Militant Suspected in Deadly Benghazi Attack Taken into Federal Custody at US Attorney’s Office ‘

#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES(Washington) – June 28 – The Libyan militant suspected in the deadly 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has been taken into federal custody, the US attorney’s office in Washington told Reuters on Saturday.

“Ahmed Abu Khatallah is in law enforcement custody,” said Bill Miller, spokesman for the US attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. Khatallah was captured by a team of US Army Delta Force commandos during a June 15 Benghazi raid.

The suspect was spirited out of Libya by the special operations unit and brought to Washington on board the amphibious transport ship USS New York, according to US media reports.

He has been charged with killing a person on US property, a firearms violation and providing material support to terrorism.

#ANS2014

#benghazi, #columbia, #libya, #united-states, #washington

` Columbian Police Arrest Forty Six Members of the Rastrojos Criminal Gang ‘

#AceNewsServices – COLUMBIA – June 01 – Colombian police have arrested 46 members of the Rastrojos criminal gang in northern Atlantico department.

They are accused of extortion from shop owners and selling illegal drugs in the coastal city of Barranquilla.

President Juan Manuel Santos described the operation as “the biggest blow against Colombian criminal organisations in a decade”.

The US Special Agencies say the Rastrojos have smuggled at least 30 tonnes of cocaine into Mexico since 2008.

Some of the criminal organisation’s leaders in the area were detained in the raid, which happened on Friday but was announced later by President Santos.

Among those arrested are Bonangel Madel Nunez, known as La Negra, and Oscar Junior Navarro, alias El Mello – BBC reports.

The cartel sits firmly on the country’s top-4 list of criminal organizations.

Ace Related News:
1. BBC News – 31/05/2014 – http://tinyurl.com/mwwsexz

#ANS2014

#columbia, #manuel-santos

` Columbia’s Opposition Presidential Candidate Denies Complicity in Hacking Scandal ‘

#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – May 21 – Colombia’s opposition presidential candidate has denied complicity in a hacking scandal that threatens progress he made in voter polls, and adds pressure on him to step down from Sunday’s race.

Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who has narrowly overtaken incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos in polls, described a leaked video allegedly showing his involvement with a hacker who illegally attained military data as “manipulation” and “a montage.”

Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti reports.

#ANS2014

#columbia, #manuel-santos

` Columbian Government and FARC Rebel Group Agree Plan to Deal with Illegal Drugs Trade ‘

#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – May 17 – The Colombian government and the FARC rebel group have agreed on a plan to deal with the South American country’s illegal drugs trade.

The deal is third in a six-point peace agreement being negotiated between the two sides in Cuba. FARC, which controls large areas of territory in rural Colombia, is believed to fund large amounts of its activity through the illegal drugs trade.

Last year, the Colombian government and the left-wing FARC group agreed to the first two points in the peace plan – land reform and political participation.

The details of Friday’s agreement will need to be discussed further by special commissions.

The peace talks were initiated by Colombian President Juan Manuel Carlos, who is seeking a second mandate in next week’s elections.

The civil war in Columbia has killed around 220,000 people over the past five decades.

#ANS2014

#columbia, #columbian, #cuba, #farc

` Columbia’s Leftist FARC and ELN Rebels Declare Cease-Fire from May 20 – 28 for Presidential Elections ‘

#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – May 16 – Colombia’s leftist FARC and ELN rebels on Friday declared a unilateral cease-fire from May 20 to May 28, Reuters said.

The period includes the May-25 presidential election, and the guerrillas and the government continued work toward a comprehensive peace plan in negotiations in Havana.

“We are ordering all of our units to cease any offensive military action against the armed forces or the economic infrastructure as of 0000 hours on Tuesday, May 20, until 2400 hours on Wednesday, May 28,” rebel leader, Pablo Catabumbo, said in Havana.

#ANS2014

#columbia, #eln, #farc, #havana

#AceWorldNews EUROPEAN UNION May 06 The EU has…

#AceWorldNews – EUROPEAN UNION – May 06 – The EU has reportedly lifted visa requirements for 19 countries from the Pacific, Caribbean, Middle East and Latin America.

The EU Council adopted a regulation to exempt from visa requirements when travelling to the Schengen zone nationals from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Peru, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.

The decision prompted frustration in Turkey, which has been waiting for years to acquire the right to visa-free travel, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

#ANS2014

#caribbean, #columbia, #dominican-republic, #european-union, #grenada, #grenadines, #kiribati, #latin-america, #marshall-islands, #micronesia, #middle-east, #nauru, #pacific, #palau, #peru, #samoa, #solomon-islands, #st-lucia, #st-vincent, #timor-leste, #tobago, #tonga, #trinidad, #turkey, #tuvalu, #united-arab-emirates, #vanuatu