Lack of capacity hindering tackling of drug network – US Ambassador

first_imgWhile acknowledging that there is a willingness by authorities here to tackle the illegal narcotics trade, newly-appointed US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch believes that the lack of capacity by local law enforcement agencies is hindering efforts to dent the global societal scourge that has been plaguing the country.US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch“When you look at Guyana, what you see [is] great commitment but lack of capacity. And to achieve full success, you need to have both at a very high level. So that is where the US is coming in and helping on that capacity side, helping to build on the great gains that have already been made but it is a struggle. It’s a constant struggle. We have seen it throughout the region,” Ambassador Lynch told a group of journalists during her first official interview since arriving in the country last month.According to the US diplomat, this is not an issue limited to Guyana. In fact, Ambassador Lynch said that in her previous postings she had worked with many countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region to tackle the narcotics trade.“[This] is a regional issue and cooperation among the South American and Caribbean actors, together with the US will help us all to achieve a more stable and secure region. We are, after all, in the same neighbourhood and I think we all have the same goals of security and stability,” she asserted.Transhipment pointBeing positioned on the South American continent with strong ties to the Caribbean region, Guyana has long been identified as a transhipment point for major drug trafficking activities. It was against this backdrop that the US established an office of its Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) here back in February 2016.According to the new US envoy, this has resulted in excellent bilateral cooperation over the years in curbing the illegal drug trade. She noted that the DEA’s role here has been focused largely on the training and capacity-building side as well as providing equipment to local law enforcement agencies with the provision of training on the usage of that equipment.Ambassador Lynch posited that last year there was a record number of kilos of cocaine discovered within Guyana’s borders and this was as a direct result of the “excellent cooperation” as a result of which the Guyanese military and Police Force have benefited.The US State Department, in its 2018 report, recently cited crime, among other things, being a barrier to investment and undermining development. Commenting on this, the US Diplomat pointed out that the report did recognise that there is tremendous political will in Guyana to advance on these efforts to tackle the drug trade.“It is a tough battle for sure… [But] I just want to point that out that there has been great political will to make a lot of progress and we hope that continues under any Guyanese Administration, that they build on the progress and grow,” she asserted.Ambassador Lynch’s predecessor, Perry Holloway, was instrumental in setting up the DEA office here, which was done less than five months after his arrival in Guyana. During an interview prior to his departure back in December after a three-year tenure, Ambassador Holloway had said it was too early to gauge the success of the DEA here but noted that more positive results can be expected in the coming years.“…The investigation of narcotics crime and the related crime of money laundering, these investigations take years and not weeks or months. So if you’re going to bring down an organisation or a kingpin type person, you don’t do that in a week or two weeks.The DEA, I think, has done a great job in here, they are not policemen, there are liaison, they are here to share information, develop information, talk to people… Now after three years with the DEA here, we are beginning to develop some stuff. But I think in the next two or three years, you are going to see a lot more positive actions coming from your law enforcement entities and them cooperating with international law enforcement,” the US Diplomat stated.One such development that the former Ambassador spoke about is the arrest of Guyanese hotelier, Shervington “Big Head” Lovell, who was arrested in Jamaica late last year for narcotics trafficking and recently extradited to the US where he faced additional charges.According to reports, Lovell, who is the owner of Hotel Tower on Main Street, Georgetown, was arraigned before a magistrate in a New York court and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate Maritime Drug Enforcement Law.Nevertheless, former Ambassador Holloway pointed out that he has not seen any evidence to show that transhipment has gotten worst during the three years he has been in Guyana. However, he pointed out that the fight against this scourge of narco-trafficking has not ended.“It is illegal so they don’t tell you how much is shipping through or not shipping through… [But] there is still drugs shipping through Guyana, there is drugs shipping through every country in South America. So Guyana is not alone in being a transhipment point,” he had noted.However, he too recognised the limitations of local law enforcement agencies given the lack of resources.Asked by Guyana Times whether the DEA office has been able to tap into the drug network that it suspected was here, Holloway had explained that while they knew of certain individuals and organisations operating in Guyana, this is hard to prove.“[But] by coming here, we gathered a lot more information on those organisations and individuals. We have been working closely and can actually share information that we have with the police and CANU. I think the next three years you are going to see a little bit of an acceleration of activity. Not because people were not working hard, but eventually this information reached a point where all of a sudden, it can be tied together and something can be done,” the former Ambassador had stated.last_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL CHAMBER MUSIC LISTINGS AUTUMN 2012Sunday 30th September, 3pm. Conwal Parish Church, Letterkenny4th of “Sundays in Conwal” DONEGAL CAMERATA String Quintet.Music by F. J. Haydn, P. I. Tchaikovsky, Ian Wilson (CMC) & A.Dvorak.Admission €10/5.For booking contact: 074 13th October, 8.30 pm, Abbey Arts Centre, BallyshannonPIANO TRIO “Spanish-Hungarian” Recital.SZABO-YELAMO String Duo with ALBERTO MARTíN DíAZ, pianoWorks by Turina, Bartók, Ligeti, De Falla and HaydnTickets €10/5. Bookings: 071 98 51375 Sunday 14th October, 3pm. Regional Cultural Centre, LetterkennyPIANO TRIO “Spanish-Hungarian” Recital with the Szabó-Yélamo StringDuo & Alberto Marin Díaz, piano. The Szabó-Yélamo String Duo is backto the Regional Cultural Centre for this special recital with Spanishand Hungarian music by Turina, Bartók, Ligeti, De Falla and HaydnTickets €10/5. Bookings: 074 91 29186Sunday 11th November, 3pm. Conwal Parish Church, Letterkenny5th of SUNDAYs in CONWAL with the DONEGAL CAMERATA String Ensemble.Music by Elgar, Laporte and Piazzolla and others.Admission €10/5. Bookings: 074 9120777OTHER RECOMMENDED CHAMBER MUSIC EVENTS in the region:DA CAPO Concert Series, Sunday 30th September, 1.30pm. St. Buadan’s Church, Culdaff.MANUS NOBLE and SVANUR VILBERGSSON, Classical Guitar. Bach, Tárrega,Ryan, Piazzolla and Morel.Da Capo Concert Series in co-operation with the INISHOWEN GUITAR FESTIVALAdmission € 10/ € 7. Bookings 074 9383734Sunday 7th October, 3pm. St. Buadan’s Church, Culdaff.CONTEMPO STRING QUARTET. The outstanding, prizewinning quartet playsMozart’s ‘Hunt’ quartet, Debussy and John McLachlan’s Where We Are, aworld première, introduced by the composer. Admission €10 / € 7.Bookings 074 9383734Sunday 14th October, 4pm, St. Buadan’s Church, Culdaff.PAUL ROE (clarinet) and DERMOT DUNNE (accordion) Music by Mozart,Stravinsky, Rota, Bartok, Martin and Mulvey.Admission € 10/ € 7. Bookings 074 9383734UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER, MAGEE Campus, 16th October, 1pm LUNCHTIME CONCERT. Magee Campus, Universityof Ulster, DerrySPANISH-HUNGARIAN Recital, Piano Trio(Szabó-Yélamo String Duo with Alberto Martín Díaz, piano)Works by Turina, Bartók, Ligeti, Falla and Haydn.Further information/ bookings 028 7167 5654 REGIONAL CULTURAL CENTRE, Port Road, Letterkennywww.regionalculturalcentre.comSunday 2 December, 8pm. Regional Cultural Centre, LetterkennyRTÉ VANBRUGH QUARTET with NOBUKO IMAI, viola. Music by Beethoven,Brahms and John KinsellaTickets €12 / €10. Bookings 074 9120777. Promoted by Regional Cultural Centre—MUSIC: DONEGAL CHAMBER MUSIC MAKES CONWAL RETURN was last modified: September 29th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:MUSIC: DONEGAL CHAMBER MUSIC MAKES CONWAL RETURNlast_img read more

In the news today Sept 19

first_imgFive stories in the news for Wednesday, Sept. 19———NAFTA TALKS RESUME AS DEADLINE LOOMSForeign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington — and back in search of a way to bridge the divide that’s keeping Canada out of a new North American free trade pact. Freeland flew back to the U.S. capital Tuesday as a prominent congressional ally of President Donald Trump made it clear that American lawmakers are growing weary of what they see as Canadian intransigence. House of Representatives majority whip Steve Scalise warns of “growing frustration” on Capitol Hill with what he calls Canada’s “negotiating tactics.”———COURT TO RULE ON STAY IN TORONTO COUNCIL CUT APPEALOntario’s highest court is expected to announce today whether it will stay a court ruling that derailed the province’s plan to cut Toronto city council in the middle of a municipal election campaign. The province has argued the stay is necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote and allow the city to move forward with its preparations. Meanwhile, lawyers for those opposed to the stay say the Ontario government is responsible for the upheaval and shouldn’t seek legal relief for problems it has caused.———LEADERS’ DEBATE COMMISSIONER POSSIBLE BEFORE NEXT FEDERAL VOTEThe Trudeau government has offered a glimpse of its vision for a new independent body to organize leaders’ debates during federal elections, which it believes could be in place by next year’s vote. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould offered the teaser this week in a letter to a House of Commons committee, which called in March for the creation of a debates commissioner. Gould affirms the importance of an “impartial and independent” body guided by various high-minded principles to ensure it is organizing leaders’ debates “that are in the public interest.”———DERAILED TRAIN LEAKING FUEL INTO RIVERA train that derailed in northern Manitoba on Saturday, killing a railway worker, is leaking diesel fuel into the Metishto River. Manitoba Sustainable Development says the fuel is from one of the locomotives. The province says spill recovery equipment is being used to clean up the fuel at the site west of Ponton. The train was carrying cargo including gasoline, liquid propane gas and butane, but there has been no indication that any of that has spilled or leaked. The Arctic Gateway Group has said a second railway employee sustained serious injuries in the wreck, and VIA Rail says it has been forced to suspend operations between Winnipeg and Gillam because of the derailment.———CANADIANS CONCERNED ABOUT VAPING TEENSA national survey suggests the majority of Canadians are concerned about the use of e-cigarettes among youth, with almost 90 per cent backing a ban of the vaping products for those under 18. The survey by the Angus Reid Institute, released Tuesday, found that support for prohibiting vaping among minors crossed all age and gender demographics, among tobacco smokers and non-smokers alike. In the online survey of 1,500 adults aged 18 and older, 75 per cent of respondents said government should be able to make rules for packaging and labelling of e-cigarettes; 69 per cent agreed promotion and marketing of vaping products should be restricted; and 62 per cent endorsed the idea that flavoured versions should be taken off the market.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Elections Canada launches its new civic education resources and website with an event in the Halifax area.— G7 environment, oceans and energy ministers continue to meet in Halifax on the theme of “Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy.”— The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will hold hearings in Quebec City to discuss oversight and accountability in the criminal justice system.— The Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) will hold a press conference to voice their concerns related to the NAFTA negotiations as they relate to the dairy sector.— Transport Minister Marc Garneau will make an announcement concerning the safe transportation of dangerous goods by rail.— Science Minister Kirsty Duncan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend the second annual Prime Minister’s Science Fair on Parliament Hill.— The preliminary inquiry reopens for Allan and Carolina Perdomo, who are charged with manslaughter in the death of five-year-old Emilio Perdomo. A trial has already been set for November.— Trans Mountain will host an emergency response exercise at various locations within the Burrard Inlet, including Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C.last_img read more