Peruvian Government Promotes Quality-of-Life Improvements for Populations in Drug Trafficking Zones

first_imgBy Pedro Hurtado Cánepa/Diálogo August 30, 2016 The Peruvian Government has initiated a set of actions geared towards improving the quality of life for families that are located in areas where illegal coca leaf cultivation, drug trafficking, and terrorism are found. These actions are part of the Intervention Program for the Valley of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers Region (VRAEM, for its Spanish acronym), which is a government program aimed at combating poverty, inequality, drug trafficking, and terrorism. The Andean departments of Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Cusco, and Junín – cities whose common denominator is extreme levels of poverty – will be the beneficiaries of these actions. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI, Spanish acronym), these levels of poverty continue to be present in Huancavelica (70 to 77 percent), Ayacucho (53 to 57 percent), Cusco (37 to 45 percent), and Junín (30 to 36 percent). In the Andean nation, people who live in homes where the per capita income is insufficient to obtaining food and basic necessities are considered poor. The basic monthly food basket costs approximately $90. The main actions being carried out in these cities within the framework of the Multidimensional Security Strategy are technical training days, applied research, technological innovation, and the acquisition of ground platforms for development. The institutions responsible for carrying out these actions are the Joint Command of the Armed Forces (CCFFAA, for its Spanish acronym) and the National Office of Interior Government (ONAGI, for its Spanish acronym), which belongs to the Ministry of the Interior. “We are on track to pacify the VRAEM. Not only have we been able to neutralize the terrorists, but we have also worked hard to combat drug trafficking, to strengthen the presence of the State, and to bring productive development to historically abandoned areas. This is a topic that should transcend time to achieve a sustainable result,” said the Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, Admiral Jorge Moscoso Flores. Commander Moscoso stressed the importance of having a strategic alliance with an institution like ONAGI, which participates in Traveling Social Action Platform (PIAS, for its Spanish acronym) activities in the Amazon region and provides constant support during humanitarian aid days carried out by the Joint Command. For Liz Alata Ramos, ONAGI National Chief until July 2016, a priority for the Central Government is improving the quality of life for remote communities, as well as strengthening deliveries of social aid to families in vulnerable situations and extreme poverty. “Through these agreements, ONAGI will be able to bring consistent social aid, goods and equipment to schools located in the VRAEM area,” said Alata. ONAGI’s mission is to ensure the State’s presence throughout Peruvian territory and must follow up on the execution of national policy, on domestic law enforcement, and on the maintenance of social order. Follow up and control To make sure these actions are carried out, Congress members that comprise the Budget and General Account Committee agreed to create working groups that will be in charge of verifying the execution of the development projects to be implemented in the VRAEM. “These working groups will develop a series of functions to monitor the safety and development of the population in this region of the country,” said Cecilia Chacón, president of the working group and leader of the opposition party Fuerza Popular. Significant numbers The Coca Crop Monitoring Survey drafted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that, as of December 2015, there were 40,300 hectares of coca crops, while in December 2014, there were 42,900 hectares. The two areas with the highest coca leaf production were the VRAEM (18,333 hectares) and La Convención province in Cusco (10,454 hectares). According to the report, dry coca leaves were, on average, priced at US$ 3.9 per kg in 2015, a decrease of 9.3 percent over 2014 ($4.3 per kg). In the VRAEM, the price was $3.2 per kg, which was 13.5 percent lower than the previous year. This decrease was the result of a higher supply of coca leaves as well as control efforts. Cocaine paste and cocaine hydrochloride were valued at $745 per kg (-11.6 percent) and $1,133 per kg (-3.8 percent), respectively. This drop is tied to purity levels of both cocaine-derived products sold in centers of consumption.last_img read more

What one Binghamton organization is doing to help recovering addicts as isolation takes its toll

first_imgThe organization is also collecting used microwaves to ensure that all individuals in their recovery program are able to heat up the meals provided in the care packages. “It causes a person to sit alone with their thoughts and it might be harder for them to be distracted from cravings and their desire to use,” said Alexis Pleus, Executive Director of Truth Pharm, an addiction resource center in Binghamton. “We’re encouraging people to stay away from others to practice social distancing, but on top of that we know that substance use disorders and mental health are often co-occurring,” said Marissa Knapp, Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator for the Broome County Health Department. One activist says this puts addicts who are in recovery at risk of relapse and overdose. “A lot of times in those conversations people are expressing concern for a loved one they can talk about the things they’ve seen and the issues they’ve had,” she said. “We’ve gone virtual with our Narcan training and we will connect people with a person who can do Narcan training either with face time or facebook live,” she said.center_img Pleus says often times Narcan training is about more than just learning how to administer the life saving drug. Pleus says with the risk of overdose or relapse heightened, her organization decided to take action. “We’re reaching out to all of them to figure out what their specific needs are and we’re creating care packages with the hope that it will help them stay home for two weeks,” she said. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The isolation that comes with social distancing can be difficult for anyone but experts say it’s especially difficult for addicts in recovery who rely on community support. last_img read more

Rough Weather to Continue Through the Week

first_imgAs our area works its way through a stormy weekend, that trend is expected to continue for the next week.Storms will continue on and off into Sunday evening, with the possibility of hail and wind gusts of up to 50 mph.Meteorologists says that a west-southwest steering flow will keep bringing deep tropical moisture into the region through early in the week.Afternoon high temperatures will be around the low 90s, with feels-like temperatures of as high as the low 100s.Rain totals during the next six days are expected to between two and four inches, with a 50 to 70 percent chance of of rain each day.Although forecasters do not expect widespread flooding, they do say that we could see some localized ponding of water in low lying areas, as well as small hail and damaging wind gusts.last_img read more

Turnovers turn the tide against Clippers in loss to Bucks

first_img“I have nothing for right now,” he said.The Clippers (36-25) committed a season-high 23 turnovers, including 16 in the first half which led to 30 of Milwaukee’s 66 points before halftime.To put it in perspective, the Clippers trailed by 19 at halftime despite shooting better than 57 percent from the field.“I don’t’ think I’ve ever seen those two things,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.Novelty aside, the Clippers need to make some adjustments. “We’ve got to get out of this rut, because we’re in one right now,” Rivers said. “There’s no doubt about that.”They have lost four of five since the All-Star. While losses to Golden State, San Antonio and Houston – titans of the West – could be explained, Friday’s was a head-scratcher. Milwaukee (27-33) is on the outside looking in of the playoff race in the less competitive Eastern Conference.They didn’t look it against the reeling Lakers.The Bucks forced nine turnovers in the first quarter, terrorizing the Clippers – who average 13 turnovers per game – with their length and athleticism. It wasn’t a surprise. Rivers emphasized the need to protect the ball against the Bucks.“There’s nights where you’re throwing the ball everywhere and you’re dribbling off your foot,” Redick said. “It wasn’t one of those nights. It was just that a lot of it had more to do with them than us.”Take away the turnovers and the night didn’t look all that terrible for the Clippers. They shot 56.3 percent from the field, and Blake Griffin nearly recorded a triple-double, leading the charge with 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.Rivers actually praised the Clippers energy at the start of the third quarter, when they rallied to cut the Bucks lead to three at 77-74.Paul, who received a technical foul in the second quarter for his reaction to the offensive foul call, carried the Clippers in the third, scoring 14 of his 21 points in the period.He left the game with 1:41 left in the quarter after appearing to reinjure his left thumb. Any fear that he had reinjured the thumb, in which a torn ligament cost him 14 games in January and February, quickly subsided.He was hit on the joint, which Rivers – who suffered the same injury as a player – warned would be painful.“If someone hits it, it hurts like you’re dying,” Rivers said. “It hurts. That was the first time someone hit it and it lasts for 10 or 15 minutes.”In the 94 seconds Paul was out of the game, however, the Clippers committed two more turnovers and were outscored 8-2, swinging momentum back the Clippers way entering the fourth quarter.“They say winning cures all,” Paul said. “I hope that’s the solution for us, because right now we look bad.”The Clippers will have a quick turnaround, playing Friday night in Chicago.Asked how the seasoned Clippers reacted to such a slump, Griffin said, “Guys are frustrated for sure. Disappointed, angry you could kind of use a variation of all those.” MILWAUKEE >> Blake Griffin stepped out of bounds, Jamal Crawford lost the ball. Chris Paul threw the ball to a defender, threw it out of bounds, threw a fit after getting called for a charge.Turnovers were the problem Friday night in a 112-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, but lately with the Clippers, it’s something new every night.“We’re all searching for answers,” said J.J. Redick, the one Clipper who can usually be counted on to explain why things are the way they are.After the latest loss?center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more