The OAS has stressed the need to improve citizen security in the Americas. (Photo: Oscar Durand/Andina)
The member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) have stressed the need to take regional cooperation measures to improve citizen security in the Americas.
Meeting on the second and final day of the 41st regular session of the OAS General Assembly, the OAS members aim to include current and future proposals to confront violence and crime: organized crime, trafficking in drugs and firearms, human trafficking and violence against women and children.
At the third plenary session, held at the International Fair and Conference Center (CIFCO) in the Salvadoran capital, the foreign ministers and representatives of Chile, The Bahamas, Grenada, Costa Rica, Dominica, Mexico, Canada, Uruguay, Saint Lucia, Peru, Paraguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Brazil, Venezuela, and Belize pointed to measures their countries have adopted at the national and regional levels to combat threats to citizen security. And they renewed their commitments to OAS efforts to create more just, free and secure societies.
Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon welcomed the choice of "Citizen Security in the Americas" as the theme of the session and reaffirmed his organization’s commitment to help fight the problem.
“The call for a hemispheric plan of action, set forth in the Declaration of El Salvador, is a welcome step in that direction,” said the UN’s highest official.
Also at the third plenary session, the Government of the Republic of Honduras was welcomed back to the Organization and greetings were extended to the new president-elect of the Republic of Peru.
The Head of the Delegation of Peru, Ambassador Luzmila Zanabria, said that her government favored the preparation of a Hemispheric Action Plan on Citizen Security that would advance OAS security efforts in a comprehensive and integral manner.
She said, “It will be important for this additional effort to target the issues of prevention and combat of crime, insecurity, and violence, seeking to strengthen coordination and cooperation mechanisms among the countries in order to increase the effectiveness of the fight against the various forms of transnational organized crime, especially illicit arms trafficking and trafficking in persons, avoiding duplication of inter-American efforts already underway in other forums such as the Meetings of Ministers of Public Security in the Americas and the Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Americas and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission.”
She also referred to the elections that had just taken place in her country on June 5, which she said had been “a clean and faultless process that met all democratic standards, as declared by the international observers, especially the OAS Mission, for which we express our appreciation.”
Congress meets today to debate the moratorium on the entry of GM seeds to Peru. (Photo: Andina)
The House of the Congress will meet Tuesday at 4 p.m. for discussion and approval of projects prioritized by law from the Board of Spokesmen, including the bill that poses a moratorium of 15 years on the entry of GM seeds into Peru.
Renowned Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, an outspoken critic of the regulation that allowed GM products into the country, felt that allowing the seeds in would risk much of the country's economic future.
He warned that this would endanger Peru's biodiversity and says this is "our great differentiator with the rest of the world" and the decision would affect the image of agriculture, tourism and and the Peru national brand.
The parliamentary agenda starts at 9 a.m. with the meeting of the Special Commission in charge of selecting multi-party candidates to the Ombudsman. The meeting will be held in the Sala Jorge Basadre of the Legislative Palace.
At 9:30 a.m., the Budget Committee meets to discuss various issues, including budget execution of 2010 and the Institutional Opening Budget of 2011. The session will be held in Sala Miguel Grau.
At 10:30 a.m., the Land Commission will meet to discuss various opinions. At 12 p.m. the Parliamentary caucus of Puno will meet.
At 1 p.m., the Commission of Andean, Amazonian and AfroPeruvian communities receive the president of the Council of Ministers, Rosario Fernández Figueroa, in Conference Room 1.
And finally, at 5 p.m. the members of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Accusations will meet in Sala Maria Elena Moyano.
The investigation continues in the case of the bomb scare at Cusco's airport. (Photo: El Comercio)
The planting of a grenade and a stick of dynamite in an airport bathroom at Alejandro Velasco Astete airport in Cusco may be a psychosocial act aimed at Peruvian voters, reports La Républica.
The criminal prosecutor from Wanchaq, Andrónica Sanz, who is investigating the crime, does not rule out that possibility.
"We can not talk about a final hypothesis during the process. Those who have been involved in the act had an interest in causing fear. We can not rule out any possibility, everything is under investigation," Sanz said.
The mayor of Cusco, Luis Flórez García, expressed concern about the incident and says it would be unusual for it to have political overtones.
"It would be regrettable if this was done by someone who wants to benefit politically. I would not like to think so...Such incidents have not happened for years, and it is concerning that it happened now," said Flórez.
Sanz noted that the investigation could last between 20 days and four months. Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation (Corpac), security personnel, cleaning and any witnesses will be summoned to give official statements.
More than 20,000 Aymara are protesting in Puno against mining concessions. (Photo: Perú.21/USI)
About 300 tourists, mostly Europeans and Japanese, are stranded at the border between Peru and Bolivia because of the strike against the mining concessions in the department of Puno, warned the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), reports Perú.21.
The head of the agency, Carlos Canales, said that foreign visitors had evaded the road blocks by traveling via Lake Titicaca, but yesterday the port was taken by the demonstrators.
Previously, Canatur announced in a statement that the sector has lost S/. 100 million since the protests that began 16 days ago in the southern highland region. He stressed that the strike damages the image of the country and caused the cancellation of hundreds of tour packages.
Meanwhile, all activities in the city of Puno remain paralyzed and 20,000 Aymara are participating in the anti-mining protests. The leaders of the province Chucuito-Juli, Walter Aduviri, and Yunguyo, Helmer Bazán, went to the Francisco Bolognesi headquarters in Juliaca to meet with the High Commission and other leaders of the strike. The meeting was scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.
The airport in Cusco is operating today under heightened security. (Photo: El Comercio)
Security measures are heightened at the Alejandro Velasco Astete airport in Cusco after the discovery yesterday of a grenade and a stick of dynamite in one of the airport's bathrooms, said Col. Gastón Rodríguez Limo, chief police of the Cusco region.
The measure provides for the presence of 50 agents, both uniformed and plain clothed, and police dogs. The air terminal operations have carried on as normal on Tuesday. Flights have left or arrived on the scene without any problems, reports El Comercio.
The explosives alert yesterday delayed four flights and caused the evacuation of 600 people, 400 of them from the second level and 200 from the main level. Air operations resumed after members of the bomb disposal unit (UDEX) took charge of the explosives.
The reason for extreme measures is also due to the proximity of the celebrations for the centennial of the discovery of Machu Picchu, whose central date is scheduled for July 7.
Coca plantations are being replaced by other crops. (Photo: Living in Peru archive)
Peru has taken steps to eradicate coca leaf plantations in the upcoming years with the implementation of alternative development programs, according to a representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
UNODC representative Flavio Mirella highlighted the Peruvian experience to eradicate illegal plantations in areas formerly occupied by drug traffickers, reports Andina.
As an example, he cited the model used in the San Martín region where some 23,000 families, grouped in 14 major associations, generated over $100 million in sales last year thanks to alternative crops.
The UN official estimated that these producers could generate more than $300 million in sales by 2016.
"Now we see that San Martín has an interesting economic model with its 40,000 hectares of cocoa and palm oil," he said.
The number of dogs in Tingo María has increased. (Photo: Inforegión)
In recent weeks, the numer of dogs in Tingo María has significantly increased. The representative of the Humane Association of the province, Armando Vela Navarro, says it is the fault of dog owners who fail to properly care for their pets, Inforegión reports.
"This is a public health problem that should concern us all. Unfortunately people are unaware of what they have at home. One hundred percent of these dogs have owners," he said.
Vela Navarro said that the various institutions should work to stop this situation.
He also raised as a possible solution a mass sterilization of females to reduce canine reproduction.
"This task falls to the municipality, which must issue an ordinance to regulate the breeding of these animals," Vela Navarro said.
Minister of the Interior Miguel Hidalgo reports that 80,000 police officers will be working election day to maintain order. (Photo: Norman Córdova/Andina)
Minister of the Interior, Miguel Hidalgo, says that about 80,000 police officers will be responsible for keeping order and security of voters during the second round of the presidential elections on June 5, reports Peru.21.
Hidalgo said that the police officers deployed throughout the country will coordinate with the armed forces to guard the transport of electoral materials to the various regions of the country.
"We are coordinating with the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE) and other authorities to manage these processes so that the material arrives promptly, and Peruvians can attend the second round in a safe, free and democratic environment," Hidalgo said.
Hidalgo added that the police officers will be guarding the outside of polling stations nationwide before, during and after voting day, as part of the security plan designed for the second round. They will also protect election agency headquarters.
A photograph of Ciro Castillo Rojo, who has been missing in the Colca Valley for more than 40 days.
The Minister of the Interior, Miguel Hidalgo, said Tuesday morning that the search continues for Ciro Castillo Rojo, who disappeared more than 40 days ago in the Colca Valley, reports El Comercio.
He said that the search is now focusing on specific areas. "We are focusing the work in places where we can possibly find the young man, at the level of rivers, cliffs and deep routes," he added.
In addition, Hidalgo mentioned several efforts by private organizations, mountain guides, firefighters and "even people who have come from abroad with the goodwill to help."
He also said the search efforts are being aided by a police contingent from Mazamari and announced that a group of soldiers from the Mazamari district will join the search efforts.
The chief of police for Region XI, General Carlos Mateo Tueros, reported that only 18 searchers and 15 soldiers are at work, as well as a handful of local guides hired by Castillo's father.
Last week the commanding general of the Southern Military Region, Víctor Ripalda Gano, reported that he would send another 25 individuals to help in the rescue effort, such replacement has not yet arrived.
Yesterday was Castillo's 27th birthday. On the news his mother pleaded that more effort be put into the search for her missing son.
Travelers were forced to take boats to Puno since the border was blocked by strikers. (Photo: Internet)
Last Friday a group of strikers opposed to the Santa Ana mining project blocked the Bolivian-Peruvian border at Desaguadero, forcing 300 tourists to enter Peru from Bolivia by boat, reports El Comercio.
The boats left from Copacobana in Bolivia and traveled to Puno, Peru.
The two main orders of the strikers are the promulgation of a regional ordinance banning all mining concessions in the Puno region and the arrival of a high-level commission from the central government.
Local media has also reported that the strikers have asked tourists for money (S/. 50 to S/. 70) in order to pass through the strike and cross the border.