Facebook Email WhatsApp NewsLocal NewsSupport gathers for Garda sub-office in WestburyBy admin – July 28, 2010 621 Twitter Previous articleAll haircuts are not created equalNext articleHSE tell court no place for teenager admin Linkedin A GARDA superintendent has come out in favour of setting up a Garda sub office in Westbury.Superintendent Frank O’Brien of Henry Street Station, said he would not be against locating an office for a specific period of time in the Corbally housing estate. The superintendent, who was speaking at a Joint Policing Committee meeting in Clonlara Community Centre, has jurisdiction for policy matters in South-’East Clare.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Noting that as a rural station, Ardnacrusha Garda Station has limited opening hours, he said that during any eight hour shift the gardai has just one quarter of its overall complement on duty, which also has to cope with deploying resources for court work for a number of days.“We have to prioritise our resources and sometimes a garda patrol car does not come to an area in an hour or two because frequently gardai are attending a more serious incident, such as a robbery, serious assault or even murder. Incidents are prioritised in terms of how serious they are”.Responding to Cllr Pascal Fitzgerald’s complaints about late night drinking by young people along the river banks close to Shannon Banks and his request that a garda sub office be located in the area, Supt O’Brien said:“People drinking in a public place is a serious concern and I would be willing to arrange a meeting with councillors to see how we can progress these issues”.The late night drinking in their area is a source of genuine concern to the residents, Cllr Fitzgerald said.“They are being woken up by youths who aren’t supposed to be drinking in public places. Some of the residents telephoned Ardnacrusha garda and there was no one in the station, and while we know that the garda in Ardnacrusha are doing their best, the fact is that they don’t have the required manpower.“It took two hours before a patrol car came out to the scene. I have called for a community garda to be stationed in a sub-office in the Westbury area because it’s not good enough that when Ardnacrusha gardaí are called to an incident in Limerick city, we are left without cover.“I have got phone calls from residents at 11pm looking for me to do something but I’m a councillor not a garda. I have though, tabled a motion in Clare County Council calling for the banning of drinking in public places,” he added.Senior executive officer, Michael McNamara, pointed out that the bylaws banned drinking in towns but didn’t cover locations in South-East Clare.Two years ago, the issue of having a garda sub office opened locally led Tony Hayes, who runs Westbury Stores, to lodge a planning application seeking permission to demolish an existing garage and barber shop in order to construct three commercial units, one of which would be a sub-office for a community garda.Mr Hayes had hoped the permanent presence of a community based garda within easy access of residents living in Westbury, Shannon Banks and Carrig Meade would be hugely beneficial for the local community.However, he had to withdraw the application after Clare County Council stated his plans represented “significant overdevelopment” of the site.Following Supt O’Brien’s recent comments, however, Cllr Fitzgerald is hopeful for a positive outcome in relation to a garda sub office being opened in Westbury in the not too distant future. Advertisement Print
The work is slow because of homemade booby traps placed in fields and snipers who killed three CORAH workers and several police officers last year. A small band of remnants of the Shining Path — Peru’s violent Maoist-inspired rebels who terrorized the country in the 1980s and early 1990s — remain active in the zone. They’ve made defense of coca their primary calling card and are active wherever CORAH is eradicating. As such, San Martín’s Tocache province, along with parts of Huánuco and Ucayali, have been under a state of emergency since December 2005 because Shining Path activity. Shining Path remnants are also active in the Apurímac-Ene River Valley, where they also have links to drug trafficking. That area has been under a state of emergency since 2003. This faction is larger than the Huallaga group and has engaged security forces much more often in recent years. Defense Minister Jaime Thorne told reporters in late April that the Shining Path rebels were “narcoterrorists fighting for money and the [drug] mafias, not for ideology or doctrine.” Complicating things further, said Zarate, “we are finding coca mixed in with palm oil trees. These farmers are receiving technical assistance for alternative crops, but they also like the easy cash from coca. There needs to be a change in mentality, which is the hardest part of the job.” San Martín’s Tocache province is now ground zero, which highlights the struggle of moving forward with the San Martín model in the face of pressure from drug mafias that want to obtain the raw material needed for cocaine. Former coca growers in Tocache are on the forefront of Peru’s new image as a world-class producer of cacao, from which chocolate is made, as well as coffee. Cooperatives of former coca growers have won international awards, including the best aromatic chocolate at France’s Salon du Chocolat, and international recognition of organic coffee. San Martín is now Peru’s top cacao producer and is a major source of coffee. Elena Rios, secretary of the Tocache Agroindustrial Cooperative, said switching from coca to cacao 10 years ago was the best decision she ever made. “We no longer have to be afraid of losing our crops. We can now plan for the future and the future of our children,” said Rios, a 53-year-old mother of six. She added, however, that while many people in Tocache are planting alternative crops, it’s still difficult to convince them to give up coca completely. She said coca is still seen as the caja chica — literally a cash box — because it can be harvested three or four times a year and provide a family with quick money at the start of the school year or Christmas. While Zarate said Tocache is the most difficult zone — with coca replanted quickly, laboratories producing cocaine paste and new routes to get cocaine to the coast for export — he’s confident the eradication-interdiction-development model is working. “Drug trafficking has been here for decades, so we are not going to stop it in a year or two,” he said. “This is a process that will take years. But we have the momentum.” I liked it, but it should be more simplified. By Dialogo May 20, 2011 LIMA – Coca and cocaine production has returned to Peru with a vengeance, jeopardizing years of efforts to get coca farmers to switch to legal — and profitable — export crops. Jaime Antezana, a local expert on drug trafficking and subversion, forecasts an increase of about 4,000 hectares in 2010, and claims Peru is on the cusp of eclipsing neighboring Colombia in total coca output. “We are going to see the same rates of growth in the coming years, which will make Peru the world’s leading coca producer, unless we start to rethink and apply a different strategy,” he warned. Peruvian production of coca, from which cocaine is extracted, reached its high point in 1992 when 129,100 hectares of coca were planted, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Cultivation bottomed out in 1999 at 38,700 hectares, but has been edging up since then, slowly and steadily. By 2009, says UNDOC, cultivation had risen to 59,900 hectares, with analysts saying the upward trend continued in 2010. Land used for coca crops isn’t the only concern. These days, fields are vastly more productive and coca leaves contain higher quantities of the cocaine alkaloid than in the past. One hectare of coca today can support up to 40,000 plants, while the same hectare would have had around 10,000 plants in the 1990s. Studies are under way to determine productivity, with some estimates claiming 200 kilograms of coca leaves are needed to produce one kilogram of cocaine. The formula a decade ago was 375 kilograms of coca for one kilogram of cocaine. Bucking the national trend is San Martín, a department in Peru’s northern jungle. San Martín had 23,000 hectares of coca crops in 1996, but the government reported only 400 hectares in 2009 — thanks to a combination of eradication, interdiction and development projects the government calls the San Martín model. It’s also the primary target of drug trafficking mafias who want to ensure their illicit business. “Drug trafficking is a knot that needs to be untied using legal, political, social and economic strategies that must be applied at the same time and continuously. Eliminating coca has to be a long-term commitment,” said retired National Police Gen. Juan Zarate, who coordinates coca-eradication brigades (known by the Spanish acronym CORAH) in Peru’s Huallaga Valley. CORAH, which uses manual eradication, works only in the Upper Huallaga Valley, which had 17,497 hectares of coca under cultivation in 2009, according to UNODC. The Peruvian government has opted not to eradicate coca in the other major production area, the Apurímac-Ene River Valley — in the southern jungle — because of difficult social and political conditions there. The valley had 17,486 hectares of coca in 2009. The Upper Huallaga Valley encompasses provinces in San Martín and the neighboring departments of Huánuco and Ucayali. CORAH eradicated 12,000 hectares last year, 20 percent above its goal, from the three departments, and destroyed more than 200 rustic labs that processed coca into cocaine paste or refined cocaine. It plans to eliminate 10,000 hectares this year, starting in San Martín. This the fifth consecutive year that CORAH’s 600 eradicators, as well as police and military backup, are in San Martín — and Zarate said it is unlikely to be last, as the work becomes increasingly complicated. CORAH has eradicated more than 2,000 hectares in San Martín this year, a large percentage of those crops replanted since the end of the 2010 eradication campaign in December. The program also has to deal with the “balloon effect,” with coca farmers simply planting in nearby areas when their crops are eradicated.