A new global biome reconstruction and data-model comparison for the Middle Pliocene

first_imgAim To produce a robust, comprehensive global biome reconstruction for the Middle Pliocene (c. 3.6–2.6 Ma), which is based on an internally consistent palaeobotanical data set and a state-of-the-art coupled climate–vegetation model. The reconstruction gives a more rigorous picture of climate and environmental change during the Middle Pliocene and provides a new boundary condition for future general circulation model (GCM) studies. Location Global. Methods Compilation of Middle Pliocene vegetation data from 202 marine and terrestrial sites into the comprehensive GIS data base TEVIS (Tertiary Environmental Information System). Translation into an internally consistent classification scheme using 28 biomes. Comparison and synthesis of vegetation reconstruction from palaeodata with the outputs of the mechanistically based BIOME4 model forced by climatology derived from the HadAM3 GCM. Results The model results compare favourably with available palaeodata and highlight the importance of employing vegetation–climate feedbacks and the anomaly method in biome models. Both the vegetation reconstruction from palaeobotanical data and the BIOME4 prediction indicate a general warmer and moister climate for the Middle Pliocene. Evergreen taiga as well as temperate forest and grassland shifted northward, resulting in much reduced tundra vegetation. Warm-temperate forests (with subtropical taxa) spread in mid and eastern Europe and tropical savannas and woodland expanded in Africa and Australia at the expense of deserts. Discrepancies which occurred between data reconstruction and model simulation can be related to: (1) poor spatial model resolution and data coverage; (2) uncertainties in delimiting biomes using climate parameters; or (3) uncertainties in model physics and/or geological boundary conditions. Main conclusions The new global biome reconstruction combines vegetation reconstruction from palaeobotanical proxies with model simulations. It is an important contribution to the further understanding of climate and vegetation changes during the Middle Pliocene warm interval and will enhance our knowledge about how vegetation may change in the future.last_img read more

BREAKING NEWS: Eagles Shoot Down Hawks, 98-77

first_img EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The 17th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team shot a blistering 72.7 percent in the second half and defeated Rockhurst University, 98-77, Saturday afternoon at the Physical Activities Center. USI sees its record go to 14-0 overall for the third time in the history of the program and 4-0 in the GLVC, while Rockhurst goes to 7-6, 1-4 GLVC.The Screaming Eagles spotted the Hawks a pair of leads during the opening minutes, trailing by as many as four points before the offense kicked into gear. USI, which hit 11 of its first 14 shots, went on a 15-3 run to soar into the lead, 19-12. The run would continue as the Eagles pushed the lead to 17 points by the intermission, 50-33.Senior guard Jeril Taylor (Louisville, Kentucky) and junior guard Marcellous Washington (Lexington, Kentucky) propelled the Eagles offensively with 24 points and 12 points, respectively, in the opening 20 minutes. Taylor was a blistering seven-of-10 from the field, five-of-seven from beyond the arc, and three-of-four from the line, while grabbing a team-best six boards.Washington was just as hot from the field, hitting four-of-six from long range for all of his 12 first half points.In the second half, the Hawks flew out of the locker room to cut the Eagles’ margin to eight points three times in the first 10 minutes before USI re-established command of the game. Washington, senior guard Bobo Drummond (Peoria, Illinois) and senior guard Cortez Macklin (Louisville, Kentucky) stopped the Rockhurst run by leading USI on an 11-3 run to make the score, 71-55, with 10 minutes left.It was all USI in the final 10 minutes of the game as Eagles shot 72.7 percent in the second half (16-22) and expanded the lead to as many as 21 points twice, including the 98-77 final.For the game, USI shot a season-high 64.2 percent (34-53), a season-best 60.9 percent from downtown (14-23), and 76.2 percent from the charity stripe (16-21). The Eagles, who had 16 three-point field goals for the game, also won the battle of the board for the eighth-straight game, 33-20.Individually, Taylor led five USI players in double-figure scoring with 27 points, adding a three-pointer in the final stanza. He also had his fourth double-double of the season with a game-high 12 rebounds.Sophomore guard Alex Stein (Evansville, Indiana) followed Taylor in the scoring column with 17 points, dropping in 13 points during in the second half. Washington was third on the squad with 16 points, hitting five three-point field goals, while Drummond and Macklin rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points and 11 points, respectively.USI hits the road next week in the GLVC when it travels to Truman State University Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. contest in Kirksville, Missouri, and Quincy University Saturday for a 3:15 game in Quincy, Illinois.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

A woman’s touch

first_imgA straight-talking Mancunian has just taken over as national president of the National Association of Master Bakers (NA). You may think there is nothing unusual in that, but Shirley Ryder is not only the youngest person ever to hold the post but she’s also the first woman to be crowned president. Born and bred in Fallowfield, Manchester, her first job was as a Saturday girl in the bakery she now runs with husband Graham, who has owned Peter’s Bakery since the early 1970s.The pair have an unusual way of working for a small family-owned bakery. They make large batches of dough, freeze it and bake-off daily over a seven- to 10-day cycle. They make the traditional products of a local bakery, but apply the techniques of some of the supermarkets.Shirley has been a director of the NA since it changed from an association to a company in 2000. She first joined 12 years ago and went on to be the president for the Manchester Association in 1998 and then regional president for the North West and North Wales region before becoming national president in May.So what does her new role involve? “Well, I am a figurehead for the NA and represent it at national level,” she replies. “I am required to attend conferences, regional meetings, AGMs and dinners, as well as the Baking Industry Awards. “I see the role as an honour because there are many members in the NA who could have been asked, but they chose me. As I see it, to ask a 39-year-old woman is quite an accolade – I am looking forward to it being a good year.”Shirley says there are many benefits to being an NA member. “We have made some very good friends through the NA. We have also received advice on employment and health and safety issues, but really it’s an ongoing benefit. Being a member is worth its weight in gold. For instance, when we need things like motor insurance, it’s always cheaper if you are part of the NA. I’m not just saying this because I’m a director. It’s a fact: the benefits far outweigh the cost.” Another key role of the NA is to stand up to government on policies and legislation if it believes it will be detrimental to the industry. “We are not only fighting for our members but for the trade as a whole,” she says, “so even non-members benefit. But it would certainly help our cause if more people joined. Membership is crucial.” Modern techniquesWith a diary full of presidential engagements, many craft bakers would worry about burnout. But the way Peter’s the Bakers works – making large batches of dough which are then frozen – means life shouldn’t be too hard for Shirley. Graham and Shirley see themselves as traditional bakers that are making the most of modern techniques. “We work on the theory that if we can’t freeze it, we don’t make it,” says Shirley. “It really is just a case of changing the system to suit us, we’ve done it for such a long time that there are very few errors.”This policy of fitting work around life also applies to the Ryders’ summer break, which sees the shop close down for two weeks in August. “Our customers just order extra bread beforehand, come in on the last day and take it home to freeze,” says Shirley. So if making large batches of dough to freeze is such an effective system, why are more bakers not using it? “People think it doesn’t work, but we have always gone with the flow and changed things to suit our needs,” says Shirley. “Graham has been doing it for years and it has always been a success. When pre-mixes became popular in the 1980s and were widely used by the supermarkets, it really hit the industry hard. But to us it was nothing new, we were already making our own pre-mixes. It really suits us and means we don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to go to work. “The whole system caught our imagination and, over time, we have adapted it and made it work for us. We still employ skilled staff and they just adapt to a different way of working. They all seem to prefer our way because the hours are more sensible.”Tools for the jobIt is not only their system which the Ryders believe has helped them survive the battle of the fittest – they also have a fundamental belief in investing in equipment. Graham has always held the philosophy of buying good equipment and that remains his one main piece of advice to others. “We believe in making the equipment work for us. Some bakers just can’t break away from the tradition of getting up at 3am because they feel they need to make the bread from scratch. Modern equipment allows bakers more freedom and, hopefully, we can start to change the way our trade is perceived – it’s not all early starts and long hours!”Peter’s bread sales have dipped in recent years, but there are signs they are increasing again. But it is still a long way from the volumes of 10 years ago, admits Graham. “We both have a philosophy that we would never put anything in the shop that we are not prepared to eat ourselves and that’s what we’ve instilled in all our staff. As long as you work on that mentality, then you can’t go far wrong,” says Shirley. “We are always willing to try new products. If we go to another bakery and see they are doing something we’re not, then we will try it. I will always take ideas on board because if you try it and it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost anything.”The lunchtime trade consists of soup, sandwiches and pies – “nothing too fancy”, says Shirley. “We make what the customers want and they buy it, it’s no good trying to be what you are not. If you have a city centre shop where the customer wants salmon and ciabatta then that’s fine, but here they don’t. So why try and force it on them?”Cakes and confectionery are all made in-house and celebration cakes average about six per week. Photographs and captions can be added. On the wholesale side, the bakery now only supplies local schools and social clubs. Some years ago, Shirley and Graham had begun to overstretch themselves on wholesale business and decided to place more emphasis on retail. Shirley adds: “That’s when we really got a life.”Quality productsSo is there any competition? “Yes, there’s a sandwich shop just down the road but custo-mers still come to us. I believe our products are good enough to withstand the competition.“Even though we are in the middle of a council estate, the customer still wants quality. It doesn’t matter what type of area you live in people will always want a quality product.” The bakery is situated in the middle of three neighbouring supermarkets – Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – and, just over a year ago, a free bus service for shoppers to Asda was introduced.However, Shirley is philosophical about the situation: “The way Graham and I look at it is that we produce a quality product at a reasonable price and even though the bulk of our customers will shop in Asda, they come back to us for their bread, cakes and cooked meats. We know the product is right.”Shirley only enters the occasional competition – namely the North West and North Wales Region Association, which holds a competition at its AGM. A couple of years ago, she won the Peter Herd Trophy for a barm cake with roast beef and mustard baked into it. In 2006, she picked up first place trophies for her hot cross buns and large bloomer, as well as a second place for a family pork pie.The business employs nine staff including two Saturday girls. It also ‘employee-shares’ a member of staff with another baker in nearby Cheadle. Because of the system Shirley and Graham use, they only need a baker for two or three days a week. It is his job to fill and restock the free-zers with dough, which means production can be planned in advance and everyone can start work at a reasonable time each day.Shirley says they have a loyal staff base and, a year ago, were awarded ‘Investors in People’.“We also tend to use part-time staff in the shop as it is easier to swap them about to provide cover. All our staff are well presented. Overalls have to be clean and ironed. They are the face of our business and the first thing that people see. We put all our staff through an NVQ in retailing. If you don’t have decent staff at the front of the business, you will never achieve anything at the back.”Top tipsSo, apart from investing in equipment, what would Shirley and Graham’s top tips be to other bakers? “You can change the way you bake and invest in your staff,” says Shirley. “Always have a nice shop – if you’re going to spend money, spend it on the front of the shop as it’s what people see first. But perhaps the most important tip is to keep your husband off the premises! I couldn’t work with Graham all day every day because it would drive me insane. I have my way of doing things and he has his.” Graham runs the financial and administrative side of the business, while Shirley runs the bakery itself. She took over the day-to-day running of the bakery some seven years ago and, in 2003, the shop underwent a major refit. “Graham comes in when I need him to do so, but otherwise he stays out of the way. Between us the combination works and we have a successful business. I really don’t know how other couples get on.” She continues: “Being president of the NA, if I have to go to London for a meeting then Graham will come in and carry this place while I’m gone and we work it between us. Although we try to keep him out of here as much as we can, he keeps turning up!”Shirley and Graham, who have been partners for a number of years, finally tied the knot and got married on New Year’s Day 2006 in Gretna Green. So who wears the trousers? “We are an equal partnership. I get my way sometimes and he gets his way all the time!” says Shirley amid much laughter from the staff.last_img read more

Preservation Hall Jazz Band Welcomes Arcade Fire’s Kiol Diki To Close Out Montreal Jazz Festival

first_imgMontreal boasts the largest and most prestigious jazz festival in North America, hosting six outdoor stages that are free for attendees, as well as ticketed shows throughout the Place des Arts complex in the heart of downtown. The fact that Preservation Hall Jazz Band closed out the entire ten day Festival International de Jazz de Montreal at the 1,500 seat Theatre Maisonneuve concert hall is a testament to the ascendance of New Orleans music in the international jazz scene. Pres Hall’s ninety minute set not only had the crowd up and dancing to an array of genres, but also recognized the power of music to heal pain and division in such saddened times, direct from the heart of where jazz was born, New Orleans.Opening band Jazz Street Boyz (much better than their canny name), a sophisticated French-Canadian Gypsy Trad band, slayed a St. James Infirmary cover and jerked tears with their original “The Way You Dream” that got the crowd into a tizzy of excitement with their strings and trumpet playing. But move on over Québécois upstarts, we need some heavy Preservation Hall horns up in here! Starting off their ninety minute set with Danny Barker’s original “Tootie Ma”, which became re-popularized by the Tom Waits collaboration with Pres Hall off their album, “Preservation”, set the tasty mood with it’s deep tenor sax and dirty vocal performance by Clint Maedgen.To take the cake, Charlie Gabriel celebrated his 84th birthday by singing “I Think I Love You,” written by Pres Hall’s Creative Director, Ben Jaffe, for his daughter, Emma, off the album “That’s It”. It was all sweet-tooth sounds, but the cuteness cut into a tangy, spicy route on their Cuban compositions with “Solano” and “El Manicero”. I don’t think Montreal has ever mamboed so hard as it did to the Mardi Gras Indian chant, “Shallow Water”, featuring Haitian percussionist, Kiol Diki, of Arcade Fire.The highs were highs, but attention needed to be addressed to more a somber side of issues presented today. Jaffe got real with the audience before the classic gospel hymn, “A Closer Walk With Thee”. He introduced the song with a heart-felt speech stating, “In New Orleans the way we celebrate death is through our music, the dead live on through our horns…This is for those who have passed, and we honor them tonight… If ya’ll haven’t heard about what’s been happening in the world, It’s 2016 and we can’t get our shit together. We have to come together, we have to make a change.” Everyone was feeling the slow dirge as drummer Walter Harris poured into his snare roll while Rickie Monie soulfully played the Steinway Grand with passion. It was a beautiful moment, New Orleans representing at it’s finest.But you can’t leave the Montreal Jazz Fest on a tearful note, you gotta leave them wanting more. And that’s what happened when Pres Hall came out for not just one, but a double encore! Of course, every crowd goes crazy for a Jackson 5/Stevie Wonder medley, but this fancy pants of a symphony hall got an extra lagniappe treat when the house lights re-dimmed for Ronell Johnson to lead the way with his zesty trombone and powerhouse stage presence on Pres Hall’s original Gospel tune, “Dear Lord.” Everyone was celebrating. Montreal had the taste of New Orleans’ flavor they were hungry for. It was joyful, spicy, but above all, an authentically real experience. Congrats, gentlemen, as Johnson belted in final chorus, “you picked them up, turned them around, and put their feet on higher ground.”Words and photos by Annie Gaia. Full gallery: Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Widespread Panic Covers Talking Heads, Rolling Stones In Oakland Finale

first_imgWidespread Panic continued their current summer tour last night with their second of two shows at Oakland, CA’s Fox Theatre. The band dropped a heater on the west coast crowd, including a first set closing rendition of Talking Heads‘ “Life During Wartime” a performance of the Rolling Stones classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” to close out the encore, as well as a “Drums” segment that featured Richie “Shakin” Nagan (George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic) on the shaker and Nigerian percussionist Sikiru Adepoju on the talking drum.Fanshot video of Panic’s second set performance of “Sleeping Man” surfaced this morning courtesy of YouTube user Mrtopdogger. Check it out below:Panic continues their California run with a show at The Wiltern in LA tonight.Widespread Panic Setlist – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA – 7/15/16Set 1:   Wondering, Up All Night, Better Off, Can’t Get High, For What It’s Worth, Cease Fire, Disco, Greta> Life During Wartime (58 mins)Set 2:   Glory, Good People> Love Tractor, Aunt Avis, You Shoud Be Glad, Sleeping Man, B of D> Chilly Water> Drums*> Bear’s Gone Fishin’> Bust It Big> Chilly WaterEncore: Trouble, You Can’t Always Get What You WantNotes –  * w/ Richie Nagan on Shaker; Sikiru Adepoju on Talking Drum[setlist via PanicStream.com]last_img read more

Cordeiro Health Policy Summer Research Grants announced

first_imgThe Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy has announced the 2011 recipients of the Cordeiro Health Policy Summer Research Grants. Rising seniors pursuing the secondary field in Global Health and Health Policy may apply for a Cordeiro Health Policy Summer Research Grant. The grant allows students to get a head start on their senior theses or research projects related to global health or health policy.The 10 recipients, including their fields of study and thesis/research project titles, are listed below:Eberechukwu Anidi, history and science, “The History of the Changing Role of the General Practitioner in the U.K.’s National Health Service”Samuel Bakkila, special concentration in social inequality and public health, “LGBTQ Activists in Africa and HIV/AIDS Policy: A South African Case Study”Sandra Lynne Fryhofer, government, “The Implementation of State-Based Insurance Exchanges”Samuel Galler, East Asian studies, “NGOs in the Context of Global Health in China”Kirsten Jorgensen, history and science, “The Historical Significance of Alaska’s ‘Floating Clinics’ in Shaping Health Care Delivery”Anisha Kumar, anthropology, “Causality and the Meaning of Cancer in the Lives of Young Adult Patients” Lavinia Mitroi, history and science, “The History of Institutional Care for Children in Romania”Elizabeth Pinto, studies of women, gender, and sexuality, “The Gender and Sexuality of Binge Drinking on College Campuses”Angela Primbas, government, “HIV/AIDS and Customary Law in Tanzania”Matthew Young, government, “Elucidating the ‘Death Panels’ Phenomenon: Fear and Misinformation in the Politics of Health Care Reform and End-of-Life Care”last_img read more

Politics and polio

first_img Read Full Story In an effort to keep the polio virus from spreading between countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended that all residents and long-term visitors in Pakistan, Cameroon, and Syria be immunized and obtain a certificate of verification before traveling. According to the WHO, these countries pose the greatest risk of exporting polio.The certificates will do little to stop the cross-border spread of the virus, wrote Richard Cash, senior lecturer in global health at Harvard School of Public Health, in a Lancet editorial. Many people cross borders illegally, and those who don’t may travel with forged papers. What’s more, there will likely be political consequences, Cash wrote, with other countries limiting travelers from the three locations.The editorial was published online June 28, 2014.“Pakistan has done a good job of immunizing its citizens and controlling the spread of polio, especially given the political situation, and should not be punished because of factors over which it has limited control,” Cash wrote, citing opposition to immunization by some tribal groups and the Taliban. “It is time for the public health community to move beyond country borders in the overall control of infectious diseases.”last_img read more

Key4Women Forum raises $6,000 for Vermont Women’s Fund

first_imgThree hundred  women from throughout Vermont  gathered at the Sheraton  on  November 2 for the 10th annual Key4Women Forum to discuss courage in leadership and why courage is vital to the achievement of success by women in business.All proceeds from the Key4Women Forum were donated to Vermont Women’s Fund and totaled more than $6,000.  Over the event’s 10 years, more than $55,000 has gone to the organization.‘The Vermont Women’s Fund appreciates KeyBank’s ongoing commitment to women’s leadership and professional development,’ said Catherine Kalkstein, executive director of the organization. ‘We also applaud Key’s efforts to support the Vermont  Women’s Fund’s mission  of empowering women and girls.’The Forum, ‘Creating a Culture of Courage: The New Leadership Challenge,’ featured leadership and customer service expert Cindy Solomon, who returned to the Key4Women Forum for the second consecutive year. The Forum is designed to educate and empower women in business ‘ business owners, leaders, decision makers and non-profit directors ‘ through the insight and advice of a dynamic national speaker. Cindy’s presentation discussed the four types of courage and when and how to invoke each for success in business, why finding the courage to move forward is the key to success in today’s new business economy, and how to inspire courage personally and professionally.‘Courage in the face of uncertainty is something that every woman in business is familiar with,’ said KeyBanker Amy Mailloux. ‘Timely sharing of information is a big part of Key4Women’s goal of providing ongoing education for women. We feel that this year’s theme is something that everyone can relate to, and we’re glad that women will be able to use what they’ve learned to achieve personal and professional success.’The forum also featured the presentation of the 2011 Key4Women Achieve Award Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power and member of the boards of directors of Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont Land Trust, Champlain College, VELCO, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  The Achieve Award recognizes a woman who has provided inspirational leadership in business and her community.About Key4WomenAs one of the nation’s largest financial services companies and top small business lenders, Key provides financial services to thousands of women-owned businesses in 14 states. Founded in 2005, Key4Women helps women business owners achieve their goals by providing access to capital, customized service, networking events, and educational opportunities. Key4Women has lent $3 billion to qualified women business owners since 2005 and committed to lending another $3 billion by 2012.About KeyBank KeyBank N.A. is one of Vermont’s largest financial services companies. A strong proponent for local economic growth, Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, retirement, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. The company’s businesses deliver their products and services through branches and offices; a network of approximately 1,500 ATMs; telephone banking centers (1.800.KEY2YOU); and a Web site, Key.com, that provides account access and financial products 24 hours a day.BURLINGTON, VT., November 2, 2011  KeyCorplast_img read more

Mexican Paintings Saved from Fire During the “Bogotazo” in 1948 to Go on Exhibit

first_imgBy Dialogo August 27, 2009 Mexico City, 24 August (EFE).- The Mexican authorities will exhibit more than a hundred works by Mexican painters like Rivera, Siqueiros, Velasco, Goitia, Tamayo, and Chávez Morado, among others, saved from fire by Mexican museologist Fernando Gamboa in Colombia in 1948 during the “Bogotazo,” official sources announced today. The National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta) indicated that this exhibit, titled “Fernando Gamboa: Art at Risk,” will open on Thursday, 27 August, and will be on display until March of next year in the Diego Rivera Mural Museum, the home of the mural “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda.” The director of the museum, Carmen Gaytán, explained to EFE that the exhibit is an event to pay homage to Fernando Gamboa (1909-1990), the father of museum studies in Mexico, who dedicated his life to promoting Mexican art around the world. She said that Gamboa had taken eight crates to Bogotá with representative examples of Mexican art from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, to be exhibited during a Pan-American meeting at the Palace of Communications in Colombia. The exhibit, titled “Four Centuries of Mexican Art,” never opened due to the explosion of violence that followed the assassination of Colombian liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán on 9 April 1948. “Gamboa wrapped himself in a Mexican flag that he took from the Mexican embassy, to try to prevent the factions from shooting at him, and together with two other individuals, he went into the burning building to rescue and protect the works he had brought from Mexico,” Gaytán said. Gamboa also spent three days locked in without eating in order to protect the paintings, while shootouts and clashes took place in the streets. Gaytán explained that thanks to the lists drawn up by Gamboa, it was possible to reconstruct the exhibit, made up of about forty oil paintings and ninety other works belonging to a variety of private collections and museums such as the Soumaya, the Carrillo Gil, and the José María Velasco Museum, among others. “In the museum vestibule a statue of Don Fernando has been set up with the original flags that he used on that occasion and that still show the burn marks from when he pulled the crates out of the fire,” she added. The director of the Diego Rivera Mural Museum explained that this is the first time that this collection will be exhibited since Gamboa’s attempt sixty-one years ago.last_img read more

Colombia Concludes 2018 with Success in the Fight against Organized Crime

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo January 22, 2019 During joint, coordinated, and interagency operations carried out in the last quarter of 2018, the Colombian Armed Forces dismantled the most important support network of the Residual Organized Armed Group (GAOR, in Spanish) Estructura Primera, in the south-central part of the country. The Colombian Army, National Police, and Attorney General’s Technical Investigation Corps led the operations that facilitated the capture of six members of the criminal ring. The criminals, alias Capuyo, Chamizo, Cocuyo, La Flaca, Nadin, and Rigo, had arrest warrants for extortion; murder; aggravated conspiracy to commit a crime; terrorism; use, production, and storage of antipersonnel mines; and transport and storage of illicit substances. The ring operated in the municipalities of El Retorno and Calamar, Guaviare department, and controlled riverine corridors in the region. By dismantling this network, the Armed Forces dealt a blow to the financial subsystem of Estructura Primera. Colombia concluded 2018 showing its commitment to put an end to organized crime and fight for the security of people. Kingpin goes down Authorities made the first arrest in October 2018. The 22nd Jungle Brigade and troops of the 32nd Land Operations Battalion, among other Army units, deployed to Calamar municipality to arrest William Alexander Álvarez Hoyos, alias Chamizo, leader of the GAOR’s support network. “We did six to seven months’ worth of thorough intelligence and prosecution work on this criminal, until the arrest warrant was issued,” Army Colonel John Mauricio Acuña Aldana, commander of the 24th Jungle Infantry Battalion who participated in the operation, told Diálogo. With 13 years in the network, Chamizo received direct orders from Iván Mordisco, the GAOR’s main leader. He was in charge of collecting money coming from the extortion of shopkeepers, stockbreeders, and farmers, as well as the cocaine base paste to be sold. Chamizo is also responsible for the murder of several people who refused to pay what the criminals demanded. During the same operation, authorities captured two other dissidents, Rigoberto Guerrero Otálora, alias Rigo, and Nadyn Parada Redes, alias Nadin. According to the Army, at the time of the arrest, the criminals rode motorcycles and carried 10 kilograms of cocaine base paste. Two other operations took place in October, in El Retorno and Calamar municipalities. The security forces’ actions ended with the arrest of Luis Lozano Buriticá, alias Capullo, and Luz Dary Patiño Ascencio, alias La Flaca. Detention of a sixth member The last gang member was caught on November 18, in an operation in El Retorno municipality by troops of the Army’s 22nd Jungle Brigade and the 24th Jungle Infantry Battalion. A human source allowed the Army to locate and detain Luis Orlando Castilla Molano, alias Cocuyo, who was the logistics coordinator of the GAOR’s support network since 2014. “This criminal is very important in the organization [the GAOR Estructura Primera],” said Col. Acuña. “His role was prominent in that sector; for example, he obtained war and military material. He was in charge of almost all the logistics flow in that sector.” Units of the security forces monitored the area, as well as the movements of Cocuyo and his accomplices, for months, collecting the necessary intelligence to launch the operations and facilitate the group’s prosecution. “We conducted an occupation operation in those locations [El Retorno and Calamar]. We arrived around August, and started intelligence work to get the exact location of these GAOR members,” said Col. Acuña. Invincible forces According to the Army, the dismantlement of this criminal network destabilized Estructura Primera’s finances, but also affected its organization and command system, because the group lacked time to train new members who could be trusted. The Army also indicated that some of the youth who led the organization fled with the money collected. “This is a very sensitive job. We managed to penetrate the structures, find out details about their modus operandi, and become aware of how these tentacles operate,” Army Colonel Federico Alberto Mejía Torres, commander of the 22nd Jungle Brigade, told Diálogo. “Right now, we are working on seizing assets, because we know about many of their properties.” Col. Mejía said that from October to December 2018, the Armed Forces captured 11 members of several GAOR. Thorough intelligence work, conducted with support from the institutions and agencies of the country’s security forces, contributed to the latest achievements, he said. “Like the motto of the [Colombian Armed Forces] General Command says, together we are invincible,” Col. Mejía concluded. “This joint work enabled us to bring together all the intelligence, the best personnel, all aimed at confronting these terrorists, who still operate illegally.”last_img read more