Southern Utah holds off late Idaho State rally to win, 80-75

first_img Written by February 1, 2020 /Sports News – Local Southern Utah holds off late Idaho State rally to win, 80-75 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailCameron Oluyitan hit five straight free throws and dunked in the final 34 seconds as Southern Utah held off a late rally from Idaho State to earn an 80-75 victory.Idaho State trailed by 18 points with just over eight minutes to play. Tarik Cool scored seven points in the final 1:04 and pulled the Bengals with in three at 78-75 before Jakolby Long hit two free throws with a second left to set the final margin. Tags: Big Sky/SUU Tunderbirds Basketball Associated Presslast_img

Young & Established Inspires And Motivate Area Youth

first_imgCourtney Lee Johnson, Founder of Young & Established, was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern Indiana.Since embarking on his entrepreneurship journey, Courtney has dedicated his time and energy to giving back to his community and inspiring those he meets along the way.Johnson created Young & Established 6 years ago to build a community-oriented organization which seeks to inspire and motivate youth while addressing the challenges young people face every day.Courtney Johnson said “Through our mentoring programs, community events, and relevant campaigns, we strive to make a lasting impact on the lives of today’s youth. Courtney believes the work he does is bigger than himself, and his greatest desire is to do everything possible to make the world a better place, one community at a time”!FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Lawyers Could Be Liable For Staff Misuse Of Confidential Records

first_img Lawyers Could Be Liable For Staff Misuse Of Confidential RecordsDave Stafford for www.theindianalawyer.comIndiana lawyers could face potential ethical liability if their paralegals or other staff misuse confidential information from online case records.That prospect was raised Friday at a quarterly meeting of the Supreme Court’s Advisory Task Force on Remote Access to and Privacy of Electronic Court Records. Lawyers now have wide access through mycase.in.gov to online court documents in many cases, including those that are confidential or include confidential filings. The task force also discussed how to handle sensitive personal records and potential identity theft issues.Lawyers have online access to available confidential information in cases where they have appeared, but task force member and Court of Appeals Judge Paul Mathias said there is no way for state courts to distinguish when an attorney, or a member of his or her staff, has accessed those records.“From a tech standpoint, it is just absolutely unthinkable to have an audit trail” to determine the user who accessed records. He suggested a “clarifying rule” in the Rules of Professional Conduct that would state an attorney is liable for misuse of confidential information by the attorney’s staff.The task force took no action on the proposal, but several members supported making attorney liability clear in such a case. “If it’s not clearly a violation of the rules, it should be,” said task force member and Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor Fred Cate.Fraud potentialMathias pointed to news of the massive data breach reported at the Equifax credit reporting agency Thursday that compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans in pointing to potential identity theft issues with Indiana’s online court records.He said a particular concern is pro se litigants who have party access to cases in which they are litigants. Mathias said more than 90 percent of pro se litigants fail to register an email at which they can be served notice in their cases. At the same time, there is a risk that others with access to a pro se litigant’s email address, often used as an identifier, might be able to access court records.Some task force members suggested there are criminal charges that could come into play for someone who illegally accesses non-public court records, but Mathias and others said those cases are difficult to prove and may be a low-priority case among prosecutors.“This is an area that’s rife for abuse,” said Chris Naylor, assistant executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.Getting personalThe task force appeared to lean toward keeping most court records in domestic, estate, trust and paternity cases offline, though these records in most cases are public and can be accessed at the courthouse. Final orders in most of these cases are available online.Indiana State Press Association Executive Director Steve Key suggested there may be oversensitivity to concerns that, for instance, someone at home on their couch may be peeking at their neighbor’s divorce case on their computers. He wondered if there were studies on whether “the pajama-wearing couch surfer is a reality.”Chief Justice Loretta Rush, the task force chairwoman, said the task force had looked at other states. “We really saw people who flipped the switch too soon have pulled back” online access to divorce records.The task force will revisit whether these records should go online at its next meeting, but Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey affirmed there are people who do visit the courthouse to check their neighbor’s divorce file. She illicit laughs when she observed that sometimes “they come to the courthouse in pajamas.”Next stepsThe task force recommended making filings available online in civil collections, civil plenary, civil tort, and mortgage foreclosure cases. Final orders in these cases are available online, and access to pleadings in these civil cases will be made available to the public in the future.However, the committee decided that no filings in infraction and ordinance violation cases will be made available online, except for final orders in those cases. Several committee members were concerned that personal information such as driver’s license and Social Security numbers and dates of birth could be made available if documents such as speeding tickets were posted.The committee withheld a decision on whether court filings other than final dispositions will be made available online in small claims cases. Mathias noted that the record would be incomplete because testimony and evidence that may be decisive is often produced at trial in the form of receipts and other documents that may not become part of the record.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Memorial Day Weekend Events in Ocean City

first_imgThe annual Business Person’s Plunge follows the Unlocking of the Ocean on Friday, May 23, at Ninth Street Beach in Ocean City, NJ.City officials will turn the key on another summer season at noon Friday.The annual Unlocking of the Ocean ceremony takes place on the beach adjacent to the Ocean City Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace.The century-old tradition marks the beginning of the traditional tourist season.Weekend activities begin 12 p.m. May 23 with the ceremony, in which Mayor Jay Gillian, other city officials, Ocean City Beach Patrol representatives and Ocean City historian Fred Miller will use a large wooden key to open the season.A newer tradition immediately follows. The annual Business Persons Plunge invites anybody to take a fully clothed plunge into the unlocked ocean. John Walton, event organizer, will lead more than 100 enthusiasts across the beach and into the ocean. These include mascots, folks dressed in business attire toting briefcases and others in an array of goofy costumes. The Ocean City High School Band plays “Pomp and Circumstance” to accompany the march.The Cumberland Regional High School Chorus, directed by Ed Sayre, will serenade plungers and spectators before and after the ceremony. Selections include “Under the Sea,” “Under the Boardwalk” and “Here Comes the Sun.”Other Memorial Day Weekend events will include the following:SATURDAY, MAY 24StandUp4SEALS Beach Challenge: Watch or participate in three simultaneous events: a beach obstacle race, a stand-up paddleboard race in a box course through the surf and a kids fun run. The event raises money for the families of fallen Navy SEALS and other charities. It’s visible from the beach and boardwalk near the Ocean City Music Pier starting at 8 a.m. Read more about the event.Patriotic Pops: Pianist-performer Linda Gentille will star in a patriotic program with the Jersey Shore Pops Orchestra at 7 p.m. in the Music Pier Auditorium, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. This Memorial Day Weekend Concert, “America,” is a tribute to “the great American heroes who inspired millions.” Enjoy the music of John Philip Sousa, Glenn Miller, Lee Greenwood, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and George M. Cohan. Tickets are $25-$40, Children $20. Call (609) 628-4544, 1-800-838-3006 or access www.JerseyShorePops.org.Free Concert: The Bucks County Singers present a free concert in front of the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace, at 3:30 p.m. This 35 group ensemble, who have been performing in Ocean City for over 25 years, will sing selections from The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I, patriotic selections plus standard and pop songs. MONDAY, MAY 26MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE: Ocean City’s annual Memorial Day Service will be held 11 a.m. on Mon., May 26 at Veterans Memorial Park, 5th and Wesley Ave. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be moved across the street to the Tabernacle Auditorium. Also on May 26 at 9:15 a.m., Ocean City Lifeguards will row out in the waters opposite the Music Pier off the Moorlyn Terrace Beach and place a wreath to honor and remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we can live free.last_img read more

Collaboration generates most complete cancer genome map

first_imgWhile non-coding drivers may simply play a smaller role in cancer than previously assumed, they could also be relatively rare and more difficult to find, meaning that the search for these drivers is not over.“One issue these studies highlight is that we still don’t have enough cancer genome data,” said Rheinbay. “We need many more whole cancer genome sequences — which will be coming in the near future because of decreasing DNA sequencing costs.”Getz added that knowing where these non-coding drivers reside in the genome — mainly in the regulatory regions — could help focus future studies on these regions. “If we narrow the search enough, we might be able to generate cost-effective assays that would allow us to study a larger number of tumor samples at a lower cost,” he said.Tumors over time Another paper, in Nature, followed the development of specific tumors through time and tracked the progression of genetic changes. The scientists found that tumors of the same cancer type often shared the same cancer-initiating mutations. But as the tumors evolved, they acquired additional distinct driver mutations that were caused by different DNA-damaging processes, depending on the cancer type and the patient’s genetics and lifestyle.“Using computational reconstruction methods, we were able to estimate the order and timing of genetic events that lead to cancer,” said Ignaty Leshchiner, a co-first author of the study, who is a group leader at the Broad Institute and a member of Getz’s lab. “We found that these genetic events often occur many years before the tumor is detected.”This study suggests that since early-stage mutations are generally consistent within a cancer type, they could be targets for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of the disease. Getz and Beroukhim are co-authors of the paper, with Peter Van Loo of The Francis Crick Institute in the United Kingdom and Moritz Gerstung of European Bioinformatics Institute as corresponding authors.A mutation’s sourceIn another study in Nature, researchers studied the molecular processes that cause cancer mutations, including those that damage DNA and others that, when broken, fail to properly repair DNA. These processes are known to generate distinct patterns, or signatures, of cancer mutations across the genome. By looking at these “mutational signatures,”scientists can identify the molecular events that caused these mutations.The research team used mathematical models to analyze millions of mutations in thousands of cancer genomes in search of these signatures. The scientists discovered many more than were previously known, and found strong associations between the new signatures and specific DNA-damaging processes. “This catalog can be used to understand the mechanisms that generate mutations and drive cancer in each patient.” — Gad Getz, Broad Institute An international team has completed the most comprehensive study of whole cancer genomes, significantly improving the  fundamental understanding of cancer and indicating new directions for developing diagnostics and treatments.The discoveries, published today in 23 papers in Nature and its affiliated journals, are an important step toward a map of all major cancer-causing mutations in the genome.The ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes Project (PCAWG, or the Pan-Cancer Project), a collaboration involving more than 1,300 scientists and clinicians from 37 countries, analyzed more than 2,600 whole genomes of 38 different tumor types — the largest publicly available whole-genome dataset in the cancer genomics field. Fifty-two members of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard contributed to this research throughout the six-year long project.Using the collected data, 16 working groups examined multiple aspects of cancer development, causation, progression, and classification, confirming previous findings and generating new knowledge about cancer biology, including identifying a large diversity of molecular processes that generate cancer-causing mutations. The Pan-Cancer Project also improved and developed new methods for analyzing cancer genomes.Previous cancer genome studies focused on the 1 percent of the genome that codes for proteins, known as the exome. The Pan-Cancer Project explored the remaining 99 percent of the genome, which includes regions that regulate the activity of genes.“This large international effort shows the breadth of the types of research and new biological insight that are possible using whole cancer genome data,” said Gad Getz, an institute member and director of the Cancer Genome Computational Analysis Group at the Broad Institute who is also the director of bioinformatics at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Cancer Center and a professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Getz, a member of the PCAWG steering committee, is a co-senior author of three of the papers.Other institutions represented on the project’s steering committee include the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Canada, the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany and the University of California, Santa Cruz.“It was heartening that this very large group was able to bring together disparate resources and work to come up with some groundbreaking findings,” said Rameen Beroukhim, an associate member of the Broad Institute, an associate professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, an associate professor of medicine at HMS, and a co-senior author of two of the papers.,Who’s driving?Included in the suite of papers published today is an overview in Nature that describes how the collaborators collated and standardized existing genomic data from the consortium’s hundreds of research groups around the world. Moving these previously disparate datasets onto a common cloud computing platform was a major part of the project’s success. The paper also details some of the consortium’s most striking findings.For example, the tumor genomes in the study each carry an average of four or five “driver mutations” — mutations that play a large role in driving the growth of cancer.Prior to these studies, 30 percent of tumors had unexplained genetic causes, but by analyzing the entire tumor genome, the consortium scientists discovered more driver mutations, leaving only 5 percent of tumors with no known drivers.Getz and the other PCAWG steering committee members are the senior authors of the overview paper.Driving but not codingAnother paper, published in Nature, focused more closely on driver mutations in the regions of the genome that don’t code for proteins. The scientists were surprised to find so few of these non-coding drivers, given that 99 percent of the genome is non-coding. The team discovered that only 13 percent of drivers identified in this analysis were non-coding.“When people started sequencing whole genomes, there was an expectation that we would find non-coding drivers on the same order as the protein-coding drivers. It was a bit surprising that we didn’t find as many as we would have expected,” said Esther Rheinbay, an associate member of the Broad Institute and co-first author of the non-coding drivers paper, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at HMS and the MGH Cancer Center. Jeremiah Wala and Ofer Shapira, former Beroukhim lab members, are also co-first authors, and Getz and Beroukhim are senior co-authors of this study. “Using computational reconstruction methods, we were able to estimate the order and timing of genetic events that lead to cancer. We found that these genetic events often occur many years before the tumor is detected.” — Ignaty Leshchiner, Broad Institute “By analyzing the largest collection of whole cancer genomes studied thus far, we created the most comprehensive catalog of mutational signatures to date,” Getz said. “This catalog can be used to understand the mechanisms that generate mutations and drive cancer in each patient.”Getz is a senior co-author of the study along with Steven Rozen of Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore and Michael Stratton of the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Jaegil Kim and Nicholas Haradhvala from the Getz lab are co-first authors of the paper.“Since every person is exposed to multiple sources of mutations throughout their lives, we need to use mathematical techniques to identify which mutations come from a particular biological source,” Kim said. “Having such a large dataset enabled us to map out these signatures with much greater precision.”The authors also studied new types of mutation. “DNA can be mutated in a variety of ways, from changing single bases to removing entire sections of genetic code,” Haradhvala said. “This new dataset allowed us to analyze more types of mutation, expanding our understanding of the biological mechanisms of cancer.”The results of the study will allow other researchers to identify the sources of cancer mutations in newly sequenced patient samples.Looking aheadThe project has created and made available a comprehensive resource for cancer genomics researchers, including the raw genome sequencing data, software for cancer genome analysis, and multiple interactive websites exploring various aspects of the Pan-Cancer Project data.“This global pan-cancer project demonstrates that we can learn a lot from studying whole cancer genomes,” Getz said. “We will continue learning about cancer biology and clinical applications from much larger genome datasets as they are generated in the future.”He added that the data, findings, and methods reported in today’s 23 papers will help researchers and clinicians standardize cancer genome analysis, now that decreasing sequencing costs are making it possible to sequence more tumor genomes.“We expect that this collection of papers will become the standard for analyzing whole cancer genomes,” Getz said.The studies are also a major step toward personalized care for every cancer patient, by moving closer to a comprehensive list of cancer-causing mutations that oncologists could one day use to pinpoint the cause of a patient’s cancer.“I want to be at a stage where, for every patient who comes to the doctor with cancer, we will be able to figure out what’s actually driving the tumor and how we can treat it,” Getz said.PCAWG is a collaboration between the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), an umbrella organization that launches and coordinates cancer genomic research projects, and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the cancer genomics program that was jointly managed by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute.last_img read more

College receives grant to make campus tobacco-free

first_imgThe Truth Initiative Campaign awarded Saint Mary’s College a grant to make campus tobacco-free. Junior Noel Keen and sophomore Addie Bobosky are the College’s student leaders to organize events to inspire a tobacco-free lifestyle.Vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson said in an email that the College was approached by the Truth Initiative to apply for the grant.“The organization has been focusing on minority-serving institutions and women’s colleges because these are the groups that are most targeted by the tobacco industry,” Johnson said.The Truth Initiative is funded by the settlement with big tobacco companies that hope to speak to youth and provide information about the effects of smoking, Keen said in an email.“Through research and community engagement, the campaign uses tactical events to encourage participation in tobacco-free lives,” she said. “The campaign primarily seeks out minority colleges, such as all women’s colleges, to help create tobacco-free campuses through their grant program.”Keen and Bobosky said in an email that their goals include eliminating tobacco and e-cigarettes from Saint Mary’s and to enlist 15 percent of the student population through a text-in system.“Through the grant, we will be hosting several events on campus that will promote a tobacco-free environment,” Keen said. “We will be hosting two events before the end of the semester that will introduce our exciting ‘Saint Mary’s Lives Tobacco Free’ campaign. We hope to strongly inform our peers about the true facts of tobacco, and encourage our campus to live healthier lives.”The pair traveled to Washington D.C. in early November to participate in the Truth Initiative’s New Grantee Conference, Bobosky said, where they learned how to lead the community toward their goal. “At this conference, we sat through several seminars and workshops focusing on leadership development, true facts about tobacco, community organizing and crucial messaging tactics,” she said. “We met with many different schools from across the country and were able to collaborate with a wide array of backgrounds. The Truth Initiative staff was incredibly welcoming and motivating in their efforts to teach us about the message and how to best implement it on our campus at Saint Mary’s.”The grant allows the leaders two years to engage the community with sponsored events to spread awareness of the dangers of smoking.“Our goal is to make Saint Mary’s College a tobacco-free campus by August 2019,” Bobosky said. “We will include everybody in the community and are looking to get more people involved. Noel and I want to encourage as much participation as possible from students of all backgrounds.”Keen said she hopes to provide the Saint Mary’s community with information to encourage an end to smoking.“By having a tobacco-free campus, the Saint Mary’s community will live healthier lives,” she said. “Forty-one-thousand non-smoking adults are killed by exposure to secondhand smoke every year. Tobacco products kill 1,300 smokers every day. We want to educate our community about the facts and encourage our campus to take the next step in decreasing these statistics.”Bobosky said the pair is working on creating a video and urges community members to reach out if possible.“We are currently seeking individuals who have been affected by smoking, whether it be personally or in general, to participate in a video project,” Bobosky said. “Please contact Noel or I … to get involved. In addition, cessation assistance will be provided for those who do smoke.”Tags: Tobacco, tobacco-free campus, Truth Initiativelast_img read more

Indoor plants

first_imgBy Allie ByrdUniversity of Georgia Indoor plants make an aesthetically pleasing addition to any home décor while cleaning the air and getting rid of pollutants. Many plants can survive indoors, but with the help of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, you can make sure your indoor plants grow and stay healthy. Plants that grow well indoorsThe best kinds of plants to keep in a home are those that can thrive in small amounts of light. “Plants that are adapted to low-light conditions and only need a small amount of light work best indoors,” says Bodie Pennisi, a UGA Extension horticulturalist. Interiorscape plants like ficus, peace lily, aglaonema, philodendron and ivy all grow well indoors with low lighting. Although it is better for plants to live in warm conditions rather than cold, indoor plants like those above are fine at room temperature and do best when they are by windows. Plants undergo limited photosynthesis indoors and should be placed near eastern or western windows, which provide the most sunlight, says Pennisi. Containers and wateringSelecting the right container for indoor plants is also vital to their survival. Containers made of plastic, terracotta or clay are all good for indoor plants. More importantly, choosing the right size pot for the size of your plant will help it stay healthy. Adequate space allows plenty of room for roots to spread and grow. If a pot is too small it may restrict roots and limit top growth.It is also important for the pots to drain well and have some kind of vessel to catch excess water. Poorly draining pots can cause root problems and fungi due to excess moisture and poor aeration. This causes stress, hinders proper growth and may eventually cause a plant to die. Pots with draining holes help reduce the damage caused by too much water. The most common way people kill plants is from overwatering, Pennisi says. In fact, it’s better to underwater rather than overwater and flood the plant. If a plant is actively growing, water and fertilize it regularly, or one to two times per week. If the plant is not growing actively and staying close to the same size, it can be watered less. When a plant is growing successfully, it may eventually outgrow its planter and need to be repotted. “If the plant is too large for the pot, the root system will circle around the bottom of the pot and become root bound,” Pennisi says. “If the plant is too large for the pot, the plant may also tip over.” Healthy plants make healthy homesPlants not only provide an aesthetically pleasing addition to a home, research shows they purify the air and get rid of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, too. “Plants absorb VOCs and pollutants and metabolize them in their leaves and soil, cleaning the air,” Pennisi says. (Allie Byrd is a writer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

SBA economic injury disaster loan deadline for Vermont May 2

first_imgThe US Small Business Administration reminds small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes in six Vermont counties of the May 2 deadline to apply for economic injury disaster loan assistance. The loans are available due to frost and freeze that occurred from May 9 through May 13, 2010.Under this declaration, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. These loans can be up to $2 million with terms not exceeding 30 years. Interest rates are 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for non-profit organizations. Farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers are not eligible to apply to SBA.The disaster loans are available in Addison, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington and Windsor counties in Vermont.To obtain disaster loan information and application forms call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or send an e-mail to [email protected](link sends e-mail). Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov(link is external). Mail completed applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.Those affected by the disaster may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/(link is external).Completed loan applications should be returned to SBA no later than May 2, 2011.For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit our website at www.sba.gov(link is external).last_img read more

Mexico Prepares Program to Organize Immigration on Southern Border

first_imgBy Dialogo July 19, 2013 Mexico is preparing a program aimed at organizing the migratory influx along its southern border, which will involve a joint effort with the governments of Guatemala and Belize, and the implementation of which the Mexican Secretary of the Navy will be responsible for, according to Secretary of Government (Interior) Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong on July 15. The project is a “comprehensive plan covering the southern border that will be under the Secretary of the Navy” to assist this southern area of the country, “which has been neglected in the last four years,” Osorio Chong told the press during a visit with members of the security cabinet to Chiapas (southeast), located on the border with Guatemala. “We don’t know how many (migrants) from Central and South America, as well as other continents, enter our country. We are not aware of their destination or their fate, so we cannot guarantee their human rights,” the secretary stated when explaining the project. Members of the security cabinet traveled to Chiapas for a tour to gain knowledge on the problems that exist in the 1,000 km border area shared with Belize. The program will be aimed at regulating the migratory influx as “part of our national security policy,” said Osorio Chong, and added that for this plan to be successful, joint work with the governments of the neighboring countries would be essential. Every year over 200,000 foreigners enter Mexico illegally, most of them through the southern border, according to government estimates. Once migrants cross the border illegally, they take a freight train known as “La Bestia” (The Beast), and are left not only out in the open, but also at the mercy of attacks by criminals and authorities. Recently, activists have reported cases of migrants that have been thrown from moving trains for not being able to pay the “fees” demanded by criminal groups. Many of them are killed or mutilated by the train’s wheels.last_img read more

Guatemala Joins Common Effort against Narcotrafficking

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/Diálogo November 26, 2018 Combined work and real-time information sharing with regional partners are institutional priorities for the Guatemalan Navy. Its commander, Vice Admiral Juan Randolfo Pardo Aguilar, is “all in” with navies of the region to counter narcotrafficking threats and transnational criminal organizations. Vice Adm. Pardo participated in the XXVIII Inter-American Naval Conference (IANC) in Cartagena, Colombia, July 23-26, 2018. The commander spoke with Diálogo about his participation at IANC, regional combined operations, and Guatemala’s achievements in the fight against narcotrafficking, among other topics. Diálogo: How important is Guatemala’s participation at IANC? Vice Admiral Juan Randolfo Pardo Aguilar, commander of the Guatemalan Navy: It’s important for Guatemala because we work together with the naval forces of the region and confront transnational threats. As long as our navies operate together and our units are connected, we can interact and confront threats in a combined fashion for better outcomes. Diálogo: IANC centers on regional navies’ responsibility to combat narcotrafficking and related crimes. Why is it important for countries’ naval forces to combine operations? What are you doing to counter these challenges? Vice Adm. Pardo: Our efforts are better if we combine operations. We conduct very important operations in the region. We share successes with Mexico in terms of information exchanges and converging operations. We have an excellent relationship with the United States through JIATF South [Joint Interagency Task Force South], where we have a liaison officer. Indeed, we do operate and interact with other navies. Diálogo: What is the Guatemalan Navy’s contribution to the regional effort against narcotrafficking? Vice Adm. Pardo: We contribute our capabilities and efforts when we take part in operations. In other words, being “all in” and operating with everyone to achieve positive results as we showed in the most recent operations. Diálogo: How do the Guatemalan Armed Forces interoperate with one another and with other Guatemalan agencies to counter these scourges? Vice Adm. Pardo: In Guatemala, our constitutional Army is a single, indivisible body, composed of air, naval, and land forces. The three forces operate hand in hand. No force operates individually; we work together, and that enables us to have positive outcomes in our national territory. Our special units in the Guatemalan Navy also operate in other environments and cooperate with the Marine Brigade and its naval commands. We also operate with ground forces when required. All this gave us significant results. For example, we work directly with the Guatemalan Air Force, which provides air platforms to carry out reconnaissance, hence optimizing the use of resources. Diálogo: What’s the most important project the Navy is working on? Vice Adm. Pardo: We are doing our best to get financial support, either nationally or internationally, to improve our capabilities by modernizing our ships. We have an acquisition arriving in the third quarter of 2020, an 87 foot-long Metal Shark Defiant 85 ship. After 50 years working with used ships, we will finally have a new one. We are also seeking funding to buy an amphibious landing ship from Colombia, so we can keep our units at sea longer and farther away, to patrol for 15 to 20 days with intercepting vessels onboard to respond to different warnings. We are working on creating the Second Marine Brigade on the Pacific coast. This Brigade is currently based in Izabal with a battalion deployed in the Pacific and the Caribbean. Diálogo: Combined operations of Guatemalan and Mexican naval forces dealt harsh blows to narcotrafficking. To what do you attribute this combined success? Vice Adm. Pardo: The trust among naval forces is what strengthened these achievements. If I trust the armed forces, I will share relevant information no matter who gains from it, because what matters is the result. The trust we built between the two navies, the camaraderie, and the concrete results strengthen operations. Diálogo: What’s the importance of real-time communications for successful navy operations in the fight against these crimes? Vice Adm. Pardo: Transnational threats do not “sail,” but “run.” So real time is vital. Outdated information is useless, because what this information could have been worth two hours ago is gone. Therefore, communicating information in real time is essential for success. Diálogo: Guatemala is one of the Northern Triangle countries. How do naval forces of the area combine to combat threats? Vice Adm. Pardo: We coordinate actions with the Salvadoran Navy, such as converging operations, which we also carry out with Honduras and Mexico, even though they are not part of the Northern Triangle. Diálogo: What kind of combined work does the Guatemalan Navy carry out with the United States? Vice Adm. Pardo: We carry out combined operations with the United States. For example, our liaison officer at JIATF South provides us with useful information to strengthen operations. We also have U.S. support to train personnel of the Naval Special Forces Command and the Marine Corps. Diálogo: What is your message to commanders of regional naval forces? Vice Adm. Pardo: IANC helps us see that we have common transnational threats, and as long as we can achieve unity, communication, and trust, we will get better results. We need to integrate the armed forces at a regional level in Central America, South America, and North America, as results would multiply. IANC encourages the growth of our navies.last_img read more