#USBorderPatrol; #SWBorderLongestSmugglingTunnel; #Trump'sBorderWall; #DEA; #SDTTF, #SanDiegoSector; #HSI; USAO;
Jan 30 (Canadian-Media): The longest illicit cross-border smuggling tunnel on the Southwest border stretching more than 1.2 kilometres from an industrial site in Tijuana, Mexico, to the San Diego area, was discovered by U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) San Diego Sector and partners, as a result of many years of challenging, intelligence gathering, utilizing technology capabilities, and community outreach, USBP reports said.
Longest illicit tunnel along Southwest border of U.S. Image credit: U.S. Border Patrol
San Diego Tunnel Task Force (SDTTF) an inter-agency unit consisting of agents from USBP, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) were successful in uncovering the location of the tunnel after months of inter-agency investigation and tireless law enforcement efforts.
“I am thrilled that this high level narco-tunnel has been discovered and will be rendered unusable for cross-border smuggling. I am proud of the tremendous efforts of the Tunnel Task Force and our agents,” said Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke.
The newly discovered tunnel includes an extensive rail/cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel entrance, and a complex drainage system and is approximately five and a half feet tall and two feet wide, an average depth of 70 ft. from the surface, and length more than 14 American football fields went under several warehouses in the Otay Mesa area, where sophisticated tunnels have typically ended, and extended into open fields.
No arrests have been made as a result of this discovery.
"The sophistication of this tunnel demonstrates the determination and monetary resources of the cartels...the DEA and our partners on the Tunnel Task Force will continue to use our resources to ensure they fail, that our border is secure, and that tunnels like this are shut down to stem the flow of deadly drugs entering the United States, said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.”
Heitke added, “The investigation continues, and I am confident that our hard work and dedication to uphold the law will lead to future arrests and seizures.”
François-Philippe Champagne. Image credit: Facebook page
#CanadaImposingSanctions; #SpecialEconomicMeasuresAct; #illegitimateElections; #RussianOccupiedCrimea
Ottawa, Jan 30 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made yesterday by François-Philippe Champagne, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, about Canada's impositions of sanctions on six individuals, under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA), who were involved in the illegitimate elections held in Russian-occupied Crimea on September 8, 2019, in concert with the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU), media reports said.
The SEMA is a legislation that allows the Governor in Council to regulate restriction or prohibition of certain activities in relation to a foreign state, any person (individual or entity) in a foreign state or a national of that foreign state who does not normally reside in Canada, as well as to seize or freeze related property. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act
These sanctions were in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine and its violations of international law.
“Canada’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering...sanctions demonstrate that Canada and its allies stand united...and the international community are ready to impose a cost for ignoring international law and the rules-based international order,” said Champagne.
Canada has sanctioned more than 430 individuals and entities, since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and imposed asset freezes and prohibiting dealings.
#Mexico; #MexicoCriminalJustice; #CriminalProcedure; #Law&Order; #theSenate
Mexico, Jan 27 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by the Mexican Senate on January 15, 2020, that a proposal aimed to reform aspects of Mexico’s criminal justice system to improve its performance, would be received from the executive branch, media reports said.
Justice in Mexico. Image credit: Twitter handle
The Senate would begin the analysis of the initiatives after the text of the proposed bills is released on Feb 1, 2020.
In the meantime, limited information on a number of salient aspects of the proposed reforms would be provided by the Senate including: the enactment of a National Criminal Code; new rules on imprisonment, training programs for the prison inmates; and community services.
There had been reports some news organizations regarding some leaked additional information to the press about the proposed reform. But all the admission of illegally obtained evidence has currently been prohibited by the constitution.
#UN; #ICAO; #CrashOfUkrainianPassengerPlaneInIran; #Investigation; #InvestigationSpecialCourt; #aviationSafety
United Nations, Jan 15 (Canadian-Media): Experts from the United Nations (UN) aviation watchdog, ICAO, will support the investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian Passenger plane in Iran on January 8, following an invitation from the Iranian authorities, which was accepted on Tuesday, UN reports said.
The Iranian Red Crescent team, and other relief organizations, participate in an operation to transfer dead bodies after a Ukrainian plane crashed in Tehran, Iran. Image credit: Iranian Red Crescent Society
In a statement, the ICAO said that it has appointed senior and expert technical staff, who will now serve as advisors and observers.
Few details of Iran’s investigation have been released by the authorities, but Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said in a televised address that it will be overseen by several experts, and that the judiciary will create a special court.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the country’s judiciary reportedly said, in a press conference, that the investigation will look into the causes and direct impact of the incident.
Iran has admitted that Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down by its armed forces and announced on Tuesday that several people have been detained over the incident which, it says, was accidental. All 176 people on board were killed in the crash.
The incident took place several hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile strike from home soil on US forces stationed in Iraq, in response to the US drone killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
Initially, Iran denied responsibility for the crash, reportedly blaming it on a technical failure but eventually admitted that the operator of a missile defence system had mistaken the plane for a missile and shot it down.
What is ICAO?
A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world.It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities.
ICAO. Image credit: Twitter handle
The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 193 Member States.
#UN; #UNGeneva; #LawAndOrder; #UNRefugeeAgency;#HumanitarianAid
Geneva, Jan 11 (Canadian-Media): A new law in El Salvador opens a door for tens of thousands of forced displacement victims in the country to access to life-saving humanitarian assistance and have their basic rights restored, said the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Friday, UN reports said.
A young internally displaced man stands by the road on the outskirts of San Salvador in El Salvador. Credit: © UNHCR/Diana Diaz
The legislation, which was passed by a resounding majority in El Salvador’s National Assembly on Thursday, also protects, aids and offers durable solutions to people who may be either at risk or who have already been internally displaced, due to violence perpetrated criminal gangs.
And for the first time ever, the law also provides for the establishment of a comprehensive national system of State institutions to prevent and respond to forced displacement.
‘Lasting positive impact’
Once the new law is signed by President Nayib Bukele, it can have “a lasting positive impact on the lives of the 71,500 Salvadorans estimated to have been forcibly displaced between 2006 and 2016 within their country’s borders, as well as tens of thousands more who are at risk of being forced to flee their homes”, UNHCR spokesperson Liz Throssell explained to reporters in Geneva.
UNHCR provided technical support to the legislative text on internal displacement to align with the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and other international standards on the rights of internally displaced persons.
“It also establishes mechanisms to allow those affected by internal displacement to protect and reclaim property they may have been forced to abandon in their flight”, she elaborated.
The spokesperson recalled that in October, UN Secretary-General António Guterres established a High-level Panel on Internal Displacement “to increase global attention and advance solutions for this issue which affects more than 40 million people worldwide due to conflict and violence”.
“The law reflects the growing momentum in Central America and beyond to recognize and respond to the phenomenon of internal displacement”, Ms. Throssell said.
In Honduras, where an estimated 247,000 people have been displaced by violence within their own country, the National Congress is considering legislation similar to the law passed in El Salvador.
Mexico also recognizes the serious impact of internal displacement and has expressed its commitment to pass legislation on the issue at the federal level.
The UNHCR spokesperson concluded by reiterating the UN refugee agency’s readiness to continue offering technical and operational assistance to the governments of Central America and Mexico to “help mitigate the causes and consequences of forced displacement”.