The Military Retakes the Rocinha Slum

first_img Congratulations on the site, I think the army should be used more for fighting crime, so that it would be more of a help to the Brazilian people, so many men at the headquarters doing exercises, training and throwing parties paid for with our taxes, they are not the ones to blame since they obey orders, they would obey them very well, but these disgusting politicians don’t care about anything. Armed forces on the streets now… since we’re already in a civil war… By Dialogo December 02, 2011 The quick and spectacular retaking of the Rocinha slum from the hands of drug dealers was a great, and in a way, an unexpected present for the population of Rio de Janeiro. Although trafficking in that community was already being monitored by police intelligence, the idea of occupying the most densely populated slum in Rio was something that was dismissed by multiple analysts at the time. The lack of police personnel for new occupations was public knowledge, so much so that the Brazilian Army was induced to remain in the Alemão Complex for an additional period of time, while the military police is engaged in training more police officers for this type of mission. Rocinha, along with the neighboring slum of Vidigal, is located in a prominent area of the city, in the middle of districts with high levels of disposable income, and in addition to retailing drugs to practically the entire Zona Sul and Barra da Tijuca areas, it also supplied several other slums in the city. The first drug laboratories in the city were found in Rocinha, demonstrating that, in addition to selling drugs, the slum’s criminals were also getting involved in manufacturing them from imported raw materials. In view of the major events that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, the occupation of the area had already been promised, but not everything that the politicians promise can actually be carried out by the police. Certainly, intelligence had a preponderant role in the events preceding the invasion. In the four weeks preceding the invasion of the two slums, the public-safety authorities started to publicly suggest the retaking of that area. The declarations and announcements in the media became more frequent, and this certainly influenced the morale of the criminals, including their leader, the dealer known as “Nem.” The head dealer even threw a farewell party, at which, very much on edge, he is reported to have used drugs excessively and ended up at the community health clinic. Undoubtedly, things were very tense for the criminals of that gang, who based their hegemony on an extensive network of very-well-paid police collaborators who were now apparently unable to do anything to save them from the fate that was awaiting them. When the operation began on November 13, the police must have already known that there would not be an organized reaction by the dealers. The police officers were again transported in armored vehicles belonging to the Marine Corps, which preferred to use the latest versions of its LVTP-7 tracked amphibious assault vehicle, equipped with supplementary armor on the sides of the main compartment in order to increase the vehicle’s resistance to attacks using hollow-point ammunition. They also used Piranhas, which are more agile and maneuverable in narrow streets than tracked vehicles. The operation showed that the police have assimilated lessons learned from the operations in the Leopoldina slums. Even when transporting their assigned weapons and ammunition, police personnel were not allowed to carry large backpacks that might support accusations of looting. In the briefings, a great deal of emphasis was placed on the fact that the population had to be protected, that the police had to behave as an authentic liberating force and not allow themselves to be seen as an oppressive group. Flyers were dropped from helicopters urging citizens to collaborate by revealing dealers in hiding, as well as stockpiles of drugs and weapons. Federal police and internal-affairs personnel were secretly positioned in the surrounding area to detect and arrest police officers who joined the dealers and helped them escape. The operations in Rocinha also allowed the Rio police to demonstrate new equipment and technological resources. Their two new Bell Huey II police helicopters, of American origin, with greater transport capacity and better armor, were used in the operation. This time, the entire area of the operation was declared off-limits to flights, and there were no television-station helicopters flying over Rocinha or Vidigal. A new Squirrel helicopter, with a sophisticated system of television cameras with zoom capability, able to operate by day or by night, enabled real-time monitoring of the areas occupied by the dealers, from safe positions at an altitude of a kilometer, retransmitting the images to a command center on the ground and to police officers in the field. An incursion by civilian police officers into an area bordering on forest, monitored from the sky using the new electro-optical sensors, as well as on the ground by cameras transported by the police themselves, left us with the impression that we were watching operations similar to the one that culminated in the death of Osama bin Laden. The operation showed that the police’s command, control, and integration capabilities have evolved dramatically. Not only were 185 weapons seized, including BAR, FAL, Para FAL, AK-47, M-16/AR-15, and Garand automatic rifles, old Mauser repeating rifles, various shotguns, M1 carbines, submachine guns, pistols, dozens of extra magazines (some with capacity for 100 rounds), foreign-made hand grenades, two 66-mm M-72 anti-tank rocket launchers, and more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition, but so were hundreds of kilos of narcotics, as well as 60 kg of cocaine base paste, which could be multiplied by processing in the “laboratories” set up by the criminals in those areas. Besides 47 people arrested, 75 stolen motorcycles for which the police had been looking were recovered in these communities during the course of the operation. For security professionals, there remains the certainty that there is no such thing as magic in the pacification process. Once they recover from a major blow, criminals tend to strengthen their presence in other areas of the state of Rio de Janeiro, and many of those men and women, with or without a criminal record, who used to make their living from the trafficking in those slums can be expected to shift to other types of crime, venturing “uptown” in search of victims, and can be expected to cause more trouble. We must be prepared! last_img read more

Treatment comes first in HHS antiviral guidance

first_img Risk of resistanceHHS also says that several comments focused on risks and uncertainties related to antiviral use, including the possibility of resistant viruses and adverse events. In addition, in response to a suggestion that families should be able to stockpile antivirals, HHS says that any recommendations on home stockpiling will depend on the results of pending studies. In the revised guidance, school dormitories may be considered a “closed setting for post-exposure prophylaxis during an outbreak,” if the students have not been dismissed HHS is buying antiviral drugs for the Strategic National Stockpile, and states are stockpiling the drugs with a 25% federal subsidy. The overall goal for public stockpiles is 81 million treatment courses, including 75 million courses for treatment and 6 million for containment and for delaying the spread of pandemic flu into the United States. Prophylaxis of high-risk healthcare and emergency services personnel for the duration of community pandemic outbreaks Roche and GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of oseltamivir and zanamivir, respectively, are developing home kits designed for stockpiling, HHS says. “Approval of these ‘medkits’ by the Food and Drug Administration will depend on studies showing that the kits can be appropriately maintained, the instructions understood, and the drug used appropriately at the correct time,” the agency says. “Any HHS guidance on home stockpiling will depend on the results of these studies and FDA approval of these products.” Containing or suppressing initial pandemic outbreaks overseas and in the United States with treatment and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) among individuals identified as exposed to pandemic flu and for geographically targeted prophylaxis in areas where exposure may occur Reducing introduction of infection into the United States early in an influenza pandemic as part of a risk-based policy at US borders Like the draft version, the revised guidance says that antivirals for preventive treatment of healthcare workers and others will have to come mostly from supplies bought by private organizations and businesses for their employees. About 73 million courses are currently in federal and state stockpiles, according to HHS’s response to comments on the guidance. It also says “many federal agencies” are “acquiring additional stockpiles to support prophylaxis as recommended in the guidance,” but it does not list the amounts of these supplies. Dec 16, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A revised federal guidance document on the use of antiviral drugs in an influenza pandemic reaffirms that public supplies of the drugs should be reserved mainly for treating the sick and that preventive treatment for high-risk workers should rely on private supplies. HHS also released a separate document summarizing the 28 comments it received on the draft version and presenting responses to them. At the same time, HHS released a revision of its guidance on employer stockpiling of antivirals, with no major changes. Despite the risks related to antiviral stockpiling, the working group that wrote the recommendations considers them appropriate and the pandemic threat great enough to justify the investment in the context of other preparedness measures, the document says. Providing antiviral prophylaxis to the families of healthcare and emergency workers is not recommended, because they have no greater risk of pandemic flu than the general population The problems of cost and limited shelf-life may be reduced through programs recently announced by the antiviral manufacturers, whereby organizations can reserve an up-to-date supply of the drugs by paying a small annual per-regimen fee, the revised guidance says. At the time of a pandemic, organizations could pay for the drugs and receive them within 48 hours. The agency added two significant pieces to the guidance in response to comments. One addresses implementation difficulties, mainly concerning barriers to the stockpiling of antivirals for health and emergency workers; the other deals with risks and uncertainties, such as antiviral resistance and treatment effectiveness. Its recommendations are just that—not standards of care or requirements HHS says the 28 comments it received on the draft guidance came from public health workers, healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, business associations, public health organizations, and labor groups, among others. See also: “Antiviral resistance does represent a threat to the potential effectiveness of treatment and prophylaxis,” HHS acknowledges in its responses to the comments. The emergence of oseltamivir resistance in some influenza A/H1N1 viruses last winter illustrated this. But there is no evidence that use of oseltamivir induced this resistance, and H1N1 and other seasonal flu viruses remain susceptible to zanamivir, the agency adds. Editor’s note: This story was revised Dec 17 to include an item that was mistakenly left out of the list of five main recommendations on antiviral use in a pandemic. In addition, the guidance says that a recent declaration by HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt provides that state and local governments will be immune to liability related to the use of oseltamivir and zanamivir only to the extent the drugs are obtained by voluntary means, not confiscation. The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act gives the HHS secretary the authority to do that, the document states. Some other comments addressed several of the same difficulties mentioned by those who commented on the general guidance: the cost of antivirals, limited shelf-life of the drugs, and the possibility of government confiscation. In its response, HHS makes generally the same points as in its response to comments on the general guidance. The PREP Act provides immunity from tort liability for both public and private groups that make, distribute, and administer antivirals in accordance with the HHS secretary’s declaration, the guidance says. In addition, the guidance document says that mathematical modeling studies suggest that “antiviral treatment and prophylaxis would remain beneficial overall unless some of the pandemic viruses introduced into the U.S. at the beginning of a pandemic are both resistant and fully transmissible.” Lowering barriers to implementationSeveral commentators said private organizations are unlikely to buy antivirals for their employees because of the cost, and several suggested that the federal government should buy the additional supplies needed to implement the guidance, according to HHS. Others said more information and materials were needed to support implementation. Treating people with pandemic flu who present for care early during their illness and would benefit from such treatment As for the possibility of government seizure of private antiviral supplies, the revised guidance says this would be very unlikely. Health officials who participated in a working group convened by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) “recognized the benefits of enhanced preparedness and coordination between public and private sectors and emphasized that this authority would be very unlikely to be used,” HHS says. The thrust of the general guidance is that, in a pandemic, antivirals should primarily be used to treat the sick, but they should also be used to prevent illness in high-risk healthcare and emergency workers and to both prevent and treat illness in the context of initial outbreaks both in the Untied States and overseas. The guidance pertains mainly to the two licensed neuraminidase inhibitors, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). Leavitt made the declaration on Oct 10 on grounds that governmental seizure of antivirals “would undermine national preparedness efforts and should be discouraged,” it adds. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its draft guidance on the topic in June. A revision released yesterday includes no major changes but does have some new material added in response to comments, particularly on implementation problems and risks and uncertainties. No members of the interagency working group that wrote the guidance had ties to the antiviral drug manufacturers, and the latter were not included or consulted in developing the guidance The guidance also states that the antivirals may be less effective if “the usual dose and duration of therapy are not optimal for a pandemic virus.” In the responses to comments, HHS says that side effects of oseltamivir and zanamivir are uncommon. However, the guidance says that widespread use of the drugs may lead to the identification of new side effects. It notes that neurobehavioral problems have been seen in a few people treated with oseltamivir The revised guidance says that barriers to antiviral stockpiling for healthcare workers include not only the cost, but also drug shelf-life, the potential for seizure of private stockpiles by state health departments, and liability concerns. These problems were identified in the stakeholder meetings conducted in developing the guidance. Prophylaxis of healthcare and emergency services workers who are not at high exposure risk, people with compromised immune systems who are less likely to be protected by pandemic vaccination, and people living in group settings such as nursing homes and prisons if outbreaks occur in their facilities The five main recommendations are unchanged in the revised guidance. It calls for using antivirals for the following purposes: Revised guidance for employersThe revised guidance on employer stockpiling of antivirals, like the draft released in June, recommends that businesses providing frontline healthcare and emergency services plan to provide preventive antivirals for employees who will be exposed to sick people in a pandemic. It also says that critical infrastructure employers should “strongly consider” providing antiviral prophylaxis for essential workers. In its responses to the comments, HHS also states that: In a separate document, HHS says it received comments on the draft employer guidance from 31 stakeholders, ranging from academics and labor unions to critical infrastructure companies and public health groups. Several of the comments focused on whether antiviral stockpiling would be considered a “standard of care.” In its response, HHS says its recommendations are only guidance and do not establish a requirement, but rather represent a prudent approach. The revised version also reiterates that employers will have to acquire their own antiviral stockpiles for preventive use, since there are no plans for major expansion of public stockpiles. Despite the various measures designed to facilitate implementation of the guidance, some organizations will probably not have “the capacity or willingness to comply,” the document states. “In such settings, it is important to emphasize that antiviral drugs are only one component of a comprehensive program to protect workers and maintain essential services.” HHS report “Considerations for Antiviral Drug Stockpiling by Employers in Preparation for an Influenza Pandemic” Jun 3 CIDRAP News story “HHS offers pandemic guidance on masks, antivirals”last_img read more

The Ministry of Tourism provided HRK 400.000 for the promotion of professional occupations in tourism

first_imgGrants are awarded to projects that promote a new tourism product to strengthen the overall competitiveness of the destination in which the school is located, based on connecting public, civil, private sector and science (development), positive effects on environmental protection, introduction of new technologies and inclusion of strategically defined special forms of tourism (nautical, health, cultural, business, golf, cycling, rural and mountain, eno and gastro, youth, social, etc.)… The Ministry of Tourism has been implementing the program for encouraging vocational occupations since 2009, and so far a total of almost HRK 4 million in grants has been allocated for various secondary vocational school projects.  You can see more information about the selected projects HERE The goal of the Program is to improve the quality of hospitality and tourism staff and secondary vocational education in general in the tourism sector through the promotion, strengthening of competencies and raising the quality of human resources and raising the quality of staff in the hospitality industry.  The Ministry of Tourism has announced the results of the tender for the award of grants in 2019. Based on the program “Occupation Promotion” – PROMOTION AND STRENGTHENING OF COMPETENCIES OF PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATIONS FOR TOURISM in 2019, a total of HRK 427.711,40 was approved for 13 approved projects.last_img read more