Operation Jaque Rescued Hostages Relive Their Return to Freedom a Year Later

first_imgBy Dialogo July 02, 2009 San José del Guaviare (Colombia), June 30 (EFE).- The eleven police and military personnel rescued from the hands of the FARC by the Colombian army in what is known as Jaque Operation returned today to the place from which they were flown to freedom a year ago. Today the seven members of the military and the four police officers who were rescued together with Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. contractors on 2 July 2008 went back in time on their route a year ago: a helicopter took them from the southern town of San José del Guaviare to the jungle that was once their prison. They landed in the jungle region known as Lisonda, the location of the successful conclusion of Jaque Operation, an undercover military operation that made it possible to deceive the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which had held them prisoner for years. The guerillas “had us in a cellar,” EFE was told by Sgt. Amaón Flórez, who like the rest of his fellow captives and their rebel captors thought that the two helicopters he saw on 2 July, 2008 belonged to a humanitarian mission. “First they told us that it was about medical attention; we thought that it was (to go) to a neighboring country,” Sgt. Erasmo Romero explained. “We had been hungry for days, without medicine, chained up all the time,” Romero added. “None of us thought that this would be the day on which we were going to recover our freedom,” Maj. Juan Carlos Bermeo told EFE, for whom the rescue operation “was a big surprise, something unexpected that makes you want to live again.” Sgt. José Ricardo Marulanda never dreamed of an operation of such magnitude. As a member of the military, he was thinking about a rescue “by land,” something by “guns and bloodshed.” A year ago, “we were locked in a cage and tied up,” Marulanda recalled today. They all got on the helicopter that took them to freedom unwillingly and with their hands tied, according to Flórez, who recalled in detail that “seven seconds” into the flight two of the members of the undercover military mission subdued their jailers “César” and “Gafas.” “That is unforgettable,” Flórez said today as he expressed his gratitude toward those who got them out of that jungle that was “consuming” them “little by little.” “I leave here relieved,” he added, because after today “what was bad will stay here,” in the jungle, and “the good impetus for moving forward” after years of being kidnapped will remain alive. Before their return to the jungle accompanied by several high-ranking military commanders, the eleven former hostages of the FARC visited the hangars where the army keeps one of the two helicopters used in Jaque Operation, in the town of Tolemaida. In those hangars the helicopters were painted white, and every detail was gone over to make sure they showed no sign of military origin, Maj. Carlos Arbeláez explained to the group of reporters who traveled to the settings of Jaque Operation along with the hostages today. It was in the same location that intelligence planning for the rescue operation took place and where it was determined how to neutralize the guerrillas in the helicopter, Arbeláez indicated. The first anniversary of the rescue, considered a masterpiece of military intelligence, takes place on Thursday, and according to military sources, the eleven former hostages will attend an official ceremony in Bogotá, at which neither Betancourt, nor Americans Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes are expected to participate. “It would be good to all be reunited,” Sergeant Flórez limited himself to commenting on the subject. While the three Americans have published a book about their experiences during more than five years of captivity, the former presidential candidate is preparing a publication expected to come out shortly.last_img read more

Indonesian cruise crew arrives in Bali from virus-hit Italy, tests negative for COVID-19

first_imgA total of 316 Indonesian crew members of the MSC Splendida cruise ship from Genoa, Italy, have been repatriated to Indonesia from the coronavirus-hit European country and arrived in Bali’s provincial capital of Denpasar on Monday.Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry said that the crew members, who returned home on Qatar Airways, had undergone health tests prior to their departure and they had not shown any symptoms of COVID-19.”During the whole repatriation process, the government through the Indonesian Embassy in Rome has engaged in intense communication with the crew members to ensure their conditions,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.Bali Manpower Agency head Ida Bagus Ngurah Arda confirmed that the Indonesian crew members had arrived at Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on Monday evening.They had their body temperatures checked as soon as they arrived at the airport and had their blood samples taken for COVID-19 rapid tests by the airport’s health authorities, he said.”The results came out negative,” Arda said on Monday.The 316 crew members would not be put into medical isolation, but he said they were required to undergo self-quarantine.Bali Airport Authority head Elfi Amir also confirmed that the 316 crew members of the MSC Splendida had undergone medical tests in Genoa and had been cleared to return home before departing for Bali, kompas.com reported.Read also: COVID-19: Indonesia steps up measures to anticipate influx of migrant workers returning homeItaly is now the country hardest-hit by the COVID-19 coronavirus in terms of deaths from the disease, with more than a third of global COVID-19 fatalities: 12,428 deaths. The European country recorded 105,792 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.Prior to the crew members’ arrival, Arda said that Bali Governor I Wayan Koster had requested Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to tell Indonesian missions abroad to do health checks, as well as swab tests, on Indonesian migrant workers who were to be repatriated from other countries to ensure they were not infected by the coronavirus.Only those who tested negative and healthy were therefore allowed to return to Indonesia, including to Bali, while those who tested positive or were suspected of having been infected should first be treated in the country where they had worked.Arda said that even though the returning migrant workers had brought health certificates and had not shown any fevers, Balinese authorities would take their blood samples for COVID-19 rapid tests as precautionary measures.”This is our effort to reduce any risk of further COVID-19 spread into Indonesia and Bali,” he said.Bali, which has seen its tourism industry reduced to shambles by the COVID-19 outbreak, has recorded some 25 cases, with two fatalities as of Wednesday afternoon.The Southeast Asian country itself has recorded some 1,677 COVID-19-positive cases across the archipelago, with 157 cases that turned fatal.More Indonesian migrant workers, including crew members of foreign cruise ships, were expected to return home in the coming days as the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said it was in the process of repatriating them.”The government, in cooperation with companies in charge of recruiting ship crew members, is set to repatriate other crewmen in the near future,” the ministry said.Topics :last_img read more

Dominican entrepreneur launches new business publication

first_img Share Tweet LocalNews Dominican entrepreneur launches new business publication by: – April 30, 2012 Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share 76 Views   no discussions An enterprising young entrepreneur, Kareem Guiste, founder and Managing Director of Finance, Accounting and Business Consulting Incorporated (FAB CONSULTING, Inc.) has launched a new business publication, The Analyst.The St. Lucian-based Dominican native describes his brainchild as “a business-oriented magazine that captures the essence of commercial activities across various sectors” in the Eastern Caribbean.“It is a non-biased, cross industry, cross sector, OECS business magazine which aims to educate and inspire readers via informative and creatively-written articles that appeal to readers of various disciplines, interests and fields,” he said, adding that The Analyst’s coverage spans sectors throughout the Eastern Caribbean, creating a portal for industry analysis, insight, and plans for future investments.The first of The Analyst’s quarterly publications hit stands in March 2012, a mere couple years after then 28 year-old Guiste single-handedly launched FAB Consulting in 2010, after being asked to assist with small business projects in accounting, business development, and finance.“The idea for the magazine came to me when I realized there was a void in information available regarding a number of activities affecting the various sectors, and a need for the same, that would highlight the Caribbean’s economies and create an environment for discourse, learning and sharing,” said Guiste.The Editorial Board of The Analyst consists of four creative and skilled minds from Dominica and Saint Lucia. The founder, given his keen eye for business went beyond just producing a printed version of the business magazine by simultaneously launching a website and an electronic version of The Analyst.The Analyst is a product of The Analyst Publishing, a subsidiary of FAB CONSULTING, Inc.Copies of the magazine are currently available in the Commonwealth of Dominica and St. Lucia, and will soon be available in Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.The e-copy is available via analystmagazine.com/magazine in PDF and Flash versions, while the website can be accessed at analystmagazine.com.Press releaselast_img read more

Trouble before João Félix’s break with Alba and Messi

first_imgIn the last moments of the first 45 minutes of the game played at the King Abdullah Sports City of Jeddah, Barça was subject to harassment without demolition of Simeone, who were entrusting themselves to the good work of Jan Oblak and the strength of his defense. The intensity with which the players are living the game has been reflected, in addition, in the different physical problems that have starred in the first part. A clash between Correa, Neto and Umititi ended with the Argentine limping and forcing the assists to jump into the field in the 13th minute. Minutes later, in the 17th, Oblak was the victim in a set with Luis Suarez, although both could continue on the pitch. The tension between Barça and Atleti surfaced in the discount of the first part of the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup. Jordi Alba and João Félix was engaged in a brawl that began with the Barcelona player pointing the Portuguese with his index finger and recriminating protests to the referee. Moments later, it was Leo Messi who entered the scene, facing the mattress striker and creating a situation of tension that increased with the arrival of several players trying to put out the fire. Luis Suárez, Saúl and Savic were the biggest victims of the incident, being the only ones admonished by González González, referee of the match. However, Umtiti and Busquets by the side culé and Herrera and Thomas, by the rojiblanco, also took part of the confrontation. Movistar Champions League ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>Moment in which Messi and João Félix face each other.Movistar Champions Leaguelast_img read more

Graham inspires STETHS to semi-final win

first_imgWestern Bureau: Neville Graham scored a blistering free kick yesterday to inspire St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) to a 2-1 ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup semi-final victory over Lennon High in driving rain at the Juici Park in Clarendon. The winners will face Dinthill Technical High in the December 5 final. The Santa Cruz-based STETHS will now have a chance to add the biggest title of them all – the daCosta Cup – to their Ben Francis Cup win and keep them on track to winning three of the four schoolboy titles on offer. Graham, the STETHS left-back, has been playing like a man possessed all season and was all over the field, grimacing as a result of a leg injury that he has been playing through. Like an injured soldier, he battled on to score the opening goal in the 19th minute. His teammate and the competition’s deadliest striker, Michael Kerr, netted his 29th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot in the 66th minute, as STETHS regained the lead after Shawayne Nelson had equalised for the Merron Gordon-conditioned Lennon. It was yet another familiar outcome for STETHS as they seem always able to create goals and wins. Lennon hit back in the 50th minute after STETHS had taken the lead. Nelson outran his marker and struck a low, hard shot under STETHS goalie Kenroy Wallace to level the score at 1-1. But STETHS found the winner, when Kerr slotted home from the penalty spot, after the referee penalised Lennon for a handled ball in the box. STETHS came close to making it 3-1. Graham’s shot from an acute angle in the 77th minute had Lennon goalkeeper Shevoy Williams in serious trouble, but the ball failed to dip sufficiently and crashed against the crossbar, much to the relief of the entire Lennon squad and their band of supporters. A venue for the final is expected to be announced early this week by ISSA.last_img read more