By Dialogo January 21, 2010 Following a request from the United Nations to increase its peace forces in Haiti, Brazilian army officials claim they are prepared to send an additional 1,300 troops, which would double their presence. The decision must be approved by the national congress. According to Brazil’s Defense Ministry, before last week’s earthquake, 1,266 Brazilians were part of the UN Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), created in 2004 after the ousting of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since 2004, a total of 13,323 Brazilian soldiers have served in Haiti. The ones who will be deployed to reinforce the latest mission will be picked from that group. Nelson Jobim, Brazil’s defense minister, says Brazil’s armed forces will remain in Haiti for at least another five years. The Brazilian government also approved sending close to US$20 million (R$35 million) in aid to Haiti. Brazil’s military presence in Haiti is the largest such force deployed overseas since World War II. Brazil will replace its troops every six months, and those deployed to the Caribbean nation will be because they volunteered. Brazil has been in charge of the MINUSTAH’s military command since the operation started. The Brazilian military contingency is the largest of the 17 countries that have sent troops to Haiti. The UN authorized the entire number of peacekeepers to be increased to 8,940 military troops and 3,711 police officers on Jan. 19. The police command is under the supervision of Canada, while France is in charge of the civilian command. Since 2004, Brazil has contributed about R$703 million (US$397 million) to the MINUSTAH, out of which the United Nations has been reimbursed R$288 million (US$163 million). Antonio Jorge Ramalho, a professor at Brasília University’s school of international relations, says Brazil’s commitment to Haiti demonstrates it wants to be part of creating a new world order. “Brazil’s diplomatic discourse has always featured this desire to take responsibility in the international community,” Ramalho says. “However, this had not materialized until the [creation of the] MINUSTAH. This time, Brazil has set its discourse into practice.” Ramalho says on previous occasions, such as the reconstruction of East Timor in 1999, Brazil’s role in the United Nation’s peace mission was smaller than anticipated, largely because of the country’s economic crisis. The increase of Brazil’s efforts in Haiti also falls within the foreign policy goals set forth by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government of increasing involvement in developing countries. Lula became president in 2003, a year before MINUSTAH was created. The Brazilian armed forces are distributed throughout Haiti. The Brazilian presence is considered essential to reducing criminal activity in Cité Soleil, the Haitian gang-controlled slum that’s home to 300,000. Besides patrolling the streets, the military is helping to rebuild streets and harbors. Last week’s earthquake did away with many of MINUSTAH’s achievements. But in Ramalho‘s opinion, the mission is not exactly starting from scratch. “It’s not a total reversal,” Ramalho says. “There was loss of human life and infrastructure, but we can also look at the earthquake as an opportunity. The infrastructure, for instance, can be rebuilt with the most advanced technology.” At least 18 Brazilian soldiers have died in Haiti’s earthquake, in addition to at least three civilians. According the United Nations’ Web site, 46 of its mission workers from different nationalities, have died as a result of the earthquake, with 26 sustaining injury. The UN’s approved budget for all of MINUSTAH’s operations for July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 is US$ 611,750 million.
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter September 24, 2018 Governor Wolf Renews Call-to-Action to Support Victims of Crime and Abuse It’s On Us PA, Press Release, Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – Following the return of the legislature, Governor Tom Wolf today renewed his call-to-action for the General Assembly to prioritize and deliver to his desk various outstanding and stalled legislative reforms to empower, protect, and support victims of crime, abuse, and harassment.“The time is right to take action and to pass these critical reforms,” said Governor Wolf. “We can right this wrong by eliminating the statute of limitations for the future, strengthening systems for the abused, and providing victims with the window for real justice in our legal system.”During the current legislative session, Governor Wolf has publicly supported and urged passage of dozens of bills to protect, empower and support victims and reduce crime.These proposals include:Child Sexual Abuse: Governor Wolf has urged action on the four recommendations of the statewide grand jury into clergy sexual abuse that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and allow for survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil claims against their abusers and the institutions that enabled them.Domestic Violence: Since 2017, Governor Wolf has pushed for a package of bipartisan Senate bills to combat domestic violence and protect survivors. Only one bill has reached his desk.Sexual Assault: Governor Wolf unveiled a bipartisan “It’s On Us” legislative package in September 2017. These bills would focus on empowering and protecting victims of sexual assault, especially on college and high school campuses.Gun Violence: Governor Wolf has supported many bills to reduce violence and protect individuals from becoming victims of gun crimes, including taking guns more swiftly from domestic abusers and creating a new red-flag emergency order to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.Sexual Harassment: Governor Wolf and legislative Democrats introduced nearly two dozen bills to combat sexual harassment and improve treatment of victims. None of them received a vote with House Republicans who opted instead to further study the issue.Hate Crimes and Discrimination: Members of the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania lack protections from discrimination and hate crimes, which means victims have inadequate recourse in the face of violence and discrimination. Governor Wolf has supported these changes since taking office.Human Trafficking: Governor Wolf supports Senator Greenleaf’s SB 554, Safe Harbor legislation to protect the child victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted for crimes they were forced to commit. The bill awaits action in the House.Hazing: Governor Wolf has long-supported the Pennsylvania Timothy J. Piazza Law to give law enforcement the tools they need to hold people accountable and we must ensure schools have proper safeguards to protect students and curb these practices. The bill awaits action in the House.“Pennsylvania has already shown that it is at the forefront of the states willing to take these issues seriously. Now is the time for Pennsylvania to take real actions,” Governor Wolf said.This evening Governor Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf will join with Attorney General Josh Shapiro and victims at the Capitol Building to rally in support of the grand jury recommendations and to call on the General Assembly to advance several outstanding bills that support victims of crime and abuse.
Facebook58Tweet0Pin0 Saturday, October 12 marked a day of messy obstacle fun. The City of Lacey Parks and Recreation Department hosted the Rampage at the RAC. Enjoy these snapshots of finishers, a little bit dirtier, but with a lot bigger smiles than when they started. (For a complete set of finish line photos, click here.)