December 20

Brazilian Air Force Psychologists Bring Their Expertise to Haiti

first_imgBy Dialogo May 07, 2012 For the first time ever, psychologists employed by the Brazilian Air Force have been sent to a United Nations peacekeeping mission overseas in order to identify and understand the stresses that affect troops doing this kind of work. Last December, a team from the Air Force Psychology Institute (IPA) shadowed a Brazilian infantry battalion from Manaus that had been deployed to Port-au-Prince as part of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The objective: to improve the training of soldiers sent on similar missions in the future. “It was a unique professional experience,” said Lt. Fabrícia Barros de Souza, a psychologist. “Our soldiers were very receptive, and contributed in a meaningful way to the data collection. They all showed they are highly qualified and mission-driven professionals.” The Brazilian Air Force offers air support to the Brazilian contingent within MINUSTAH and more recently has begun deploying infantry troops. The first infantry units arrived in February 2011 from the northeastern Brazilian cities of Recife, Natal and Fortaleza, but were later replaced by the platoon from Manaus, which remained until the end of April. “We believe it is of that upmost importance that, along with technical and operational excellence, we consider and constantly monitor the psychosocial aspects involved in a mission of this nature,” said Maj. Luis Felipe, an Air Force spokesman. The aim is to ensure that Brazilian troops — which have been in Haiti since 2004 — perform effectively without any harm to their safety and occupational health. Mission objectives The first contingent of Air Force troops deployed to Haiti underwent psychological assessments to determine if any had personal or family-related problems that could cause problems during or after the mission. “The project addresses the issue of stress in peace operations, as a specific part of the daily work of the Brazilian military,” explained Felipe. “Since this monitoring requires a feedback loop, we included a study of professional profiles and a survey of stressors, which would provide legitimacy to the work done with each new soldier.” Lt. Col. Ana Lúcia Lopez, deputy director of the Air Force Psychology Institute, helped her team conduct individual and group interviews, lectures and videoconferences; team members also participated in the daily routines of the soldiers they observed. “The work routine was intense and its results represent only the beginning of a bold venture that seeks to gain visibility for the role of psychology in the operational realm,” said Barros de Souza. Sources of stress Perhaps because these soldiers are not fighting a full-fledged war, it’s easy to underestimate the many sources of stress peacekeepers face, and the long-term effects of that stress. These include being away from the family, living in a different culture and the local conflicts that characterize these kinds of mission. In Haiti, this stress is exacerbated by the extremely poor living conditions of the local population; verbal aggression from some Haitians; the risk of sickness or death from infectious diseases; vulnerability to acts of violence without the ability to respond with weapons; the lack of communication resources to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and — perhaps worst of all — an inability to significantly improve the lives of local people. “The complexity of peace missions has also to do with placing the military in a new situation,” explained Felipe. “It is different than in traditional war, which from the psychological point of view is identified with uncertainty and the unknown.” In this case, he said, “there is also no enemy, which turns the objective of these operations in something more complicated than merely winning. These obstacles not only compromise the performance of the mission, but affect motivation and endanger a soldier’s physical and mental health.” The way forward The aim of the individual and group interviews was to collect data, but Felipe said “we were at their disposal if there was a need for intervention.” Despite limited contact with the locals, the Brazilian team left Port-au-Prince with the distinct impression that Haitians are quite receptive to MINUSTAH’s presence — especially children, who picked up the psychologists’ names in a heartbeat. “The troops say that the smiles of those children are a motivating factor for their work and, in a way, mitigate the adverse conditions of the mission,” said Felipe.last_img read more

December 18

Trump Plan: Deport to Mexico Immigrants Crossing Border Illegally, Regardless of Nationality

first_imgBy Ginger Thompson and Marcelo Rochabrun, ProPublicaLeer en español.Buried deep in the Trump administration’s plans to round up undocumented immigrants is a provision certain to enrage Mexico — new authority for federal agents to deport anyone caught crossing the southern border to Mexico, regardless of where they are from.If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico. Currently, such people are detained in the U.S. and allowed to request asylum.President Trump wants them to do so from Mexico, communicating via videoconference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities that Mexico would presumably be forced to build.“This would say if you want to make a claim for asylum or whatever we’ll hear your case but you are going to wait in Mexico,” a DHS official said. “Those are details that are being worked out both within the department and between the US government and the government of Mexico … there are elements that still need to be worked out in detail.Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Mexico later this week to meet with representatives of the Mexican government. It remains unclear if they will discuss this issue.The new authority for immigration agents is among the dramatic, some would say untenable, tactics the Trump administration is preparing to deploy as it upends President Obama’s policies on illegal immigration.A pair of memos signed by John Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, and publicly released on Tuesday outline the plans for what present and former government officials say will be a massive roundup of undocumented immigrants. Near final drafts of the memos had leaked over the weekend and had been first reported by McClatchy.Officials disclosed that two former Senate aides to Attorney General Jeff Sessions drafted the plan without input from career DHS policy staffers. The ideas aren’t new. Many of the approaches described in the memos come from a 1996 law that policy makers and law enforcement agents had disregarded as either unenforceable or absurd.“Most of these provisions of law have been there for decades,” the DHS official said. “We are simply trying to execute what Congress has asked us to do.”Among them was the Mexico part of the plan, for example, which calls for returning undocumented immigrants “to the foreign contiguous territory from which they arrived.” The memo goes on to point out how foisting the immigrants onto Mexico would benefit DHS’s budget, saying that it would, “save the Department’s detention and adjudication resources for other priority aliens.” However, former senior Mexican and American immigration officials said it could very well create new security problems along the border, as authorities in each country push unwanted migrants back and forth.The American Immigration Lawyers Association said that the proposal would violate U.S. law and international treaty obligations. Mexico is as likely to embrace the plan as it did the notion of paying for a wall. “I would expect Mexico to respond with an emphatic ‘No,’” said Gustavo Mohar, a former senior Mexican immigration and national security policy official.Whether viable or not, the Trump administration’s deportation plans mark a dramatic departure from decades of policy and practice. Current and former immigration policy officials say that while the details of how the administration intends to carry out the plans remain unclear — if not insurmountable — the administration’s overall message to enforcement agents across the country is clear: the limits have been lifted.President Obama attempted to focus enforcement efforts on immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes, and on those who were caught while or shortly after illegally entering the country. Still, his administration deported record numbers of immigrants, most of whom had only been accused of minor crimes and immigration violations.The Trump administration says it, too, is focused on deporting criminals, but it has redefined crimes to include any activity that might bring a conviction, including entering the U.S. without permission. Effectively, that makes virtually everyone in the U.S. without a proper visa subject to roundup at their workplace or home.“If you are present in the U.S. without being admitted or paroled or having overstayed your visa, the immigration laws of the U.S. subject you to removal,” the DHS official said. “Everyone who is in violation of the laws is theoretically subject to enforcement. The Department has limited resources and we will, to the extent that we can, focus on folks who have committed serious crimes.”The only clear exception, according to the enforcement plan and the DHS briefing, is for immigrants who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers.“Anyone who complained about Obama as the deporter-in-chief,” said David Martin, formerly DHS’s principal deputy general counsel, “is unfortunately going to get a taste of what it’s like when someone is really gung-ho.”Greg Chen, the policy director at AILA, said the Trump plan would “effectively unleash a massive deportation force with extremely broad authority to use detention as the default mechanism for anyone suspected of violating immigration law.”The question looming over the proposals is how many of them, with all their legal and logistical obstacles, will the president actually be able to carry out.The memos, for example, authorize the Border Patrol to hire 5,000 new agents, even though the force has never been able to fill the slots it has already been allotted. Some 60 percent of applicants to the Border Patrol fail the required polygraph, and those who pass take 18 months to get sent out into the field.The Trump plan calls for the expansion of a George W. Bush-era program, known as 287g, which allows DHS to deputize state and local police as immigration agents. It was touted after 9/11 as a critical “force-multiplier.” But by 2010, some of the country’s largest police departments were refusing to participate because they believed it would shatter the trust between their officers and the communities they were sworn to protect. Meanwhile, participating agencies, which foot the bill for the program, were suddenly saddled with new debts and hounded by accusations of racial profiling and other abuse, forcing the Obama administration to suspend expansion of the program.Until now, the enforcement of summary deportation laws, known as “expedited removal,” have been limited to those apprehended within 14 days of illegally entering the country and within 100 miles of Canada or Mexico. The memos signed by Kelly would allow use of those laws anywhere in the country against anyone who entered illegally within the past two years.Lucas Guttentag, a former DHS adviser and Stanford law professor, said this would “unleash chaos,” violate due process, and meet challenges in court, similar to those that scuttled the administration’s travel ban.There would also be aggressive challenges, lawyers said, to plans that would allow immigration agents to deport unaccompanied minor children who crossed the border illegally, rather than uniting them with parents or other relatives in the U.S.The reason for discussing unaccompanied minors is ” that they have been abandoned by their parents or legal guardians,” the DHS official said. If it is “determined that there is a parent or guardian in the U.S. that they can be handed over to, then DHS needs to take a hard look over whether that person is actually” an unaccompanied minor.“There will be a renewed focus on ensuring that folks don’t abuse the system,” the DHS official added.They also expect legal opposition to a proposal that would strip undocumented immigrants of existing privacy protections, allowing personal information such as asylum cases or immigration violations to be publicly disclosed.“We want to ensure that our privacy policies are consistent with the law,” the DHS official said. “The Privacy Act applies by statute to citizens” and green card holders. “The President has asked us to align our laws with what congress has directed.”“The Trump people have clearly bought into the model of harsh enforcement. They apparently think, ‘we’ll be tough, and a lot of people will leave on their own,’” said Martin, an immigration law professor at the University of Virginia. “They believe they’ll win in the court of public opinion. I’m not sure about that. A lot of Americans know hard-working undocumented immigrants. The kind of enforcement Trump’s people are talking about will visibly create many more sympathetic cases than unsympathetic ones.”Some of the provisions explicitly acknowledge that it could take years before DHS has the manpower and money to pull off what the president has ordered. Immigration enforcement agents, however, have already begun filling the policy void by launching raids and deportations, including some that advocates worry are meant to test the limits. Meanwhile panic has taken hold in many immigrant communities.“The level of fear is more than anything we’ve ever seen,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. She said the plan’s sweep, “sent a chill to my bones,” because it threatens to do irreparable harm to millions of families. She added, “This all seems aimed at changing who we are as a nation.”ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York last_img read more

September 21

Clichy signs new City deal

first_img The left-back, who moved north from Arsenal in July 2011, has committed his future to City until 2017. “I’m really happy to have agreed a new deal with city and I’m already looking forward to next season,” Clichy told the club’s official website. “Things didn’t go the way we wanted them to this year but we’ll come back stronger next season and learn from this experience.” Gael Clichy has signed a new four-year deal at Manchester City. City are currently without a manager after sacking Roberto Mancini last week, but interim boss Brian Kidd said Clichy would be an asset to whomever came in to replace the Italian. He said: “Gael is a crucial member of this team and we’re all delighted he’s committed his future to Manchester City. We are building a side that will challenge for honours for years to come and to do that, you need top quality players – Gael comfortably fits into the bracket. “Gael is a top professional off the pitch as well as on it and his attitude and conduct is faultless. He is a manager’s dream.” The France international, 27, has made 74 appearances for City and won the Barclays Premier League with them last season. They were comprehensively beaten to the title by city rivals United this term, though, and Clichy is determined to bounce back. “We are just going to keep moving forward and raising the bar,” he said. “We know where we want to be and with the talented players in our squad there is no reason why we can’t achieve our targets. “When I look around me and see the quality players and the plans that are taking shape at Manchester City, I know that I am in the right place.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

December 24

WOMEN AT CENTRE OF GARDA BROTHEL BUST HAVE FLED

first_imgTwo women charged with knowingly allowing their flat to be used as a brothel have fled Donegal.The women were charged with allowing their flat to be used as a brothel.The two women were arrested following a Garda swoop on a flat on Letterkenny in June. The two women, Anna Dimoffe and Anata Tacinata Raducan, were arrested by Gardai at the flat at 6 St.Eunan’s Court on June 20th last.They were subsequently released on bail.The women were due to appear before Letterkenny District Court today.However solicitor Kevin McElhinney said another man before the court, Leonardo Goicea, had told him he returned to the flat last Sunday from Romania but the women had fled.He also revealed that the women’s belongings had all been removed.Mr Goicea, who is charged with brothel-keeping at the same address, is currently on bail awaiting direction in his case.Judge Paul Kelly issued two bench warrants for the women and adjourned Mr Goicea’s until October 13th.WOMEN AT CENTRE OF GARDA BROTHEL BUST HAVE FLED was last modified: September 12th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:brothelcourtdonegalJudge Paul KellyLETETRKENNYlast_img read more