By Amy Montes / Diálogo November 19, 2019 A Guatemalan Army patrol drove to El Estor, Izabal department, in the first week of September in pursuit of an aircraft loaded with drugs. Upon arriving at the landing site with information provided by the defense radar, the service members were intercepted by drug traffickers who took them to a school, killed three units, and injured three others.“These murders highlight the risk to freedom, justice, security, and development. They put institutional order, governability, and state security at risk,” said Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales as he issued a stage of siege to restore order in 22 municipalities in the departments of Izabal, Petén, Zacapa, El Progreso, Baja Verapaz, and Alta Verapaz.Guatemalan Minister of National Defense Luis Miguel Ralda Moreno told the press the measure would last 30 days. According to the country’s Law of Public Order, in the event the stability of social and government institutions are in danger, the president can decree a state of siege and assume military authority through the Defense Ministry with powers to restrict freedom of action, movement, demonstration, and the carrying of weapons. The President can also detain one or more residents without the need for a court order.From transit to producerAuthorities disable one of 16 clandestine airstrips found during the state of siege in September. (Photo: Guatemalan Ministry of National Defense)A month after the measure was implemented, in addition to restoring the law and apprehending common criminals, operations revealed that Guatemala was no longer a transit point for drugs, but that it had become a drug-producing country.During the interventions, authorities seized drug labs with almost one ton of cocaine worth $14 million ready to be sold. They also destroyed 23 crops with about 1.5 million coca plants and disabled 16 clandestine airstrips, the Ministry told the press.“One of the causes of this change [from transit to producing country] is the reduced costs and risks in the transit of illegal substances from South America to Guatemala, and from here to Mexico and the United Sates,” said Ralda. This motivated organized crime to use communities with little government presence to install a model of illicit cultivation and infrastructure to produce cocaine on their land, the minister said.Prolonged stage of siegeThe results of September led the Guatemalan government, through Congress, to ratify on October 10, the state of siege for another 30 days in the 22 controlled municipalities.Ralda emphasized that this new term would allow them to detect more drug labs and plantations, and generate trust among residents to encourage them to report suspicious activities. “These measures allow security forces with room to act within the legal framework, but above all to establish respect for human rights,” he concluded.
Greg Broderick on MH Going Global – who will represent Ireland in the Rio Olympics next month – and Denis Lynch on board All Star 5 will fly the flag for the Premier County.Joining them in their bid to retain the Aga Khan Trophy will be Cian O’Connor and Bertram Allen.The event gets underway at 3 o’clock in the RDS with Ireland drawn 3rd to jump of the 8 teams competing.
The move has the potential to elevate rookie coach Garth Brennan’s side into playoff contention, although the injuries and personal demons that have littered Cartwright’s young career adds an obvious layer of risk.For the Panthers there are also ramifications, with the contender losing game breaking ability on the negative side but gaining salary cap space to balance the ledger.Foxsports.com.au answers five burning questions that linger over the deal.Why did the Panthers release him?He’s one of the most talented young players in the competition but the Panthers hierarchy was growing frustrated with his failure to meet his potential on a regular basis.After a 2016 season that threw him into the mix for a NSW jersey, Cartwright regressed last year, with his season dogged by personal issues and injuries.That didn’t stop him from dominating the Panthers’ win over Manly to spearhead their progression to the second week of finals, scoring two tries in a game breaking performance off the bench.However, the very fact that he wasn’t a starter tells you all you need to know about his standing within the side — not good enough for a player of his rare talents and his top tier pay packet.That message was delivered to Cartwright during this off-season but Phil Gould and Anthony Griffin were not convinced that he could overcome his off-field issues and justify the faith the club had shown him in the form of a long-term deal.That Cartwright has an extremely close relationship with Garth Brennan, forged when the Titans’ rookie coach was at Penrith, helped seal the release on the basis that Gould wanted to give the 23-year-old the best chance to succeed, both as a player and a person.What are the flow-on effects at Penrith?The obvious negative for the Panthers is the X-factor they lose, with Cartwright’s package of size, speed and skill virtually unmatched across the competition.But what they lose in game breaking ability they gain in salary cap space and that could turn out to be hugely valuable as they try to keep together a young and highly rated roster going forward.To start with Josh Mansour, one of the best wingers in the game, is off-contract and will attract plenty of interest from NRL rivals.And come November 1, gun half Nathan Cleary is likely to be on the open market and the Panthers will need a significant war chest to be a chance of keeping him long-term.So good have the first two years of Cleary’s career been, some believe he could be worth as much as $1.5 million-a-season when he signs his next deal — the cap space that Cartwright was chewing up would have made that kind of deal very difficult for the Panthers to accommodate.On the field, Cartwright’s departure gives the Panthers a gap to fill in the back-row this season. It looms as a huge opportunity for talented youngster Corey Harawira-Naera who was impressive as a regular starter in 2017.He is likely to get the first shot on one edge with Isaah Yeo on the other, although a left-field option could come into play with Villiame Kikau hugely impressive on an edge for Fiji in last year’s World Cup.What does he bring to the Titans?When Brennan arrived on the Gold Coast one of the biggest holes in the roster he inherited was in the back-row, with several off-season departures forcing him to contemplate a shift for Ryan James.What the Cartwright deal does for the Titans is provide Brennan with the flexibility to play his skipper in the middle if that’s his preferred option, increasing the competition for places in the forward pack.It also fills the gap that was created by Tyrone Roberts’ departure, with Cartwright capable of playing as a five-eighth if required.Most of all though, it gives the Titans big attacking weapons on both edges, with Kevin Proctor and Cartwright both capable of creating tryscoring opportunities and finishing them off themselves.What position will he play?More than likely Cartwright will start out in the back-row, particularly with injuries to middle forwards Jarrod Wallace and Jack Stockwell testing the Titans’ depth in that department.Accomplished front-rower James will likely fill that hole, with Cartwright and Proctor to start either side of Jai Arrow in the back-row.However Kane Elgey’s poor 2017 has put him under pressure to lift in a big way this season and if he doesn’t start the year well, Brennan may be tempted to give Cartwright the No.6 jersey.He has spent plenty of time in that role for the Panthers and a playmaker of his size is a rare commodity that can give opposition defences all kinds of headaches.Ash Taylor is a very natural game manager, so the prospect of using Cartwright as a running five-eighth inside Proctor and James has to be a tempting prospect for the coach.Are the Titans finished recruiting?The Jarryd Hayne money hasn’t been completely exhausted just yet, so if the right player becomes available Brennan may look to pull the trigger again.The intriguing subplot to the Cartwright deal is how it may or may not affect the Titans’ ability and desire to bring Tyrone Peachey to the club — with Gold Coast tabling a three-year $1.5 million offer to bring him to the Glitter Strip in 2019.Cartwright’s teammate at the Panthers is one of the few players in the game with similar attributes — he’s a back-rower with utility value, capable of playing at centre and even pinch-hitting at hooker.With Cartwright on their books do the Titans still need him? Peachey’s contract with Penrith does not expire until the end of the 2019 season, so with Cartwright gone will the Panthers block the deal anyway?Perhaps more pressing for Brennan and his recruitment team is his backline, with a handful of starters coming off contract this year.Dale Copley, Anthony Don, Brendan Elliot, Brenko Lee and Tyronne Roberts-Davis are all on the open market, so Brennan will need to make a call on which ones he’d like to keep around next year and beyond and start locking up his backline of the future.