Piauí Comes Together to Fight Crack

first_imgBy Dialogo May 02, 2011 That’s why the work of the commission begins in the schools, where workers try to reduce the number of users by telling students of the perils of crack before they come into contact with the narcotic, Rocha says. The commission also is working to rehabilitate crack addicts. The initiative is increasingly gaining public support in Piauí. On April 17, more than 12,000 participated in the inaugural Piauí Walk Without Drugs through the streets of Teresina. “People spontaneously joined in, which shows that society is also looking for a solution,” Rocha says. Another challenge in the fight against crack is securing hospital beds to treat addicts. The Piauí government has asked the Ministry of Health to increase its resources so it can provide more comprehensive treatment programs to a constantly growing number of addicts. “More help needs to be made available for the addicts because there’s not enough to meet the current needs,” Rocha says. Police receive specialized training Piauí’s military and civil police forces are receiving specialized training from the Commission Against Crack and Other Drugs. Since January, 363 officers have been trained. It is expected that 1,900 military police officers will complete the training program by June. In the coming weeks, another 973 officers, including 450 in Teresina, are expected to receive certification. One of the main objectives of the training program is to teach law enforcement agents to differentiate the crack dealer from the crack user, Col. Pereira says. “We want to get past the social stigma that a chemically dependent person is a criminal,” Pereira says. “That person is a victim of the system, in need of treatment and support, and that is how he should be seen.” The training also teaches officers to identify crack based on its appearance. The officers also will be taught to approach a suspected crack addict, as well as to provide the Intelligence Center with information regarding possible hotspots of narcotics activity. “We want to ensure that every military police officer has the specific qualifications he or she needs to be successful,” explains Col. Pereira. The police’s goal is to continue their pursuit of narcotics dealers, Pereira says. “Through the efforts of the Commission Against Crack, we have been able to reduce statewide homicide rates by 36% during the first three months of 2011,” Pereira says. February, with just seven reported homicides, had the lowest monthly total in Teresina in the past eight years, according to the head of the Civil Police’s Metropolitan Patrol. A total of 35 homicides were committed in Teresina during the first three months of 2011, the fourth-lowest rate on record, behind the same period in 2003 (34 cases), 2009 (29 cases) and 2010 (30 cases). PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – “I am very sad about the death of my son from drugs, but now I can rest.” The recent confession from the mother of a crack addict to the Piauí Gov. Wilson Martins offers a clear picture of the devastating effects crack has on society. “The stories get worse and worse,” says Fenelon Rocha, Piauí’s communications coordinator. “There are no age limits, no geographic borders or economic barriers. You can find crack all over the state and the effect has been tremendously devastating.” The government launched an offensive to stop the spread of crack in Piauí after hearing pleas from families who have been torn apart by the highly addictive drug. In January, the government introduced the Commission Against Crack and Other Drugs. The initiative unites the efforts of the governor’s office, the state’s legislative and judicial branches, and civic organizations in the fight against narcotics trafficking and consumption, Rocha says. But the initiative’s main target is crack. Here’s why: Nine out of every 10 violent crimes in Piauí involve drug use. In 80% of those cases, the drug used is crack, Rocha says. In addition, 66% of the homicides recorded in Piauí in 2010 involved crack addicts, according to the state’s Office of Public Safety. Once the commission was introduced, the statistics began to change. “We’ve never dismantled so many gangs and drug-dealing spots before, nor have we arrested so many drug dealers,” says Col. Rubens Pereira, commander of the Piauí Military Police. In January alone, officials arrested 18 suspects in connection with drug-related crimes in the state capital of Teresina, according to information from the Piauí Narcotics Control Bureau. During the first three months of 2011, 170 were apprehended on narcotics trafficking charges in Piauí, Rocha says. In 2010, 240 suspected narcotics dealers were arrested and 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of narcotics – 70% of which was crack – was seized, in addition to R$1 million (US$632,000) in cash, property and vehicles. The initiative combats crack by focusing on apprehending traffickers and preventing the number of new users from growing. last_img read more

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Cricket News Rishabh Pant Should Drop Down From No.4: VVS Laxman’s Advice For Regaining Form

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Rishabh Pant has been struggling for form in international cricket in the last couple of series. In the West Indies tour, he managed just one fifty across all formats while in the two-match Twenty20 International series against South Africa, he had scores of 4 and 19. Pant has not managed to capitalise on the opportunities that were presented to him in both ODIs and T20Is. With Pant now the first-choice keeper across formats, the pressure on him to deliver is immense. VVS Laxman, the former India batsman who currently is on commentary duties on Star Sports, has suggested one simple idea for Pant to regain his form. “Pant should bat at number 5 and 6, where you have the license to go out and express yourself and at the moment he doesn’t know the right method of scoring runs at number 4. The nature of Rishabh Pant’s batting is that he plays aggressive shots…unfortunately at the international level he is not able to succeed at the number four position. Every player goes through this phase, his natural game is free flowing but suddenly he is not gaining the same results (which he did with Delhi franchise in the IPL),” Laxman said. In the three-match T20I series against West Indies, he managed scores of 0,4 and 65* while in the ODIs, he scored just 20 and 0. Even in the Tests, his highest score was 27 but his keeping was solid. Laxman said that every player goes through a rough patch at some point in their careers.Also Read | Rishabh Pant Shatters MS Dhoni’s Record In Style In Jamaica Test Vs West Indies”He is trying to evolve and trying to add different dimensions to his game by rotating the strike that we saw in the previous match but unfortunately, his shot selection at the start of the innings has not been great. There are other people to bat at number 4 like Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer who are experienced and could play at that spot. He also has a lot of pressure as he is taking the place of MS Dhoni who has done a lot for Indian cricket, to get his confidence back the team management needs to let him go bat at number 5 or 6 and express himself,” Laxman said. Also Read | MS Dhoni Left Out For South Africa T20I Series – Right Or Wrong Move?With the three-match Twenty20 series ending 1-1, the focus now shifts to the Test matches which begin on October 2 in Vizag followed by matches in Pune and Ranchi. The last time South Africa toured India for a Test series, they were hammered 3-0 in the four-Test series.last_img read more

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Point-counterpoint: Best MLB offseason move

first_imgMike AckersteinThe offseason gives teams a chance to rebuild and restock their rosters in hopes of improving the performance from the previous season. Unfortunately, many moves franchises make bring unwanted pressure upon them, as fans expect big returns from investments made by the signed free-agents and the traded players. Instead of adding more pressure, however, one organization used the offseason to take it away.The Florida Marlins’ trade with the Detroit Tigers that sent Marlins star hitter Miguel Cabrera and attention-whore/pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers is the best move since the season?s end because it means the Fish won?t have very high expectations going into 2008.In trading away Willis and Cabrera, Florida has effectively killed any chances that pundits and fans will expect a finish higher than fourth place in the NL East. Because the goals won?t be so lofty, the atmosphere should be relaxed, creating perfect conditions for the young Marlins and the centerpiece of the deal ? former Tigers first round selection, pitcher Andrew Miller ? to grow at their own pace.Instead of dealing with questions about why they aren?t winning more games or what moves they need to make for a playoff run, the Marlins can allow their cheap and youthful lineup a chance to flourish under the radar. While this should certainly help the team win games in the future, it may even give them a chance to sneak up on opponents late in this season, giving them the opportunity to make a year-end playoff push as Florida has done in years past.No pressure? No problems. Marlins for the win.Tyler MasonRaise your hand if you have heard of two or more of these players: Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz or Dallas Trahern.I don’t see many hands in the air.Those are the players Florida got in return for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. To me, the level of talent doesn’t balance out, despite the disparity in the number of players each team acquired in the trade.This deal puts Detroit in the AL Central driver’s seat. Adding Cabrera to an infield that already boasts Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria and Placido Polanco is scary. And when you throw outfielders Magglio Ordonez and Curtis Granderson into the mix, things get even scarier for opposing pitchers.This wasn’t even the best move in the Tigers’ division, however. That would belong to the Minnesota Twins.Now, looking at the off-season transaction reports, you will note Minnesota hasn’t made any big trades. Yes, they got Craig Monroe, the hot-tempered Delmon Young (yes, the same Delmon Young that threw his bat at an umpire in a minor league game) and veteran infielders Adam Everett and Mike Lamb. But perhaps the best move came through inaction.The Twinkies’ pride and joy, left-handed ace Johan Santana, remains a Twin (for now), signaling a victory for Minnesota. During the hottest parts of the hot stove season, Santana remained the biggest name in trade rumors. Yet here we are, in late January, and Santana hasn’t moved. Minnesota GM Bill Smith was faced with a tough situation after his predecessor, Terry Ryan, jumped ship. So far, though, Smith has stuck to his guns and not backed down when discussing trade options with the always-influential Steinbrenners in New York, as well as the Red Sox and Mets.Without Santana, the Twins are hopeless. Put him together with fellow ace Francisco Liriano, and this team could give the Tigers a run.last_img read more

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