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Former FARC Rebel Tells of Being Court-Martialed after Operation Check-Mate

first_img Juan Carlos was responsible for providing basic needs to captives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), when an alleged humanitarian mission in the jungle of Guaviaré took 15 prisoners to safety on July 2, 2008. What turned into the successful Operation Check-Mate, caused his demise in the guerrilla, after growing up with them. Known as “Manchaco”, Juan Carlos turned himself to authorities in mid-August – after two years of attempted escapes – and spoke to Colombian daily El Tiempo to tell of his experiences as a FARC rebel. Following the events that turned out to be Operation Check-Mate, FARC leaders took Manchaco for a traitor and assumed he turned the prisoners in for a ransom. His hands and feet were chained to a tree in a camp, where he remained under high surveillance by “Asdrubal’s” seventh front during over 40 days. According to El Tiempo, Manchaco was court-martialed and accused of involuntarily collaborating with the enemy, though he assured them he was unaware of what had occurred. “I joined that [the FARC] practically when I was 14. It was hard to be treated like that [being chained like the prisoners],” he admitted. “I will never forget it,” he added. When asked if he considered that the prisoners had remained in chains for the better part of ten years, Manchaco replied, “Yes, it’s very hard to be [in that position] when you are innocent.” Juan Carlos realized the Colombian Army – and not a humanitarian mission – had just taken off with his 15 prisoners when he turned on a TV set to find out that Operation Check-Mate had been a successful rescue mission and the prisoners were on their way home. According to his statements, the prisoners were kept as a powerful tool to use in exchange for “agreements and conversations” with the Government, and losing them was a huge hit to the entire guerrilla group. Still, Juan Carlos added, “the FARC never admitted that the [Colombian] Government tricked them and that the operation was so efficient.” He thinks many of the rebels remain in the FARC “out of fear that the Army will get them, or that the guerrilla will kill them,” but is sure that most of them want to turn around and come clean. “The conditions are not the best and they are waiting for better possibilities,” he added. With regard to his plans, Manchaco said he hopes to get back in touch with his family and start over. “I want to start a new life free of so many things, and try to forget so much lost time.” By Dialogo August 18, 2010last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Dec. 22

first_imgYounger and newer is not always betterYour recent editorial on LIFO states: “The practice, […] not only deprives students of the best teachers, but also prevents districts from maximizing savings by forcing them to keep underperforming higher-paid teachers at the expense of newer teachers who generally earn less pay and benefits.”This editorial drips with the assumption that younger and newer is better than older and experienced. I have crossed paths with a few teachers in my life, pretty much daily, and I know you are wrong.Imagine I placed you in a classroom with 25 rambunctious 5-year-old kindergartners and then left you on your own. No problem, right? Because you are the newer, younger model. If you have any problems, perhaps the teacher next door with 30 years of experience might give you a tip or two.James FogartyNiskayunaLook closer at flaws of socialist policiesFor historical context Mr. Ruddiman, regarding his Dec. 13 letter (“Socialist ideals are helping Americans“), needs to understand that Stalin’s form of governance was an absolute failure.Citizens starved and froze under the inability to find the funds to provide for, as Stalin termed, “all citizens.”The politically connected never suffered for the 40-plus years of Socialist ruling.After the Berlin Wall was removed, the majority of socialists citizens couldn’t wait to head west.This may be the future Mr. Ruddiman has in mind for the United States, but I am sure he is in the minority.Maybe he should read about the state of the Russian economy today as compared to ours.Like his hero Stalin, Bernie Sanders became a millionaire while employed by the government, not in the private sector.Michael SheedySchenectadyHonor the rule of law, not one political partyWe learned as children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands.The flag also stands for the Constitution, the governing document for the country. The Constitution establishes checks and balances among the three branches of government. No branch is infallible or free of being observed and examined by the other branches or by the people of the nation as a whole.In our complicated system, allegations can be presented, examined, investigated and, when necessary, presented for trial, appeals and review under the law. One branch, the executive, is claiming powers and privileges beyond anything seen before. The chief executive is asserting freedom from due oversight by the other branches, not only for himself but also for departments and agencies, under his authority as he chooses.The political party controlling part of one branch, the Senate, has the power to confirm judges.That branch has made its highest priority to fill the third branch, the judiciary, with persons handpicked committed to rule in favor of the policies of one party. Thus, the entire system of checks and balances is being systematically degraded by a plutocratic oligarchy.Our representatives pledge an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The pledge is to the country and Constitution, not a political party or a man.We the people should expect our representatives to honor their pledge to the country and Constitution and the rule of law.Paul ZawistowskiBroadalbin More from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDemocrats must stop wasting Trump’s timeI see that the Democrat/liberals are determined to create more wasted time for our president. They are concerned that his amazing success in recovering from the mess that they made must be stopped.This man who is fighting to bring us back to honesty, decency and fairness must be reversed, and he must be punished.Nevermind that he has helped more folks get back to work (lowest unemployed many have ever seen).  “CNBC’s Cramer On Jobs Report: “These are the best numbers of our lives.” He is too dangerous to be allowed to continue.All the silliness that Nancy Pelosi and her liberal majority are accusing him of have been done before on a regular basis by his predecessors including her favorite, Obama.Of course, that was OK; he was a Democrat.Pelosi should be stopped. She should be told to get back to work and let the Congress be more productive. She is wasting our money on her personal vendetta.Wake up friends. Tell the world that we won’t allow this any longer.Don KnuthBallston SpaTalk is cheap. Take  action to get changeOn Dec. 17, Schenectady expected to get up to six inches of snow.The following day,  people were no doubt complaining all over the city about the lack of proper snow removal.However, except for approximately six of those people, not one has the right to complain. Why, you might ask? Because on Dec. 9, that is how many people exercised their right to speak at the City Council meeting. Full disclosure, as I was battling the flu, I was unable to attend myself. But thanks to Councilman Vincent Riggi for making sure my comments were put on the record. I host a YouTube show and my sign-off is always the same “Don’t just comment, act.”The people of Schenectady sadly do not.We have horrendous participation both at meetings and the ballot box. If you want change, then you must demand it of your leaders.Time to put up or shut up. Don’t just comment. Act.Edward SmithSchenectadylast_img read more

Ranked teams meet as No. 16 Michigan State hosts No. 22 Penn State

first_img Associated Press BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman has averaged 13.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and two blocks while Cassius Winston has put up 17.4 points and 5.5 assists. For the Nittany Lions, Lamar Stevens has averaged 16.5 points and seven rebounds while Myreon Jones has put up 13.8 points.FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Winston has accounted for 44 percent of all Michigan State field goals over the last three games. Winston has 22 field goals and 12 assists in those games.WINLESS WHEN: Michigan State is 0-5 this year when it scores 66 points or fewer and 16-1 when it scores at least 67.STREAK SCORING: Michigan State has won its last eight home games, scoring an average of 82 points while giving up 57.9.STOUT STATE: Michigan State has held opposing teams to 37.4 percent shooting from the field this year, the lowest percentage among all Division I teams. Ranked teams meet as No. 16 Michigan State hosts No. 22 Penn State February 3, 2020center_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNo. 22 Penn State (16-5, 6-4) vs. No. 16 Michigan State (16-6, 8-3)Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan; Tuesday, 8 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Two ranked teams meet as No. 22 Penn State visits No. 16 Michigan State in a Big Ten showdown. Penn State has three wins and one loss against ranked opponents this season, while Michigan State has won two of its three games against ranked teams. ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

GGG vs. Rolls: What TV channel is Gennadiy Golovkin’s fight on?

first_imgGennadiy Golovkin looks to bounce back against Steve Rolls on Saturday night after suffering his first-career defeat to Canelo Alvarez in September.Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) fell to Alvarez on Sept. 18, 2018, on a majority decision after 12 rounds at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. He’ll look to get win No. 39 this Saturday against the Canadian Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), who as a heavy betting underdog will look to channel Andy Ruiz Jr. and pull off an unthinkable upset. Current subscribers already have the fight included as part of the plan. Join DAZN to watch GGG-Rolls plus classic archived fights What time does GGG vs. Rolls start?The fight’s undercard will begin at 7 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card is expected to start about 9 p.m. ET. GGG and Rolls are expected to take their ring walks about 11 p.m. ET, though it depends on the length of the earlier fights.GGG vs. Rolls fight cardMatchupClassBeltGennadiy Golovkin vs. Steve RollsSuper Middleweight…Ali Akhmedov vs. Marcus McDanielSuper Middleweight…Brian Ceballo vs. Bakhtiyar EyubovWelterweight…Charles Conwell vs. Courtney PenningtonJr. Middleweight…Israil Madimov vs. Norberto GonzalezJr. Middleweight…Nikita Ababiy vs. Juan Francisco BarajasMiddleweight…Johnathan Arroyo vs. Jordan MoralesWelterweight… Rolls last fought in December where he beat KeAndrae Leatherwood by unanimous decision to pick up his 19th victory. While Golovkin is hungry for a win, which likely will set up a third match against Alvarez, Rolls isn’t a pushover and should give him a formidable fight.Join DAZN to watch GGG-Rolls and 100+ fight nights a yearThe fight between GGG and Rolls is not available on traditional pay-per-view via cable or satellite. Instead, fight fans will need to subscribe to DAZN and download the app in order to live stream the fight online.Below is all the information you’ll need to watch the fight between GGG and Rolls on June 8. GGG VS. ROLLS: Read the latest news & features at SN’s fight HQHow to watch GGG vs. Rolls onlineThe fight can be streamed by signing up for a subscription on DAZN, a global multi-sport streaming service that came to the United States in September. It is not available on pay-per-view. Golovkin signed a three-year, multimillion dollardeal with DAZN in March that will see him fight twice a year for the next three years.The DAZN app can be downloaded on a plethora of internet-connected devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Playstation 3. The fight can also be viewed on a computer desktop from Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari browsers via DAZN.com.How much does GGG vs. Rolls cost on DAZN?If you’re new to DAZN, you can sign up for a monthly subscription or annual pass to watch the fight. The annual pass — which includes access to all of DAZN’s live events, as well as highlights, replays, behind-the-scenes features, original shows and live reports — costs $99.99, which averages out to a little over $8 a month. For those who want a monthly plan instead of the longer-term value, fight fans can sign up for a monthly option for $19.99.last_img read more