By Dialogo May 15, 2014 DIÁLOGO: The country’s geostrategic position is appealing to drug traffickers. Do you think that preventing drug trafficking in the Dominican territory is the main challenge for the Dominican Armed Forces? DIÁLOGO: Is there anything else you would like to add? MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: It is true that we are really not a part of Operation Martillo. However, you know that the importance of the Dominican Republic is determined by its geostrategic position. This forces us to increase our efforts in order to thwart illicit trafficking in our area. Understandably, this contributes to Operation Martillo and causes us to interact and exchange information with our sister nations; partner nations in the area. MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: Yes, certainly. Our main partner is the United States, and through the United States Southern Command, specifically JIATF-South (Joint Interagency Task Force-South), we are able to receive early warnings regarding people trying to enter our territory. DIÁLOGO: Although the Dominican Republic does not officially participate in Operation Martillo, what is its indirect contribution to this effort? MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: We are part of this project. We are one of the creators of this system, because we have signed the memorandum. As a matter of fact, the Dominican Republic was one of the first countries to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the CSII system. We support and are committed to the AIS (Automatic Identification System), which is now ending with great results. That is why we have a lot of faith in the CSII system and we are also willing to work on it. DIÁLOGO: … and the United States… On March 23 the Dominican Republic and Haiti agreed to strengthen their cooperation, in order to disrupt the Sinaloa Cartel and other transnational criminal organizations that operate in the Caribbean region, since drug traffickers continue to increase their activities in the region due to its strategic position on the map. Operation Martillo is one of the U.S. Government’s comprehensive actions to avoid the use of the Central American isthmus as an illicit route for drugs, weapons, and money trafficking –scourge that directly affects the Dominican Republic because of its key location on the map, even though it does not officially participate in the operation. To discuss this and other issues, Diálogo met with Major General Pedro A. Cáceres Chestaro, Dominican Deputy Minister of Defense for Military Affairs, during the ninth edition of the Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC), held in Guatemala City, in April 2014. MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: Yes. The first thing we need to understand is where we are located, and continue working based on that, as we have been doing, and increase our efforts to improve defense and national security. MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: You know that natural disasters are one of our threats. We lie atop faults that might provoke telluric movements, in addition to our very active hurricane season. That has forced us to focus on the different roles we play; based on this, we have trained and continue to train and work persistently to increase our efficiency levels against these. DIÁLOGO: There is a general tendency in the region for the military to have more participation in humanitarian assistance operations in case of a natural disaster and with regard to asymmetric threats, especially drug trafficking. What is the Dominican Republic’s stand on this issue? DIÁLOGO: So, you agree with military participation in untraditional roles? MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: Of course. It has been many years since the armed forces had to change their mentality and roles when other untraditional threats arose, but because we have to work in defense and security, this causes us to work and train to be prepared for anything that might arise, we have a very wide range of activities we focus on. DIÁLOGO: In relation to the acquisition of military equipment, are there any other tools that the Dominican Republic is considering, as in the case of the Brazilian Super Tucano aircraft in recent years? DIÁLOGO: Speaking of radars, what is the country’s position regarding the Cooperative Situational Information Integration (CSII) system for countering information exchange in illicit trafficking, which is currently under development by SOUTHCOM? MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: Thanks to the purchase of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, we saw that the number of aircraft attempting enter our country has decreased. In other words, we have been very successful with these aircraft. Also, we are integrating other technology for the defense of our territory, such as radars. Currently, we are in the bidding phase for a few command and control centers, as well as communications centers, in different areas of our Ministry of Defense. MAJOR GENERAL CÁCERES CHESTARO: We praise this conference (CENTSEC) because, as we mentioned, it gives us the opportunity to know, study, and see the full scope of all the challenges and common threats we have in the region. This will undoubtedly increase security levels. And this will allow our citizens to live without fear. We welcome everything that might contribute to national peace, as has also been declared by our President, Danilo Medina, commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and the National Police of the Dominican Republic. Likewise, Admiral Pared Pérez has also been working for this purpose.
6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The average ROA for all credit unions remained stable at 0.77%. The average ROA for the $500M+ asset category size was slightly higher at 0.88%. Overall net income trend showed improvement over last year (YTD) at $5.14B thru Q2. Keep in mind, 2016 was a record year for net income in the credit union industry, so, hopefully, that trend will continue the rest of the year. continue reading » Analyzing data is a critical component for planning for the future. CUData.com has recently released their Credit Union Industry Statistics and Performance Trends Report for Q2 2017. I’d like to share some highlights of the report with you and your financial institution. There’s a lot of positives in the data below. Although the number of credit unions fell slightly, credit unions with $500M+ in assets grew slightly. Direct and indirect auto lending continues to be a bright spot and looks to be the greatest opportunity for growth for credit unions. We are also happy to see credit union membership continues to be on an upward trend.The overall number of credit unions (5,815) continues to shrink, although, the asset category size of $500M+ showed some slight growth in Q2.