Mexico police take refuge from Ciudad Juárez drug gangs

first_img CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico – About 2,000 police are hunkering down in hotels in Mexico’s most violent city of Ciudad Juárez after a drug gang threatened to kill an officer per day if their chief refused to resign. Eight police officers have already been killed this year in the city across from El Paso, Texas. The mayor of Ciudad Juárez this week ordered police to use several local hotels as temporary barracks to protect themselves from attacks on the way home from work in the city at the heart of the drug violence in Mexico, which has claimed the lives of at least 50,000 I five years. Mayor Héctor Murguía said on Feb. 1 that police would stay in hotels for at least three months, with approximately US$1.5 million put aside to pay for it. Murguía stood by his police chief, Julián Leyzaola, a controversial former soldier who has been asked to resign by human rights groups for his alleged heavy-handed policing. “The chances that [Leyzaola] resigns or that they force him to resign are zero percent,” the mayor told journalists. At the entrance to the Rio motel, on Las Torres Avenue, several patrols stand guard to protect access to the improvised barracks, as others monitor vehicles pass by. Last week, several banners signed by the “New Cartel of Juárez” appeared around the city of 1.3 million, to announce the killing of a police officer each day as long as Leyzaola stayed in charge of the local police. Some of the messages also accused the police chief of protecting another group, “New Generation,” allied to powerful Sinaloa drug cartel of fugitive Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. According to the mayor, the threats only showed how concerned the drug gangs were in the face of Leyzaola. Murders fell to fewer than 2,000 in the city last year – when Leyzaola took control – from 3,100 in 2010. Key leaders of city gangs like “the Aztecas” also were apprehended. Leyzaola already provoked controversy when he led police in another border city, Tijuana in northwest Mexico. Authorities lauded him for reducing crime there but organizations such as Amnesty International sought to put him on trial for the alleged torture of prisoners, backed by witness accounts from at least 25 police. [AFP (Mexico), 01/02/2012; Eluniversal.com.mx (Mexico), 01/02/2012] By Dialogo February 02, 2012last_img read more

Dutch insurer Vivat to focus solely on pensions

first_imgIn the fast-growing premium pension institution (PPI) market, an individual defined contribution vehicle for company pensions, Zwitserleven is in fifth place in terms of premium income, and in sixth in terms of assets under management currently.New clients shun DBVivat also announced it is introducing pension fund buyouts as a third “focus area”, in addition to its traditional focus on providing pension products for the accumulation and decumulation phases.In practice, this would take the form of a closed pension fund handing over its pension liabilities to Vivat, a spokesperson said.In recent years, Vivat has seen most of its growth in its PPI products. Assets under management have doubled each year since it was launched in 2013. The PPI platform currently has €581m in assets under management, while the total PPI market amounts to €12.1bn (end of 2019).Though the future of defined benefit (DB) arrangements is in doubt because of the low interest rate environment, Zwitserleven said some clients continue to prefer this option.“Some companies want to keep their DB arrangement and extend their contracts. We hardly see any new DB clients though,” the spokesperson said.Customer satisfactionThough Vivat announced it will cut costs by 30% within three years, it also vowed to “invest in our people, products and IT infrastructure to improve the customer experience”.In this regard, the company specifically aims to improve its ‘net promoter score’, a Vivat spokesperson told IPE. This is a metric to measure customer loyalty and the likelihood of customers recommending a company’s product.Life insurance companies like Vivat tend to score low on this, the spokesperson said. “Vivat’s score was -20 in 2019 and we are striving to reach a positive score over the next few years which should translate in higher growth.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Dutch insurance company Vivat “will focus on becoming the number one pension provider in the Netherlands”, according to its newly revealed strategy. The company is planning to grow its business under its pension brand Zwitserleven.Vivat, which was recently acquired by Bermuda-headquartered insurance firm Athora from the Chinese Anbang Group after having sold its non-life activities to NN Group, wants to become the biggest private pension provider in the Netherlands in terms of premium income.It did not, however, say when it expects to realise this ambition.Vivat’s pension brand Zwitserleven occupies second place in the Dutch pension insurance market behind Aegon.last_img read more

I’ve been underutilized with the Black Stars – Duncan

first_imgGhana international midfielder, Alfred Duncan, believes he has been underused so far in his time with the Black Stars.Duncan, made his debut for Ghana under Kwesi Appiah in 2012, and has gone on to make 9 appearances for the senior national team.However, his involvement with the team has seen him being deployed in a number of different roles, and sometimes, out of position, something he’s not too happy with.”It’s something people have noticed from a distance. When you watch me in my club and see the kind of contribution I make, you’d notice there’s a difference,” he told Citi TV in an exclusive interview.”I’ve  been made to understand that I must be able to adapt to any role required in order to help the team.“But sometimes it’s very frustrating when you’re asked to play a role you’re not used to. You don’t get to enjoy the game in the way you want.”I’m a player who loves to get a lot of touches on the ball, so it becomes problematic when I’m deployed in a role that doesn’t allow me to do that,” he added.Duncan was part of the Black Satellites team that represented Ghana at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2013.last_img read more