Peru’s first autonomous indigenous gov’t strikes back against deforestation

first_imgMarcio Pimenta is a freelance photographer and journalist based in southern Brazil. This story was supported by the Rainforest Journalist Fund, in association with the Pulitzer Center, and was first published in Portuguese by National Geographic Brasil on Feb. 27, 2019. Banner image: John Milton, farmer and hunter of the Wampi ethnic group. Amazonas, Peru. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. The Wampis is an indigenous group comprised of thousands of members whose ancestors have lived in the Amazon rainforest of northern Peru for centuries.Mounting incursions by loggers, miners and oil prospectors, as well as governance changes that favored industrial exploitation, left the Wampis increasingly worried about the future of their home. Representatives said they realized that only by developing a strong, legal organizational structure would they have a voice to defend their people and the survival of their forest.After numerous meetings among their leaders, representatives of 27 Wampis communities, with a combined population of 15,000 people, came together in 2015. They invoked international recognition of the rights of indigenous people and on Nov. 29 declared the creation of an autonomous territorial government called the Wampis Nation to defend its territory and resources from the growing pressures of extractive industries.Wampis Nation territory covers an area of rainforest one-third the size of the Netherlands along northern Peru’s border with Ecuador. Leaders say their newfound autonomy and authority has allowed them to directly expel illegal deforestation activities from their land. PUERTO GALILEA, Peru — In 2009, special decrees signed by then-president Alan García opened up vast swaths of Peruvian indigenous territory to resource exploitation. Indigenous groups in the northern portion of the country responded by banding together and forming their own autonomous government in 2015 – the first of its kind in Peru – called the Wampis Nation. With its newfound authority, the Wampis Nation has been able to respond to and eject illegal deforestation in its territory, and is continuing to organize and strengthen its voice about land use issues in Peru and abroad.When, Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana set off in search of spices and the mythological golden empire El Dorado in 1541, he could not have known that his voyage would take him to the curves of the largest river in the world. Among the dangers faced by expedition members was a confrontation with the Icamiabas, a legendary female-led warrior tribe that dominated the river at the time. Orellana compared the Icamiabas to the Amazons of Greek mythology, and gave the river the name most know it by today.In the intervening centuries, innumerable explorers and industries have plied its waters and forests in the pursuit of knowledge, adventure, and profit. The Wampis know a lot about these visitors. This indigenous group has lived in the Amazon rainforest for centuries, dispersed through more than 13,000 square kilometers (around 5,000 square miles) in the northern Peruvian departments of Amazonas and Loreto. But members say they’re tired of watching invaders cutting down their forests and polluting their water with mercury used to extract gold from the earth.Illegal logging is visible right off the road outside Wampis territory. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Gold traded clandestinely in Puerto Galilea. Miners often use mercury to separate gold from the surrounding soil. Mercury is also a neurotoxin, posing serious dangers to people exposed to it, and it often escapes into the environment when it’s used in mining. Research has shown high blood levels of mercury in members of some communities living downstream from gold mining operations. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.More recently, the oil industry has moved in. Conflict for land rights intensified in 2009 when then-president Alan Garcia signed decrees permitting foreign companies to access indigenous territories for oil extraction, mining, and logging. As a result, leases for oil and natural gas concessions covered more than 40 percent of the Peruvian Amazon in 2010 – up from 7 percent in 2003.The decrees were announced with the apparent objective of facilitating the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between Peru and the United States. However, critics say their implementation violated international human rights standards, such as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which requires indigenous consultation and participation in the use, management and conservation of their territories.In reaction to these decrees, 3,000 members of indigenous groups representing six different regions of the Peruvian Amazon gathered together and blocked a road near the town of Bagua that connects the department of Amazonas with those of Loreto, Cajamarca and San Martin. The protest, called “Devil’s Curve,” lasted 57 days until the government reacted. The subsequent conflict, which would become known as “El Baguazo,” left 33 dead (10 indigenous members and 23 police officers) and more than 200 injured, and led to widespread looting and destruction throughout the region. Recently, the Peruvian government erected a monument in Puerto Galilea to commemorate the massacre and honor indigenous people and other residents.Wampis representatives said they realized that only by developing a strong, legal organizational structure would they have a voice to defend their people and the future of their forest. After numerous meetings among their leaders, representatives of 27 Wampis communities with a combined population of 15,000 people came together in 2015. They invoked international recognition of the rights of indigenous people and on Nov. 29 declared the creation of an autonomous territorial government called the Wampis Nation – the first of its kind in Peru – to defend its territory and resources from the growing pressures of extractive industries. Their territory covers an area of rainforest one-third the size of the Netherlands along northern Peru’s border with Ecuador.The formation of the Wampis Nation means any and all economic activity in their territory requires their consent. But while it is autonomous, the Wampis Nation still considers itself part of Peru: “we are still Peruvians and so we want to remain,” said Shámpion Noningo, technical director of the Territorial Government of the Wampis Nation (GTANW). “We do not want independence, but to manage our territory, and we have the partnership of the government of Peru.”A Wampis child plays in the Ayambis community. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.A Wampis child. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Getting to the Wampis Nation is not easy. When the road ends, one must navigate by boat the remainder of the way. Elmer Tuesta is a driver and owner of one of the boats that makes the trip along the Marañón River from Santa Maria de Nieva to Puerto Galilea, the city that marks the edge of Wampis territory. He says he cannot depart until he has a minimum number of passengers. Tuesta calls out to people who circulate on the quay in an attempt to convince them to travel. It does not take long and the efforts of Tuesta are soon rewarded. His boat full, Tuesta steers it languidly through the haze that blankets the trees of the rainforest like a diaphanous white dress.The trip lasts three hours. Along the way, small boats transporting gold mining equipment are seen anchored offshore. Fearing a reaction from miners, Tuesta does not dare approach, but says that most mining in the territory is on a hiatus until the rainy season ends.A boat loaded with equipment for illegal gold mining waits in the Marañón River, Amazonas, Peru. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Among the passengers are many young Wampis who live in big cities. They wear shirts emblazoned with the names of Spanish clubs and the number of popular Peruvian footballer Paolo Guerrero.“It is the Urban Wampis,” Noningo says, without hiding his disappointment that the young people are abandoning traditions of old. “This is the most difficult part of the process of autonomy….the seduction of the accumulation of goods.”To confront this issue, the Wampis Nation teaches their native traditions in schools, as well as encourages young people to attend meetings of territorial government working groups and to work in agriculture. This is the case of John Milton, who after living in the city, fell in love and married a Wampis woman and decided to stay. He is still trying to find his space and switches his activities between farming and hunting, but confesses to missing his former urban life. Different is the case of Henery Cuja, who also decided to return after completing a nursing technician course and now provides healthcare in the Ayambis community. He is worried as the heat increases every year and with it the proliferation of mosquitoes that transmit dangerous diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, zika and chikungunya.This billboard is part of a government campaign to raise the awareness of the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses in the department of Amazonas. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Wampis children play. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Those working on the ground in the Peruvian Amazon say deforestation is only making things worse when it comes to threats like malaria, with research indicating logging can increase rates of malaria infection since it creates optimal mosquito breeding habitats: ponds at the edges of forests. According to Cuja, 76 of the 250 residents of the Ayambis community have been infected with malaria, several contracting Plasmodium falciparum – the deadliest malaria species.The Wampis Nation is working to reduce illegal deforestation in their territory. According to Noningo, they have directly expelled illegal miners from their territory. On other occasions, they notified national authorities, who ousted the invaders.An illegally operating gold mine stopped by Wampis intervention. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Addressing logging has been a little more difficult. Unlike other parts of the Amazon rainforest (notably in Brazil), there are no roads in the Wampis region. This makes it more difficult for loggers to clear large areas, but also for authorities to detect illegal deforestation. But Wampis Nation president Wrays Perez says that selective illegal logging is ongoing in the region, with timber smugglers targeting capirona trees (Calycophyllum spruceanum). Also known as bayabochi or mulateiro, the wood from these trees is valuable for use in construction.According to Perez, loggers access these trees from the river at night, with one person acting as a sentry. Once the tree is felled and trimmed, the loggers load it up on their boat in the morning and carry it down the river to sell it.An illegally felled capirona tree. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Illegally harvested timber awaiting pick-up by a boat that will transport it to market. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Since the founding of the Wampis Nation, the relationship between the Wampis and the Peruvian government has been relatively quiet. Lieutenant Colonel Herberts Cavero Medina, head of the Information Section of the 6th Jungle Brigade, attributes this tranquility to the excellent relationship between the Wampis Nation and the Armed Forces of Peru, which has a strong presence in the territory due its location along the border with Ecuador. After a 1995 conflict between Peru and Ecuador known as Cenepa’s War, the army has worked to locate and remove active landmines from many areas in indigenous territory.Medina says that young Wampis serve in several battalions in the region and indirectly receive information on illegal logging and mining operations. The army then informs the country’s authorities to remove the invaders – if the Wampis have not already done so.A soldier in the Peruvian army in camouflage and prepared to watch over the country’s borders. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.The colors of the flag of Peru painted on the face of a Peruvian army soldier. Some soldiers are Wampis members. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Wampis members are allowed to hunt and cultivate up to 5 hectares anywhere they’d like in the territory. And agriculture is profitable. For example, merchants say cocoa can be sold to outside buyers for 3.2 soles per kilo, with a hectare producing on average 1.5 tons per month. Noningo said they’re also considering ways to mine gold “manually, without machines, which is not to attack the forest and to value gold.”The Wampis’ biggest concern is the oil industry, according to Perez. He specifically calls out the Oleoducto Norperuano oil pipeline, part of which runs through Wampis territory. In total pipeline extends 1,106 kilometers from the Amazon rainforest to the Pacific Ocean to supply the Peru’s refineries. The pipeline has a long history of spills and leaks, with at least 23 occurring between 2001 and 2016. In 2016, the pipeline was shut down temporarily after it experienced three spills in five months.A section of the Oleoducto Norperuano pipeline, which runs 1,106 kilometers from the rainforest to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.Perez is also attentive to the outside world, especially to Brazil, the largest economy in South America. The recent election of far-right Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s new president is particularly worrisome to him, and he laments the new government’s move to lump the Ministry of Environment under the Ministry of Agriculture and open up indigenous territories to resource exploitation.“This will greatly affect the Amazon rainforest of Brazil and the rights of the people who live there for thousands of years and have always preserved the forest,” Perez said.Wray Perez, president of the Wampís indigenous community. Photo by Marcio Pimenta.In a world where actions to preserve forests and fight climate change find resistance in the old ideas of new governments, the Wampis are hoping their new identity as a free territory will help change the conversation. For now, though, their focus is on building their capacity and protecting their home.“The Spaniards did not conquer us directly, we were not slaves, we were absorbed when the states were formed, so we need a lot of time to finally organize ourselves with one voice,” Noningo said. Climate Change, Community-based Conservation, Diseases, Environment, Forests, Fossil Fuels, Governance, Government, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Reserves, Indigenous Rights, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Logging, Malaria, Mining, Oil Drilling, Primary Forests, Rainforests, Tropical Forests center_img Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Standard Bank on global ‘green 100’

first_img25 January 2013South Africa’s Standard Bank has been ranked 98th on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list, released during the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.Standard Bank came in as one of nine banks, and the only African company, on the list of the 100 top-performing stocks worldwide according to a range of sector-specific “sustainability” measures.The list is published annually by Canadian media and investment research company Corporate Knights, which commissions independent data collection for the project through direct engagement with the 350 companies that make the project’s shortlist, chosen from approximately 4 000 global mid- and large-cap stocks worldwide.Canada and the United States led the way in country representation, each with 10 companies on this year’s list, followed by Australia, Britain and France, each with nine. Overall, the Global 100 drew companies from 22 countries on six continents.Belgium-based materials technology and recycling company Umicore topped the list, followed by Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos, Norwegian energy firm Statoil, Finnish energy firm Neste Oil, and Danish pharmaceuticals and biotechnology company Novo Nordisk.Standard Bank’s head of sustainability management, Karin Ireton, told news publication Business Day that the group had made “significant investments in renewable energy, providing both debt financing and advisory services to project developers in South African renewable energy programmes.“Our carbon finance team has also made a great contribution to cleaner development in many emerging markets countries by innovating in the use of carbon credits, by working in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme and other agencies enabling practical, life-changing opportunities,” Ireton told Business Day.Corporate Knights CEO Toby Heaps said the Global 100 companies “are leading a resource productivity revolution, transforming waste into treasure and doing more with less. They are steering our civilization away from ecological overshoot and back to a place of balance with our planet.”Doug Morrow, vice-president of research at Corporate Knights, said the Global 100 was “one of the few equity indexes that we are aware of that has outperformed the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) – the Global 100’s benchmark – by over 900 bps over the last eight years.“It turns out that our methodology for stock selection in the Global 100 is a strong proxy for corporate operational efficiency, which has been an increasingly important driver of stock returns in recent years,” Morrow said.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Wray’s testimony could be preview for Mueller hearing

first_img(AP) – FBI Director Christopher Wray is set to appear before a Senate committee examining oversight of the bureau.Tuesday’s hearing could be something of a preview of the intense questioning special counsel Robert Mueller is likely to face when he appears before Congress the next day.Wray is testifying before the Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, has vowed to investigate the origins of the Russia probe.Republicans are likely to spend time questioning both Wray and Mueller about Peter Strzok. The former FBI agent helped lead the Trump investigation and exchanged anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 election with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page.As FBI director, Wray has largely sought to avoid public spats with Trump.last_img read more

Two dead, four seriously hurt in Cole County crash

first_imgTwo people from Jefferson City are dead, and four people are badly hurt, after a crash in Cole County.Highway Patrol troopers say Sydney Shrag’s car crossed the center line of Route B near Clover Hill Lane on the south side of Jefferson City at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. The car hit an SUV head-on.The 19-year-old Shrag, and 21-year-old passenger Damani Winters, are both dead. The other passenger in the car, 20-year-old Anthony Bertucci of Russellville, has serious injuries. All three people in the SUV have serious injuries too: 51-year-old Aaron Hauzer of Jefferson City, 46-year-old Twila Hauzer of Jefferson City, and 67-year-old Bobbie Wilfawn of Branson.last_img

Troy Rosario rejoins Gilas Pilipinas practice

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Other cadet pool members CJ Perez, Arvin Tolentino, Abu Tratter, and Kenneth Tuffin gave the seniors squad a hand in this session.The Philippines is preparing for the second window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers. Gilas plays Australia on February 22 at Margaret Court Arena before taking on Japan on February 25 at Mall of Asia Arena.The Nationals will fly to Melbourne on February 19.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Alejandro responds to the challenge in Go for Gold win ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Andray Blatche participated in his second session with the team and was joined by veterans Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, and Gabe Norwood.Also present were Japeth Aguilar, Allein Maliksi, Kevin Alas, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Calvin Abueva.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingMac Belo also attended but remained in the sidelines, nursing a leg injury.Kiefer Ravena was also present, but sat out due to flu-like symptoms. Cadet Robert Bolick was also inactive due to a minor knee injury.center_img Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTroy Rosario was a pleasant surprise on Tuesday as he rejoined Gilas Pilipinas in practice at Meralco Gym.Still recovering from his awkward spill in TNT’s game against Phoenix on Wednesday,  the versatile forward was up and about as coach Chot Reyes enjoyed a full attendance for the session.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid View commentslast_img read more

PREP WORK CONTINUES FOR SATURDAY IN THE PARK FESTIVAL

first_imgHOT WEATHER ISN’T SLOWING DOWN THE STAGE CONSTRUCTION FOR THIS WEEKEND’S ANNUAL SATURDAY IN THE PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL AT GRANDVIEW PARK.CONCERT PROMOTER DAVE BERNSTEIN SAYS ANOTHER GREAT DAY OF FREE MUSIC AND FUN IS PLANNED FOR THIS SATURDAY’S 28TH ANNUAL SHOW, HEADED BY FOUR-TIME GRAMMY-AWARD WINNERS JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT AND CO-HEADLINER BOZ SCAGGS.THERE’S ALSO DAVE MASON AND STEVE CROPPER’S ROCK AND SOUL REVIEW FEATURING TWO CLASSIC NAMES FROM ROCK HISTORY:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SATPREP2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………..ANY TIME. ;22THE “ABE STAGE” NEAR THE PARK ENTRANCE WILL ALSO HAVE A FULL LINEUP OF MUSIC WITH THE ALTERNATIVE HIP HOP GROUP ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT HEADLINING THERE.ONCE AGAIN THE HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO IS THE MAIN PRESENTING SPONSOR OF THE EVENT.BERNSTEIN SAYS A LOT OF LOCAL SPONSORS HAVE STEPPED UP TO MAKE THE SHOW HAPPEN FOR THE PAST TWO AND A HALF DECADES:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SATPREP1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………THEY’RE STILL IN. ;25FOOD TRUCKS AND A BEER GARDEN WILL BE SELLING CONCESSIONS AND NO COOLERS OR PETS ARE ALLOWED IN THE PARK.THERE’S ALSO ARTS ALLEY AND THE KCAU KIDS ZONE TOO.ATTENDEES ARE ASKED TO CARRY IN THEIR BELONGINGS IN CLEAR BAGS FOR SECURITY REASONS AND LAWN CHAIRS ARE WELCOME.THE FESTIVAL AS ALWAYS IS FREE TO THE PUBLIC AND BEGINS AT NOON, THIS SATURDAY AT GRANDVIEW PARK.THE EVENT CONCLUDES WITH A FIREWORKS SHOW BETWEEN 10:30 AND 11PM.last_img read more

Trial likely by years end for US man in Alberta models alleged

first_imgGREENVILLE, S.C. – A South Carolina man charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct after an Alberta woman was lured to the United States with the promise of a modelling job is expected to go to trial before the end of the year.A spokeswoman for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit court in Greenville, S.C., says Fred Russell Urey, 39, remains in custody after his arrest in May 2017.“I’ve been in touch with the solicitor who has the case and he says it will likely be going to trial, which means it’s going to be four to five months away,” Marcia Barker said Thursday.“They’re still doing testing on certain things, so the case is still being processed from our end.”Police have said the woman, described only as being between 18 and 25, flew to Atlanta for what she believed was a modelling job and had been talking with the accused for a couple of months.Investigators said he agreed to pay her $15,000 for her work which would not involve “nudity or acts of sexual behaviour.”Police allege she was held captive and sexually assaulted after he threatened her safety and the safety of her family in Canada. They said the ordeal lasted five days, but she was allowed to contact her family via FaceTime while her captor watched. Somehow she was able to signal her location and give clues that she was in danger.Her family contacted the RCMP who notified local authorities. They managed to track the couple by using cellphone signals.When officers surrounded the trailer in Norris, S.C., the woman is said to have jumped through a plate-glass window to escape. Police said they broke into the barricaded trailer where they found a suspect in a rear bedroom. They say he held deputies off by putting a knife to his own throat before finally surrendering.The woman’s name and her hometown have not been released.— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Liver Donations InFocus

first_imgAPTN InFocus with Francine ComptonAn 11 year old girl in need of a liver donor and the donation process is the focus of this week’s show.We meet Allexis Siebrecht and her family who have been desperately looking for a liver donor.Bianca Pengelly from The Canadian Liver Foundation explains what’s involved in becoming a donor.And Musician Logan Staats tells us about his new album.last_img