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Exclusive: Rightmove lures back departed agents with discounts and rolling contracts

first_imgHome » News » Marketing » Exclusive: Rightmove lures back departed agents with discounts and rolling contracts previous nextMarketingExclusive: Rightmove lures back departed agents with discounts and rolling contractsMany but not all of the agents who left during the height of the ‘Say No To Rightmove’ campaign have now taken the ‘sweetener’ deals on offer to return.Nigel Lewis14th April 202101,578 Views Rightmove is offering agents who left the portal during last year’s ‘Say No To Rightmove’ (SNTRM) campaign a £1,250 plus VAT a month deal to return, although this varies slightly from agent to agent.The Neg has been shown paperwork and emails confirming that half a dozen of the agencies that walked away last year are being enticed back with a 15-20% discount on the portal’s new joiners fee for a basic package, which for some is less than they were paying before leaving.Some are also being offered free additional features as a sweetener to persuade them to return, and rolling contracts after an initial six-month fixed term.One of the agents, Dreamview Estates in North London, says it was told that the new joiners rate would normally be £1,550 +VAT but that, to persuade it to return, it would pay £1,390 plus VAT if it committed to a minimum six-month contract.“I checked back to see what I was paying before I left and its was £1,230, so they are offering my old rate back to me more or less instead of paying full whack,” says Dreamview Estates founder Murray Lee, who was one of the SNTRM organisers (pictured).“We weren’t able to topple Rightmove in the end but we did make the portal recognise that it needed to take action on its fees and, at least for those who walked away last year, that has been the case.”Other agents offered the same or a very similar deal include Eli Grossnass of Eli G Estates which like Dreamview has decided to reject the offer and stay off Rightmove for the time being.Lee adds: “We have proved that Rightmove can be made to sit up and take some notice of the smaller, independent agents. Dreamview may return at some point in the future but it very much depends on the rate.But with a rolling contract, what have I got to lose?”Another independent London agency, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had also been offered the same £1,250 plus VAT after leaving Rightmove several months ago.“We had a prepared statement to give to customers if they asked why we weren’t on Rightmove, but really it was my staff who lobbied for our agency to return to the portal,” its MD says.“So we’ve gone back but only on a basic package with a couple of free features which, along with the discount, means I’m saving £400 or so a month on my originally subscription. I know at least one other agency friend of mine who has got the same deal – £1250 per month for six months, then a rolling contract.”Eli G Estates #SayNoToRightmove movement Murray Lee of Dreamview Estates Rightmove April 14, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Love’s Labours Not Lost

first_imgLost in Translationis a film at once sardonically funny and deeply melancholic. It is a series of moments frozen in time that suggest a pastiche lovingly put together by director Sofia Coppola (daughter of Francis Ford of The Godfather fame).Central to the film is the relationship between Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johannsen), two disillusioned souls who meet in a Tokyo hotel bar and ease their mutual insomnia by traversing night-time Japan together. He is a jaded actor, past his prime and shooting an absurd commercial for Suntori Whiskey, for which he despises himself. She is accompanying her semi-famous photographer husband and struggling with a growing sense of loneliness as his work begins to take precedence over her.Both leads are brilliantly acted. Murray gives a subdued and deeply-nuanced performance that is all the funnier for its not being forced. He portrays a man tired of pretence who is almost resigned to unhappiness. Johansson’s performance, though less notablyacclaimed, is wonderfully mature and lends her character a luminous wistfulness that underlines Charlotte’s inner fragility. There is a quiet assurance in the way this film goes about its work that is refreshingly subtle. The relationship between Bob and Charlotte is never forced, and one senses the growing bond between them as companionship alone prevents confusion and loneliness. There is much patience and beauty in the way the plot is allowed todevelop, through the use of sparse dialogue and shared glances. It is a film made up of snapshots: looks exchanged across the bar; Bob’s helplessly heartfelt (and off-key) crooning to Charlotte at a karaoke lounge; the final moment where he runs through a crowd and whispers something in her ear to which we are not privy.The film offers no quick fix romantic solution and never shies away from the problems of its characters. At one point Charlotte asks Bill if it all “gets any easier” and he answers with brutal honesty: no. They emerge at the end of it all with no real answers, but are happier nonethless.Despite its lugubrious undertones the film is very funny. It istrue that much of the humour plays on cultural differences but this is done without ever becoming too crude or crass.Lost in Translation is a film full of intrinsic humanity; it is sad, funny and moving, often simultaneously so. It is quietly confident, classy and brave, traits that it certainly shares with its director. Not one to miss.Archive: 0th week HT 2004last_img read more

Greece is the Word for Trinity Term

first_imgThis week, The Oxford Playhouse plays host to an epic tale of war, the fall of a great city and the power of the female spirit in an innovative production of Euripides’ Trojan Women, produced by Kieran White and translated and directed by Avery T Willis. It is a phenomenal production, incorporating influences from many different cultures to create a unique sensory experience. From Poseidon’s (Adam Perchard) first entry on stilts, this is an excellently choreographed and staged production. The interplay between the characters is good and the script is interspersed with music and dance in a way that supports and enhances Willis’ translation. The costumes and the music form a convincing background to the dance moves. In general, the visual and acoustic elements convey much of the meaning and effect of the play. Liz Brook’s Hecuba is a fantastic evocation of a woman who has lost everything. She vacillates between despair and venom, her face and voice conveying many different emotions, in an impressive performance which transfixes the audience. Chip Horne as Talthybios successfully manages to portray the dilemma of a man who is ill at ease with his role and the news he has to bear. The scene in which Andromache loses her son is heartrendingly poignant and thoroughly gripping. Elisabeth Gray’s performance as Andromache is convincing and emotive and Kate Sagovsky as Cassandra gives an impressive performance of a woman gone mad. She has immersed herself (as have all the actors) completely in her role. Her tribal-inspired dance into a state of frenzy, complete with flamboyant costume and a soundtrack of drumming is one of the most memorable visual moments of the play. Trojan Woman is without question a play not to be missed – it is a thought-provoking, intelligent and well-oiled production which appeals to the senses. Moreover, it is characterised by both brilliant individual performances and a cohesive chorus. Several moments send shivers down the spine, and the dance and music subject the audience to the whole spectrum of emotions. Get down to the Oxford Playhouse.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img read more

ANN ENNIS OVERVIEW OF GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES

first_imgWhen we open a water tap, local county government is involved. When an uninsured motorist hits our car, local government is involved. Whether it is sanitary practices of restaurants, a rickety bridge, rehabilitating first time drug offenders or getting married, our county governments are the underpinning that holds our communities together, keep order and assure safety.The General Assembly directed budgeting when mixed into county and education affairs mucks it up. Big federal and state government need to stay out of local taxpayer and local government’s pocketbooks, out of schools and away from unfunded mandates.County councils, county commissioners, town councils, and school boards are hometown heroes. With much of county and local tax money being sucked up to Indianapolis it is on a detour before coming back home. County officials then have to work long and hard to find ways to keep our communities functioning.They do not need or want the glitz and glamor of Indianapolis. They don’t get entertained by lobbyists. The county voter knows where elected county leaders live, go to church, eat and shop. As a result, elected county leaders hear the complaints and concerns of everyday people. The party caucus does not come calling on the county councilman. The state-wide party campaign committee does not fund the councilwoman’s election. But these two catch the heat of the voter.In District 64 at least, the five counties’ officials catch the heat that comes from actions by our remote, un-known, disconnected General Assembly. The officials tell me they are not called for advice from representatives before those reps. head up-state to vote every winter. A representative should seek input from the community served.My experience has been that attending a county council meeting is good for a voter and taxpayer’s morale. Being a county council person is not necessarily good for the council persons’ morale! They work hard to navigate stripped down budgets after Indianapolis has taken its share and state mandates.But what you see in town and county councils are hardworking people holding their communities in good social order, while trying to also improve services, function and quality of life. You see nickel and dimes matter – and even more so when the dollars are in Indianapolis.That is what you see in the City Halls. Now, what we must begin to see in the General Assembly are state representatives who are more familiar with their districts’ elected leaders than they are with their respective caucus or lobbyist of the moment. I pledge to provide that type of representation.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

GBIngredient’s feast of yeast

first_imgGb Ingredients (Felixstowe, Suffolk) says it offers a range of yeast products, including NG&SF block yeast for dough mixed on a spiral or high-speed mixer, supplied in either 1kg or 800g blocks in a 12kg outer.Its range of yeasts also includes traditional fresh block yeast for craft bakers or in-store bakeries, which is available in 800g blocks, 15 x 800g per outer. For bakers who prefer dried yeast, Gb Ingredients offers Fermipan Red and Brown instant dried yeast. These are highly active yeasts with high fermentation power, says the company.last_img read more

Lowering health care costs may mean shifting where care is delivered

first_imgHow much a medical procedure costs depends on where it is performed. Giving birth at a teaching hospital, for instance, costs about $2,000 more than doing so at a community hospital. Cataract surgery at a clinic affiliated with a hospital could cost double than what it would cost at independent surgery center.These are just some of the examples cited in a June 11, 2018 New York Times article examining variations in health care costs and the benefits and drawbacks of efforts aimed at shifting some procedures from expensive settings, such as teaching hospitals, to cheaper ones, including outpatient clinics and patients’ homes.The article mentions a recent study published in Health Affairs that looked at 11.8 million hospitalizations and found that patients who seek care at academic medical centers are less likely to die compared with patients who are treated at nonteaching hospitals. The study included several authors from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, including Laura Burke, an instructor of health policy and management, and Ashish Jha, senior associate dean for research translation and global strategy and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.While the study found that mortality rates were lower among all patients treated in teaching hospitals, the greatest difference was seen in relatively healthy patients. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Team discovers Roman forum

first_imgAfter six grave sites, 133 coins and over 10,000 fragments of animal bone, archaeologists with assistant professor of classics David Hernandez’s excavation team hit pay dirt, or rather, pay pavement, in the form of an ancient Roman forum.  This summer, Hernandez and a team of Notre Dame undergraduates embarked on a six-week excavation trip to Butrint, Albania, where they made the discovery.  Hernandez shared his thoughts on the trip during a lecture Wednesday night. Since the 1920s archaeologists have probed the site, producing evidence of a Greek sanctuary of Asclepius, a medieval house, a Venetian castle and now, a Roman forum, he said. The forum was a rectangular plaza surrounded by government buildings in ancient Rome, and its discovery holds key insight into the urban history of the area of Butrint, Hernandez said.    Before the most recent excavation began, a small corner of the forum had already been discovered, and the goal was to find just how far it expanded eastward. The discovery of the intact pavement slabs was a critical moment, he said.   “The pavement slabs themselves, just flush and intact, it’s easy to take it for granted in retrospect, but really, we had no idea if these pavement slabs were going to be preserved this far away from where we had found them before,” Hernandez said. “The entire pavement was preserved, and I knew at this moment, that this is one of the best preserved Roman forums in the provinces of the Roman Empire. There just aren’t forums like this that are preserved in this way.” On the last day of the excavation, the team made a rare find. “Right at the very end of the excavation, we found the head of a goddess figurine, which was a votive offering that dates to the fourth century B.C.,” Hernandez said.  “It was really a beautiful find, in the 11th hour, and it was one of these electrifying moments.”   Butrint, recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 1992, is located in an area of Albania where ancient maritime trade was prominent. The region’s well-preserved layers of archaeological artifacts dating back to the 7th century B.C. were slowly unearthed during the excavation.last_img read more

Nicholas Afoa Will Lead West End Production of The Lion King

first_imgNicholas Afoa Hakuna matata! Native New Zealander Nicholas Afoa, a vet of The Lion King in Australia, is to take on the role of Simba in the West End production in May. The hit tuner is playing at the Lyceum Theatre.Other new members of the cast joining next month include: Etian Almeida, Jonathan Andre, Janique Charles, Zinhle Dube, Sandile Gontsana, Kwesi Jeffers, Stephanie Lo, Sadia McEwen, Khaya Maseko, Daniel Monteiro, Nosipho Nkonqa, Dominique Planter, Antoine Murray-Straughan, Kayode Salina and Ricardo Walker.Based on the popular Disney film, The Lion King opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997, and won six 1998 Tony Awards in 1998, including Best Musical. The show has spawned 19 productions worldwide and has been translated into seven different languages. It has been running for 17 years in London. View Commentslast_img read more

Massif Fun | Skiing the Roans

first_imgThe high-elevation Roan Mountain balds are a winter wonderland for cross-country skiing and mountaineeringThe first time I drove up to Carver’s Gap in the winter in search of skiable snow, I should’ve known that “Nordic Nirvana,” as I later called it, was hidden just behind the two feet of spring snow being chewed up by rowdy four-wheelers on the road up Roan Mountain. A crowd of crazies from back in the hollers seemed to rule the roost. I slid back into my 1977 Subaru and drove back to Boone.That was 1978, back when telemarks were finessed in twisty 75 mm “boots” that were more like bedroom slippers. I didn’t see any evidence of backpackers or skiers at the Gap. In the 5,700 foot notch on the Appalachian Trail between the towns of Bakersville and Roan Mountain, winter seemed to be a secret backcountry season. One of the snowiest, most pristine spots in the South, now widely known as a premier portion of the Appalachian Trail, was a recreation area aimed at seeing how deep you could stick your Jeep and whether your winch could get you out.The winter rewards of skiing and mountaineering on the Roan Massif are better known now, but you still have to look beyond the forest to see the secret runs and routes that hide in the trees. From Roan Mountain at Carver’s Gap to Elk Park, the 13-mile, massive, meadow-covered ridge from Round Bald to Hump Mountain is formidable. But one thing’s for sure: a lot more people are trying.Bald BeautyLast winter, I spent weeks on end with snowshoes and skis—and the Roan Mountain balds area was a frequent destination. Almost any time I went, I saw other skiers and snowshoers, with good gear and serious destinations set in their sites. The scene reminded me more of what you see in Colorado than the norm in North Carolina.One day last February at Carver’s Gap, I tried to do it all—tackle the short list of options that always start for me just beyond the gate on the road up Roan. For twenty-plus years now, the Forest Service has tried to keep the summertime road to the rhododendron gardens gated during the winter, as much to keep four wheelers from freezing to death as to protect the road’s eight feet of skiable snow for people like me (ten inches is all you need). I took a right just above the gate, joined the wide, former horse and buggy road of the A.T., and skied up the switchbacks in a winter wonderland. Maine? New Hampshire? It could have been either.Luckily last winter’s snow sparked an informal network among serious skiers. I ended up on a Wikispaces telemark skiing site hooking up with other skiers, in part to keep the trail open. While Grandfather Mountain and some other trail systems were closed all winter with heavy ice damage, skiers with folding saws invariably kept Roan’s trails open.At the height of land just under the Roan High Knob Shelter, I almost turned around to ski back down the A.T.—one of the South’s classic, truly rousing tele runs. Skis were sticking out of the snow by the shelter side trail—it’s a steep short walk to the cabin, recently refurbished and a nice winter option for a rest or overnight.I decided to continue on the A.T., down the shorter but no less twisty, exciting section to a higher junction with the summit road. Waves of snow smothered the trail. I sailed on and off the crests, doing jump telesfrom one side of the drift to the other and blasting through clouds of powder.When I slid out onto the road, skiers were above and below me. Some snowshoeing backpackers were heading higher (flats all across the crest make great campsites). The evergreen-sheltered loop of the Rhododendron Gardens National Recreation Trail, with awesome views of the Black Mountains from an observation deck, was only another 15 minutes away. So was the start of the Cloudland Trail, one of the best Nordic trails in North Carolina. It undulates and snakes all across the crest of the ridge, ending at the observation deck on Roan High Bluff. It too is a great tele run on the way down.I grabbed the meadow view across the road, then turned and flew down, gliding fast through powdery tracks with just an occasional double-pole. On flatter sections, a single stride netted awesome glide.Back at the gap, I wanted to at least head up the A.T. to the north for the view from Round Bald. A lot of people were going that way, many not even trying to stay on the nicely switchbacking A.T., choosing instead to snowshoe over the massive drifts all across the bald. I strapped skis to pack and snowshoed straight up, stopping to take pictures and video. One guy repeatedly packed his downhill boards to the top and skied back down to the gap, jumping off big drifts.A group of backcountry snowboarders were atop the bald. When I got there, their tracks went straight down into nearby woods. I switched to the tele skis and had a truly spectacular run back to the road. With sewing machine legs, I racked it all on my car and couldn’t believe the winter carnival atmosphere of smiles, laughter, a cold day, bright sun, and great snow.It was like a time warp. If you weren’t there “back in the day,” or at least, back in mine, you won’t remember that Carver’s Gap has seen that movie before.Nordic NirvanaA tad more than thirty years ago, a crude advertisement appeared in The Mountain Times announcing a cross-country ski business that became an unusual footnote in the ski history of the United States. The ad read “Footslogger’s announces High South Nordic Guide Service.” The “largest staff of Professional Ski Instructor of America cross-country teachers in the South” were ready to take you on “day, overnight and custom ski tours” to the “snowiest summits in the South.” An evening program in early December 1980  promised a slide show, snacks, and excitement.Three snowy, late 1970s winters sparked exploding interest in cross-country. High South Nordic Guides led trips from Footsloggers then hit upon an idea—Why not start a cross-country ski center just below snowy Roan Mountain? Tennessee’s Roan Mountain State Park was the perfect place, and after an unheard of—at least in the South—effort to convince a state to go into the cross-country ski business, Tennessee bought into the project. Then the state put the entire operation out for bid, to the shock of the fledgling entrepreneurs who’d devised the idea. After an eye-opening education in state politics—a local Tennessee legislator almost steered the business to a Tennessee outfitter—High South won the park’s “cross-country ski concession.”“Boy, did that teach us a lesson,” says Steve Owen, one of the founders of High South Nordic Guides. The other principal was Jerome Barrett of Jonas Ridge, one of the North Carolina Outward Bound School’s key climbing instructors.The state park took on a festive feel that first winter. With ample snowfall, the rental cabins and restaurant were bustling and the summertime campground became a cross-country ski shop. The atmosphere electrified the Nordic ski crowd. Newspaper reporters took lessons at the state park, then drove up to the winter wonderland of Roan Mountain for memorable first encounters with cross-country skiing. This was a new wrinkle to skiing in the South, and publicity was widespread. Tennessee governor Lamar Alexander and his wife Honey went skiing with High South on Roan Mountain and the photos appeared in dozens of newspapers. On one of those visits, the guides mentioned to Alexander that, “occasionally the road up to Roan Mountain, where the most snow falls, doesn’t get plowed very promptly.” The governor thought for a second and said, “Well, I think I might have some influence there.”Hart Hodges, grandson of North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges, was one of High South’s ski instructors. James Randolph taught too, son of Alabaman Ted Randolph, who had been involved in the development of Sugar Mountain.It wasn’t just “outlanders” on the Nordic scene. Pineola local Troy Clark won the first and last Mount Mitchell Cross-Country Ski Race by defeating 75 competitors over the 8-mile course.During the heyday of the center, the Guides pioneered a rarity in the South—a relationship with the Forest Service that made them partners of sorts in managing the top of the mountain for recreational use. It was the Guides’ focus on skiing that encouraged the Forest Service to install the gate at Carver’s Gap.  The focus on recreation helped diminish problems of illegal hunting and other activities on the mountain. The result—the snowy road to Roan became the Deep South’s premier place to cross-country ski.The Guides published a skiers’ map, maintained trails, and placed trail-rating signs (some still exist). They aided and informed skiers, and helped the unprepared escape severe weather.Then Alexander left office, and the Guides lost a key proponent of their vision for the park. The state frowned on snowmaking—and the Guides shut down their operation. A decade-long bubble of cross-country enthusiasm had burst.As I looked around Carver’s Gap at the happy faces, I remembered once asking Owen if High South had been a waste of time. “Not at all,” he said. “Had we gotten the concession for the ski center and restaurant, gotten snowmaking, had summer programming, Roan Mountain state resort state park could have been an enduring business opportunity for people like us.”“Our goals weren’t only economic,” he says. “We had a passion for our sport and how it and the winter woods affect people. When I think back, the image that comes to my mind is a snowy day at the state park, a full parking lot, and hundreds of people enjoying a sport that most would never believe was even possible in the South.”Epic OptionsThirty years later, Carver’s Gap still has the same energy, but with a new group of people in higher tech clothing.If Carver’s Gap is the Roan region hot spot of winter backcountry, there are fewer people and exponentially more options elsewhere on the ridge. Using US 19-E, north of Spruce Pine and west of Newland, Roaring Creek Road runs high up under Yellow Mountain Gap, famous as the route of the Overmountain Men on their way to defeat loyalists in the Battle of King’s Mountain (they walked through the gap in September snow).From the small parking area, it’s an easy ski to the left on a Forest Service access road to the A.T. and the huge Overmountain Shelter, a cavernous barn that’s a killer base for winter camping. Step past another gate at the lot and a side trail reaches Bright’s Trace, the actual colonial road that’s also a great route to the Gap. The A.T. soars up the meadows from there, to Little Hump and beyond on the ridge, and a web of fire roads brings you back down to your car.The most direct route to Hump on the A.T. is another option out of Elk Park. The Apple House Shelter is not far from the road if a quick bivy is needed. Doll Flats, an outstanding campsite half-way to the summit, makes a nice base camp if you want to snowshoe the remaining few miles to the balds and ski from there. Last winter, the hundreds of acres of alpine-like balds across the crest of Hump saw their best skiing in years.Last winter was truly an epic year for snow, and though hope springs eternal for another year like last, keep in mind, High South Nordic Guides discovered a key truth about the Roan area, lo those many years ago. When Ray’s Weather promises “significantly greater accumulations at higher elevations”—that’s the time to realize that every winter offers great skiing and mountaineering on these heights. You just have to go when the going’s good. And go where the going nets quick access.There are many ways to reach the balds, side roads here and there, routes past isolated homes where a curtain slides aside and a face casts a close look at cars that spin their way through the snow in the winter.If you look beyond the forest, secret runs and routes still hide in the trees.Randy Johnson and his buddies spend a winter weekend every year clearing the ski trails on Roan Mountain. He’s the author of Hiking North Carolina and Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway. randyjohnsonbooks.comlast_img read more

Colombian Army Destroys Cocaine Mega Lab in Nariño

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán/Diálogo October 11, 2018 Troops of the Colombian Army’s 23rd Brigade, the Special Counternarcotics Brigade, and the Colombian Police Counternarcotics Directorate located and destroyed a mega lab equipped to process cocaine hydrochloride in a joint operation, August 24, 2018. The drug lab was the largest authorities found so far in Cumbitara municipality, Nariño department, in Colombia’s southwest. “Cumbitara, with the municipalities of Leyva, Rosario, and Policarpa, is the third most productive coca area of Nariño department,” Colombian Army Colonel Oscar Moreno, commander of the 23rd Brigade, told Diálogo. “The area, under the influence of Front 29 and paramilitary and self-defense groups, has been at the center of a turf war as the main narcotrafficking corridor in the region.” The lab belonged to Front 29, a remnant armed group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish). According to the Army, the complex was divided into 13 rustic and interconnected structures able to produce 5 tons of cocaine hydrochloride a month, valued at $135 million in the illegal international market. Millions seized Authorities found five distillers to refine coca paste, two electric generators, five storage tanks and logos to brand each kilogram of cocaine to identify its owner. Law enforcement also seized vacuum sealers, 34 microwave ovens, two hydraulic presses, four improvised toilets, two industrial heaters, 14 test tubes, 18 acidimeters, two compressors, 10 gas cylinders, 65 plastic tanks, and 3,500 rolls of packing tape, among other equipment and supplies, the Army stated. Authorities conducted the operation as an air assault, with helicopters allowing for quick seizures, yet with the loud sound of spinning blades. Coca paste makers and security personnel ran away as soon as they heard the aircraft, preventing any arrests from taking place. International intervention The increase in interventions to locate and destroy labs is part of the Army’s Diamond Plan. The plan strengthens the course of action set by the Damascus doctrine at the core of the Colombian Military Forces, which leverages interoperability of joint, coordinated, and interagency operations. “We have a well-defined plan that considers every front. We receive a lot of support from the United States to make processes sustainable in the community,” Colombian Army Brigadier General Raúl Hernando Flórez, commander of the Counternarcotics Special Brigade, told Diálogo. “We work on mechanisms to restore capabilities for eradication, intervention, and intelligent spraying, based on the rules established.” The new legal guidelines classify cocaine production facilities and warehouses as high-value targets. “This increases intelligence, research, and judicial efforts,” Brig. Gen. Flórez said. “Strengthening international cooperation is one of the most important tools against this transnational crime. So is promoting coordination centers against its funding, with a coordinated approach of strategic communication and two clear messages: What comes around goes around, and, in particular, narcotrafficking crimes have no political connotations.” “But none of this will be successful if we don’t devise joint, coordinated, interagency, and multinational strategies to ban drug consumption and possession anywhere in our region,” Brig. Gen. Flórez said. “We are studying the case, adjusting the diagnosis of the problem.” Remnant groups devoted to narcotrafficking In 2018, the Army destroyed eight labs in the area. Authorities believe FARC remnants owned the drug labs. “Remnant groups are completely devoted to narcotrafficking; there’s no ideology, no politics, just business, and this is narcotrafficking financed by Colombian and Mexican rings,” Col. Moreno said. “Locating and reaching these labs is the result of a complex operation using intelligence, technical, and technological [resources], flyovers, heat inspections, many days of follow-up, and, obviously, the community’s help.”last_img read more