The Notre Dame Coalition for Human Dignity formed this semester with the goal of fostering communication among clubs working on issues of human dignity, as well as raising awareness of the work these clubs do on campus. Freshman organizer Matt Caponigro said the coalition derives its strength from the cohesion and spirit of cooperation shared among its member groups. “We thought that maybe if we started a dialogue with each other that we could help each other to move forward on some of these human dignity issues, to be more effective and reach out to more people,” he said. Caponigro said the Notre Dame Coalition for Human Dignity was founded as a passionate answer to a heartfelt request from Father Jenkins. “The coalition is our response to Father Jenkins’ call to make this university a healing, unifying and enlightening force in a world that’s deeply in need,” he said. “That has been our rallying call.” Caponigro said the coalition is inspired and driven by Notre Dame’s special status as a university focused on social concerns issues. “We at [Notre Dame] have a unique calling, especially among other universities, to do some real good for our brothers and sisters to start serious dialogue about human dignity issues,” he said. Caponigro said the coalition hopes to become a powerful advocate for human dignity by bringing together a diverse spectrum of clubs and individuals from across campus. “We want to build a coalition that bridges the gap between students, administrators and faculty members so that we can be truly effective in restoring human dignity to all people,” he said. The coalition has already grown to include organizations such as Right to Life and the Black Student Association, and hopes to further expand as it becomes better organized, Caponigro said. He said the coalition is empowered by its diverse membership, but this diversity can complicate its ability to make unified decisions. “The coalition revolves around partnership, sitting down at the table and talking about what we’ve been working on,” he said, “But it’s tricky, because there are a lot of different people at the table.” In the future, the coalition hopes to host a signature event before the end of the year to raise awareness and encourage student participation in the fight for human dignity, Carponigro said. “We’re hoping to do something like a concert on South Quad that brings everybody together, that shows our classmates and the rest of the Notre Dame community that we really do care about human dignity issues,” he said. Caponigro said he is excited for the coalition to forge closer bonds with Notre Dame as it matures and expands as an organization. “We’re looking forward to developing stronger relationships with the administration and with our peers so that we can really work together as a unified front,” he said.
MIAMI – U.S. and Colombian Navy vessels intercepted a speedboat carrying nearly 2,200 kilograms (4,850 pounds) of cocaine in the western Caribbean Sea as part of Operation Martillo on May 6. The cocaine had a street value in excess of US$59 million. Partner nations are participating in Operation Martillo, a joint effort of Western Hemisphere and European nations to curtail illicit trafficking routes on both coasts of the Central American isthmus. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection P-3 Orion aircraft initially detected the speedboat, “El Kike,” and then turned over the tracking to a helicopter from guided missile frigate USS Nicholas. The chopper, from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 42 Detachment 9, tracked the go-fast vessel until the ship was in position to make a coordinated approach with the helicopter. The vessel then stopped, jettisoned about half of its cargo, then turned and headed toward Colombia at top speed. By Dialogo May 09, 2012 The USS Nicholas adjusted its course while contacting nearby forces – USS McClusky and the Colombian Navy ship ARC 20 de Julio – for assistance. A helicopter from HSL 49 Detachment 8 attached to McClusky maintained surveillance of the go-fast boat and diverted it into Colombian territorial waters where it was intercepted by the Colombian Navy. “With the help of some friends, we accomplished what we set out to do – disrupt the drug trade,” said Cmdr. Stephen Fuller, commanding officer of Nicholas. “Interdictions are challenging, but with the help of McClusky, Customs, and the Colombian Navy, we executed a successful operation.” Belize, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in Operation Martillo, which started in the middle of January 2012.