There are 129,000 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), a nationwide police force. It has SWAT teams. The National Bureau of investigation is the Philippine equivalent of the FBI. At their offices in Manila, cockroaches are sometime seen walking across the agents desks. Police in the Philippines are regarded as corrupt and have been charged with drug trafficking, kidnapping and armed robbery. The police and the military are notorious for taking bribes and have been involved in several kidnapping plots. See Military.

The Department of Interior and Local Government oversees the PNP, which had been entrusted with internal security in 1996, lost this role two years later, when the Armed Forces of the Philippines—particularly the army—reasserted its lead role in internal security. In September 2002, the PNP regained some of its authority when it was allowed to form a counterinsurgency task force in northeast Mindanao. Meanwhile, the army established a parallel task force in southwest Mindanao.

Sometimes the Philippine police can be quite inept. In 2000, they failed to confiscate the computer in the famous Love Bug computer virus case because they failed get a search warrant before the courts closed on a Friday and had to wait until the following Monday to get it. On Friday they could see the computer in the window of the suspect’s house. By Monday it was gone. Somehow it had beee ferreted away even though the house was under constant surveillance.

Declining Crime Rate, Good Police Work or Under-Reporting of Crimes?

In 2010, Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, the Philippines National Police “claims that nearly all of the high-profile crimes recently reported in the media have been solved – though the police frequently tally a crime as solved just by identifying a suspect. The police have responded by burnishing their crime statistics, giving the impression that crime is on the wane rather than rise. That's been accomplished through a statistical loophole that allows crimes committed at the barangay level, the country's smallest governmental units, not to be included on the national crime ledger. Many crimes, including kidnapping-for-ransom, are not reported due to widespread distrust of authorities who are often behind the crimes and possible reprisals. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010 |::|]

The Philippines police “often like to boast that they have a higher crime solution rate than their counterparts in the US and Japan. Last year the PNP claimed an 88 percent crime solution efficiency rate, compared to just 32 percent in the US and 31 percent in Japan. They've also reported a 57 percent drop in homicides and murders in the first half of this year, curiously at a time the media is awash with violent crime stories. Raul Bacalzo, director for police investigation and detection management, says the high crime solution rate may be attributed to some police chiefs ''under-reporting'' the number of crimes in their region to make it appear that ''his area of responsibility is peaceful and crime incidents are manageable''. A new crime recording methodology implemented earlier this year is designed to correct the dysfunction in police procedures for processing crime and bring them on par with international standards. |::|

“According to PNP director general Jesus Verzosa, the supposed drop in crime statistics in 2010 was due mainly to a five-month gun ban aimed at reducing political violence ahead of the May 10 general elections. Some 3,000 people were arrested, including 200 government employees, during the gun ban period, which ran from January to June. Because of the supposed dramatic decline in crime during the gun ban period, the PNP is now proposing a permanent gun ban. President Benigno Aquino, a gun enthusiast who target shoots as a hobby, has dismissed the idea out of hand, claiming that gun-related incidents represent a small percentage of the total crime statistics. |::|

Philippine Police Policy on Large Waistlines and Swaying Hips

In the late 1990s, the national police chief announced that any policeman with a waist larger than 86 centimeters would have to climb the 1,780-meter-high volcano Mt. Pinatubo twice a week or be fired. Around the same time police in Manila were instructed to perform the Macarena for motorists stuck in traffic.

In March 2007, the Philippine police issued a warning to gay officers not sway their hips or display other suggestive behavior while on duty —at risk of losing their jobs. "If they sway their hips while marching, or if they engage in lustful conduct, I think that will be a ground for separation,’’ Philippine National Police or PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao said. [Source: Associated Press, March 22, 2007]

Associated Press reported: “Pagdilao said the police department does not discriminate against homosexuals, but will not hesitate to fire those who misbehave. "As an institution, the PNP does not look at or interfere with one’s sexual preference,’’ Pagdilao told Manila Radio DZXL. "But it does look at its members’ conduct. If they behave within the norm, I don’t think we’ll have a problem.’’ The Philippines has a reputation for tolerance toward homosexuality. However, a party representing lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people was recently refused registration for May congressional elections on the grounds that it does not have nationwide chapters. Its members are appealing.” [Ibid]

Anti-Crime Efforts in the Philippines

Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “A lack of training and resources for modern forensic investigations has driven officers to commit rights violations to extract confessions from suspects. PNP records show that eight out of 10 police officers handling criminal investigations nationwide lack any formal training. Millions of police and court documents have not been properly filed at National Bureau of Investigation, which to date lacks a computerized data base. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, February 5, 2011]

In the southern Philippines city of Cagayan de Oro suspected robbers and pickpockets have been paraded in public as warning to potential criminals. The suspects wore yellow detainee shirts, handcuffs and cardboard signs bearing their names and alleged crimes and were displayed at public markets. Authorities in the city took the measure after pickpocketing and theft became severe problems.

Part of an anti-drug campaign in Manila consisted of painting the doors of drug pushers red. In 2010, Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “Police statistics indicate an average of 130 auto thefts in Metro Manila each month, often targeting sports utility and other luxury vehicles. The Philippine National Police (PNP) have stepped up their anti-carjacking campaign, leading to the arrest of several suspects and the killing of two notorious alleged gang leaders. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, August 17, 2010]

Wet Towels and Other Bright Ideas to Deter Jaywalkers in Manila

In January 2005, Carlos H. Conde wrote in the New York Times, “The Philippine government implemented an unusual - some say uncivilized - method of "disciplining" jaywalkers and other errant pedestrians in the capital: by soaking them wet. The wet flag is being given in the 4 cities and 13 towns that make up Metropolitan Manila. A wet cloth measuring about 2 by 3 meters, or 6 by 10 feet, is mounted to a pole attached to a truck, which then moves slowly along the side of the road, slapping those who stray off the sidewalks. Bayani Fernando, chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, which is carrying out the plan, said the government had been forced to resort to this method "in order to discipline pedestrians." He stopped short of calling the first day of the operation a success. "There were some pedestrians who went back onto the streets as soon as the truck passed," he said. "But at least we were able to show to the public that we are serious." [Source: Carlos H. Conde, New York Times, January 18, 2005 /*/]

“The government has been complaining that pedestrian violations, as well as unruly drivers of public buses, have been causing the monstrous traffic jams that have made Manila one of the most congested cities in Southeast Asia. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo supported Fernando, asking the public to give the wet flag a chance. The wet flag is just the latest in a string of experiments by Fernando in his attempt to make Metro Manila more livable and organized. An engineer who is considered the "super mayor" of Metro Manila, he has erected pink-and-blue footbridges at key intersections, practically preventing pedestrians from crossing at street level. He also has placed signs in highway mediansthat remind the public that jaywalking could be deadly. Fernando has also put up iron fences along the main Metro Manila highway, Edsa, requiring commuters to exit and board buses only in designated loading and unloading zones. He has also demolished vendors' stalls along sidewalks, setting off scuffles with poor vendors, some of whom have called him a dictator and an elitist. /*/

“His wet-flag method has been criticized severely. Some Metro Manila mayors who oppose the method have called it "uncivilized," and the Commission on Human Rights has urged pedestrians to file complaints against Fernando. Herminigildo San Miguel, director for public works of Makati City, Manila's financial district, told The Associated Press that Fernando's agency "has come up with many objectionable ideas in the past, but this one is truly reprehensible." "It is an affront to common decency," he said. Chrystalyne Galapon, a store clerk, who commutes daily on the Edsa, had another complaint. "It' s a foolish way of disciplining us," Galapon said. "It's foolish not only because it doesn't work, but because it tells the world that Filipinos are morons." /*/

Philippine Police Use ‘Last Touch Principle’ to Catch Counterfeiters

In April 2014, Julliane Love De Jesus wrote in the Philippines Inquirer, “If you happen to receive counterfeit money, be smart; turn it over immediately to police to avoid trouble. The Philippine National Police said authorities are now applying the “last-touch principle” due to the proliferation of counterfeit notes. “We will apply the last-touch principle. If you purchase an item using fake money, and the establishment files a complaint, you will automatically be summoned by the police,” said Superintendent Alexander Tagum of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Anti-Organized Crime Unit. [Source: Julliane Love De Jesus, Philippines Inquirer, April 3, 2014 /=]

“While the investigation is ongoing, the CIDG AOCU is still tracking down the dealers and the printing machine they are using. “The BSP told us that these criminals use advanced and high-level printers “now that they can imprint the security seal,” he said. A person who is caught selling, distributing or even recycling counterfeit bills could be jailed if he is proven guilty of the committing the act. Tagum said the offender will be put behind bars in not less than five years but not more than 10 years. “In case the revised penal code provides for the greater penalty, then the penalty shall be imposed,” he added. /=\

“How to spot fake bills: Police said one only has to “look, feel and tilt” to determine a counterfeit bill. First, “look” at the bill. “If you look closely, the original bill’s print is very sharp,” Tagum said, noting that the prints of the fake ones appear blurry. But with the availability of advanced printing equipment, he said many people would most likely be fooled. Second, “feel” the bill. “The texture of the original bill is thick and coarse, while the fake ones are smooth,” Tagum said. Finally, “tilt” the money. “If you tilt the genuine P500 bill, you will see a watermark of our national heroes Cory Aquino and Ninoy Aquino,” he said. Also, the national bird in the security seal of an original ?bill is “prominently imprinted.” “But the good thing here is that when paper bills are subjected to Ultraviolet Light (scanner), it can easily detect fake bills,” he said. The official also urged vendors, who cannot afford UV light scanners, to buy a UV light pen for easy detection of fake bills.” /=\

Philippine National Police: the Philippines Most Corrupt Agency

In July 2013, the Philippine National Police (PNP) was ranked as the most corrupt institution in the Philippines, according to a survey by the Global Corruption Barometer of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. Alexis Romero wrote in the Philippine Star, “The survey showed that 69 percent of surveyed Filipinos believed police personnel were corrupt, 64 percent believed public officials and civil servants were affected by corruption, while 58 percent had the same view on political parties. The media and religious institutions were perceived to be the least affected by corruption with 14 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The military was deemed corrupt by 43 percent of the respondents. The Global Corruption Barometer has been gathering the corruption views and experiences of people around the world since 2003. This year’s survey covered more than 114,000 respondents in 107 countries.[Source: Alexis Romero, Philippine Star, July 11, 2013]

“Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala assured the public that efforts are underway to make the military less vulnerable to corruption. Zagala said reforms are continuous and the survey is “a manifestation of the things we need to do to improve the people’s perception of us.” The PNP has yet to issue a statement on the results of the survey. “We are not yet competent to answer that report. We will still have to look at the report,” Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP-Public Information Office chief, said. Sindac promised members of the media that an official statement of the PNP would be issued at 3 p.m. yesterday but no statement has been issued as of press time. [Ibid]

Low salaries are named as the main cause of police corruption. Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “Salaries of cops are not commensurate to the risks they face. A low-ranking police officer makes only 12,500 pesos (US$290) a month and approximately 60 percent of the police force are estimated to live below the poverty line. Many live in squatter settlements and cannot afford to send their children to school, according to a recent study by the University of the Philippines and the CORPS Foundation. Half of the police officers they surveyed said that they have no bank savings. Lean economics "leaves members of the police force vulnerable to corruption, bribery and criminal activities", according to Pacific Strategies and Assessments, a global consulting firm. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, February 5, 2011]

Accounts of Police Corruption in the Philippines

One person posted on answers.yahoo.com: “During a trip to the Philippines I was drinking at a bar in Makati. At about 2 - 3 am I left the bar intending to walk around a bit and perhaps find another one. As soon as I walked outside of the bar a kid approached me asking me for money. Since I only had $100 bills in my pocket I declined to give him anything. He persisted and before long other street beggars started shouting "give the boy some food and money!!!" I again declined and started walking away. The street people began cussing at me and became very rude so I flipped them all off. [Source: answers.yahoo.com /]

“I was then surrounded by them and the police were called. I believe (but am not sure) that these police were low level or barangay police in Makati's red light district. They told me to go with them and when I asked them why they told me that somebody has a complaint against me. I asked who has a complaint and I was told that we would discuss it at the police station. While on the way to the police station I asked the men to prove that they were police and they showed me their guns. At the police station I was told to have a seat and a police officer told me that I could settle this now or settle this in court. I asked him what I did wrong and what I was accused of and he asked one of the street people that had come along what the complaint was. The street person told him that I had flipped off a boy on the street. The police officer then looked at me and told me that was the complaint and I could settle it by giving this street lady what she wanted or go to court. /

“I asked him if I would go to jail and the officer told me I would go to jail unless I settled with this lady. I asked him how much it would cost me to settle and the lady replied that I had to give her 12,000 pesos. I didn't have 12,000 pesos so I told her I didn't have it. The policeman then responded by telling me that I should give all the money in my pockets and if that is not enough then he will take me to an ATM machine where I can get more money. The lady then told me that she will take dollars. I told them both that I have committed no crime and won't give anything. The policeman then asked for my ID and then muttered under his breath that I was going to learn the hard way and started typing a report. At this point I became scared and paid the lady $300. She gave $200 to the policeman and kept $100 for herself.” /

Tips on How to Handle Police Corruption in the Philippines

In response to a query advise on how to deal with situations like the one above one person posted on answers.yahoo.com: “Those cops are just looking for a free ride. I would have given them some small amount of cash and buy them cheap beers, leave them, and return to the bar or go home and tell everyone I know about it. If you're lucky, there may be just a police beat reporter around the block looking for opportunities like this. Those cops will be grilled in no time. [Source: answers.yahoo.com /]

Another said: “1) always carry small bills. when you change money, get mostly 100 peso notes; 2) carry around hard candy like mentos, or coins to give to the kids, candy is better because the kids actually get it, some of the beggar kids give the money to Fagin type characters like the Oliver story. 3) don't hang around the street arguing with peddlers, dodge into a bar or shop to avoid them, the security at the shop or bar will keep them out.. this is a good way to avoid scammers or pick pockets also. 4) don't flip off anyone at 3am after you have been drinking for hours...and for that matter don't go walking around the 'red light district' at 3 am, you fool, go to the early happy hours. 5) if you were a drunk fool, stumblilng around arguing with pan handlers, at 3am in the 'red light' district, in the USA, you could likely find your self in jail, and the bail would be far greater than $300, and $300 would not pay for a 1 hour consult with a lawyer.. it could cost many thousands of dollars to try and reduce the drunk and disorderly charge. So consider yourself lucky, that the cops were so kind to you, to let you go with only a $300 warning. /

Yet another said: “If your ever in that situation, keep walking. The police like to think that they are big, especially around tourists and foreingers. The only language that they understand is not to back down - they prey on weakness. Force the police to bring you to the police station and to file a report. I would have then told them to bring the matter to court - and right in front of them i would have called your embassy. Then the next day or that same day - go straight to your embassy and report what had happened in person and tell them you had been summoned to court - and get a legal representative. You watch the police back straight down when you get your embassy involved. Have you reported this to your embassy? /

Others said to pretend to call an embassy or a made-up influential friend or report the whole incident to a radio station or another police station. Finally one person posted: “This is completely an EXTORTION CASE in their part and can be summarily terminated or charge in court. YOU SHOULD HAVE STAND YOUR GROUND and tell them just lock you up in jail. Actually they can't lock you up because the charge or complaint is completely BS or non-existence. So under the Philippines law no body can be put to jail unless there is a valid reason which is falls under the category of a crime. And since you said you done nothing wrong then why pay them, might as well spent your nights in jail and ask someone from your side to fetch you in the precinct or the place they lock you in. But like I said these people are just intimidating you or scaring you that they will put you in jail because they are demanding some money out of you.” /

Philippines Police Used 'Wheel of Torture' Game to Extract Information

In January 2014, it was revealed that Philippine police officers played a "wheel of torture" game at a secret jail near Manila both as a way to extract information from suspects and to have fun. Associated Press reported: “Loretta Ann Rosales, the chairman of the Philippines human rights commission, said she was horrified by the discovery of the torture scheme. Under the game, detainees – mostly suspected drug traffickers – were punched if the "torture wheel" stopped at "20 seconds Manny Pacman," referring to a nickname of the Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiáo, or hung upside down if it stopped at a punishment called "30-second bat," said Amnesty International, the London-based rights group, which called the practice despicable. [Source: Associated Press, January 28, 2014 +/]

"It's horrible," Rosales, who was a torture victim under Marcos, said of the game. "They do it for fun, it's like a game for entertainment. "We're trying to correct this mindset based on a human rights approach to policing but obviously it may take a lot of time," she said, adding that she had discussed the torture allegations with senior police officials. President Benigno Aquino III, the son of revered pro-democracy icons who fought Marcos, has pledged to take steps to prosecute violators of human rights. Rights groups, however, say violations have continued with impunity. +/

“A picture of the multicoloured wheel provided by the human rights commission showed several other torture selections, including "3 minutes zombies" and "30-second duck walk/ferris wheel" but it was not immediately clear how those punishments were carried out. "For police officers to use torture 'for fun' is despicable," Amnesty International's Hazel Galang-Folli said. "These are abhorrent acts. Suspending officers is not enough. Errant police personnel and their commanding officers should be held accountable in a court of law." The group called on Aquino's administration to act immediately to put an end to routine torture. A national police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, said several officers had been taken into custody and an investigation was under way. +/

TomoNews US reported: “The abuse is said to have occurred at a police intelligence office in Binan City, which held detainees illegally. Among the other findings, men were hung upside down and assaulted. One man claimed police threatened his relatives. This latest news isn't a good look for the country's police, whose reputation was sullied in 2010 by a leaked video showing an officer tormenting a naked suspect by yanking on a length of string tied to the man's genitals. [Source: YouTube, TomoNews US, January 29, 2014]

Police as Criminals in the Philippines

Police, soldiers and security personnel sometimes collude with criminal syndicates to rob banks, carry out kidnappings, traffic narcotics and even carry out assassination in an underworld that often includes corrupt politicians. Joel D Adriano wrote in the Asia Times, “A female street vendor was allegedly raped and robbed inside a police station in Metro Manila over the new year holiday. In Quezon City, a group of anti-drug police officers, including the unit's head, waylaid three Indian nationals on seemingly spurious charges. Two of them were discovered dead a few days later. A cop from Zamboanga City now faces murder charges for allegedly killing an employee of the Land Transportation Office, while others have been implicated in drug trafficking. Some 730 officers now face summary dismissal from the service for a wide range of violations. From January to November last year, over 2,000 administrative cases were filed against Philippine National Police (PNP) officers for various complaints of misbehavior, according to police records. [Source: Joel D Adriano, Asia Times, February 5, 2011 *]

“Security analysts blame the alarming number of criminal incidents involving police, coupled with weak and inefficient law enforcement, for a recent upsurge in crime. Organized crime groups, many believed to be working in cahoots with corrupt police officers, are now on a virtual rampage across the country, they say. Harry Roque, a human-rights lawyer, believes the prevalence of such incidents is a symptom of the country's deep-rooted culture of impunity, where killers and criminals are seldom apprehended or prosecuted. *

“To be sure, police abuse is not new to the Philippines. During the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippine Constabulary, the precursor to the PNP, was widely feared as an instrument to suppress political opposition, often through violent means. Its elite strike force, known as the Metropolitan Command, or Metrocom, stood accused of various abuses, including involvement in extortion and illegal gambling rackets. After Marcos was ousted in a popular revolt in 1986, there was a strong clamor to reorganize the police, which led to the creation of the PNP in 1991. Twenty years later it has become apparent to most Filipinos that the 135,000-strong police force changed only in name, not in practice. *

“For their part, police officials blame the rot on a faulty recruitment process, where loopholes in the screening of applicants hinders proper background checks, and a severe lack of resources. Patronage politics in the PNP means that many are admitted despite having criminal pasts. Once in the force, many questionable figures get fast-track promotion due to personal connections. “ *

Filipino Policeman Kills Seven in a Shooting Rampage

In January 2005, a policeman went on a shooting rampage in the central Philippines, killing five other policemen and a young girl before being shot dead by colleagues. At least 22 people, mostly civilians, were also wounded in the crossfire in Kalibo town, Aklan Province. [Source: Kyodo, January 16, 2005 +++]

Kyodo reported: The shooting began during a fireworks display to start a major Catholic festival in Kalibo, 350 kilometers south of Manila. Aklan Police Provincial Director Odelardo Magayanes was getting into his car after attending mass when his bodyguard, a police officer named Jonathan Moreno, suddenly shot him and Magayanes' police escort with an M16 rifle. Moreno then shot dead three Kalibo policemen, including the town's police chief, who had rushed to the scene before local policemen killed Moreno. A 10-year-old girl in the vicinity was killed by a stray bullet. Philippine National Police Chief Edgardo Aglipay called the shooting an ''isolated incident,'' saying he requested that local people continue with the festival.” +++

Rogue Filipino Police among 13 Suspects Killed in Shootout with Police

In January 2013, at least three police were among 13 suspected criminals gunned down in a shootout with Philippine security forces at a highway checkpoint. Associated Press reported: “Gunmen riding in three black SUVs opened fire on more than 50 army and police troopers who flagged down the vehicles in the coastal town of Atimonan in Quezon province, about 140 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Manila. Eleven suspects died on the spot, including a police colonel who was a regional commander and two other officers, said police spokesman Erwin Obal. Authorities were checking the identities of two other victims on suspicion they were either former or current members of the intelligence service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Obal said. [Source: Aaron Favila, Associated Press, January 7, 2013 ^]

“Two gunmen jumped out of one of the cars and fired from a roadside canal, said Lt. Col. Monico Abang, who led an army platoon in the clash. The rest stayed in two vehicles, which troops raked with gunfire on a sparsely populated stretch of the highway. More gunmen fired from a third vehicle, which turned around and fled, Abang said. Authorities didn’t say how many suspects were believed to have escaped. ^

“Abang said an initial investigation showed that the gunmen were likely members of a gun-for-hire group operating in provinces south of Manila. “They rolled down their windows and started firing, so we had to retaliate,” Abang said by cellphone from the scene of the clash. “They were clearly outnumbered and outgunned.” On the side of the security forces, a police colonel was shot in the hand and foot and taken to a hospital. Abang said the army and police had set up the checkpoint after an informant told police that gunmen involved in illegal drugs, gambling and kidnapping for ransom would pass through Atimonan in mountainous Quezon, where communist guerrillas have a presence.” ^

Sacked Manila Cop Hijacks Bus to Get Job Back

In August 2010, a dismissed policeman took hostage a bus loaded with passengers in the capital Manila in an effort to get his job back. The Australian reported: “Radio DZBB and other outlets say the hostage-taker is demanding his reinstatement. The ABS-CBN television network says the bus was taken near a park in downtown Manila today. The circumstances or the motive behind the hostage-taking remained unclear, but negotiations were going on with the man, Philippine police said. "We are still trying to determine the circumstances of the hijacking and what happened," Metro Manila police commander Director Leocadio Santiago said over DZBB radio. [Source: The Australian, August 23, 2010 ^=^]

"There are children and adults on the bus," he said. "He is armed with an M-16 assault rifle." He identified the suspect as Rolando Mendoza, a former police senior inspector discharged over allegations of robbery, extortion and drugs-related crimes. National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz said 22 of those aboard the bus were South Koreans. ^=^

“The bus has been isolated and police have deployed commandos in the area, according to Cruz, who said talks with the man had begun. "Negotiations are ongoing," Cruz told reporters. Television footage showed the bus parked in front of a grandstand at Rizal Park, a popular tourist destination. Santiago said the suspect, Mendoza, was sacked in 2008 after he was accused of various crimes.” ^=^

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Philippines Department of Tourism, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

Last updated June 2015

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