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News | Nov. 19, 2021

SOUTHCOM Commander Visits Colombia

By U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs Office

MIAMI (Nov. 18, 2021) – U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command, wrapped up a three-day visit to Colombia where she met with military leaders to discuss security cooperation.

The visit was Richardson’s first official trip to the region since assuming command Oct. 29 and aimed to strengthen ties and cooperation with one of the United States’ closest regional partners. SOUTHCOM’s Civilian Deputy to the Commander, Francisco (Paco) Palmieri, and Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Jones, accompanied Richardson during the visit.

On Nov. 17, Richardson met with Minister of Defense Diego Molano to discuss security cooperation. She also met with Colombian Chief of Defense Maj. Gen. Luis Navarro Jiménez and other senior military commanders to discuss regional security and the U.S.-Colombia security partnership.

On Nov. 18, Richardson, Palmieri and Jones joined Colombian military leaders to visit the Centro de Rehabilitación Inclusiva, a military rehabilitation facility that serves Colombia’s wounded warriors.

The general later traveled to Tolemaida and met with leaders and service members at Fort Tolemaida to see how the Colombian military is working to counter threats, including transnational criminal organizations and illicit trafficking.  The SOUTHCOM delegation wrapped up the trip to Colombia by meeting with select Colombian service members to discuss implementation of the Women Peace and Security initiative and noncommissioned officer development.

Colombia is a staunch security partner and leader in countering regional threats, fostering regional security cooperation and supporting humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.