SANTIAGO, Chile (April 29, 2022) -- The commander of U.S. Southern Command, Army Gen. Laura Richardson, visited Argentina and Chile April 25-29 and met with leaders from both nations to discuss security cooperation.
The U.S. shares enduring defense partnerships with Argentina and Chile. Richardson’s visit aimed to strengthen both partnerships by understanding each nation’s challenges, considering their ideas, and looking for new opportunities to collaborate in support of shared goals and interests. The visits to Argentina and Chile were the general’s first as SOUTHCOM commander.
Richardson’s visit to Argentina April 25-27 was highlighted by the meeting with Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, where both leaders discussed bilateral cooperation April 26. The general also met with Argentine Minister of Defense Jorge Taiana and Armed Forces Joint Command Chief Lt. Gen. Juan Martín Paleo to discuss regional security and cooperation April 26.
On the 27th, Richardson joined U.S. Amb. Marc Stanley to present humanitarian donations on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense to support the efforts of the Argentine humanitarian agency, the White Helmets. She thanked the White Helmets for their participation in international humanitarian assistance operations, especially their recent work in support of Ukraine.
Later on the 27th, Richardson participated in a meeting with Argentine military women and shared ideas and experiences to promote professional development and the growing role of women in the defense and security sectors.
During the visit to Chile April 27 – 29, Richardson met with Minister of Defense Maya Fernández Allende to discuss security cooperation. The general also met with Chief of Defense Gen. Guillermo Paiva to discuss the deepening of the U.S-Chile security partnership. Both meetings took place April 28.
On the 29th, Richardson visited the Chilean Joint Peacekeeping Operations Center (CEDOPAC), which was hosting a Women, Peace and Security Southern Cone Policy Implementation Seminar, co-hosted by SOUTHCOM. The seminar included military representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and the United States and focused on expanding the role of women in security and defense sectors.