LIMA, Peru (Sept. 15, 2023) -- The commander of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Army Gen. Laura Richardson, visited Peru Sept. 13 – 15 and met with senior government and military leaders to discuss the longstanding U.S.-Peru defense partnership.
This was Richardson's first visit to Peru since assuming command of SOUTHCOM in 2021.
Richardson met with Minister of Defense Jorge Chavez to discuss security cooperation Sept. 14. The meeting included the participation of Joint Command of the Armed Forces Chief, Gen. Gen. Manuel Gómez, senior armed forces leaders, and the commanders of the Peruvian air force, navy and army. The Chargé d'Affaires in Peru, John McNamara, also took part in the discussions.
Discussion focused on security cooperation issues of mutual interest, including collaboration against criminal organizations and the development of institutional capabilities.
Later on the 14th, Richardson's joined Minister Chavez and members of the Peruvian Armed Forces for a round table discussion, organized by Peru, focused on the integration of women in peace, defense and security missions.
The general also visited Peru’s National Emergency Operations Center (COEN) and the Aeronautical Maintenance Service (SEMAN).
Prior to departing on Sept. 15, Richardson visited U.S. Sailors and Soldiers of Naval Medical Research Unit SOUTH (NAMRU South). The unique research unit is one of three such U.S. Navy units worldwide. The NAMRU South team works with Peruvian counterparts to conduct research and surveillance of infectious diseases.
The U.S. and Peruvian armed forces have a long-standing security partnership increasingly focused on mutually beneficial objectives and shared interests, including maritime security, cyber defense, disaster preparedness, humanitarian assistance, peace, human rights, the fight against illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, and the interruption of international smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations.