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News | Feb. 2, 2024

Gen. Richardson Visits Panama for High-Level Security Dialogue, Visits Darién

By SOUTHCOM Public Affairs

PANAMA (Oct. 18, 2022) – The commander of U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, visited Panama Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 as part of a U.S. delegation taking part in a High-Level Security Dialogue (HLSD) between Panama and the United States. 

During her stay, Richardson also met with Minister of Public Security Juan Pino and Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vasquez for talks focused on U.S. support to their organizations. On Feb. 1, she accompanied Pino and senior U.S. and Panamanian security leaders to visit the Darién and see the latest Panamanian security efforts to address migration and the humanitarian crisis in the area.

U.S. Ambassador to Panama Mari Carmen Aponte and Deputy Undersecretary for Central America Eric Jacobstein led the HLSD on Feb. 2, accompanied by the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Christopher A. Landberg. The delegation also included Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Daniel Erikson.

During the HLSD, the delegation highlighted efforts to strengthen bilateral security cooperation, including the areas of border security, citizen security, cybersecurity and maritime security. Through this dialogue and other bilateral initiatives, the United States seeks to deepen American support for Panama's efforts to counter transnational threats and strengthen the security of all its citizens. (See more from U.S. Embassy Panama)

Previous dialogues have also focused on cyber defense, maritime security, border security and citizen security, as well as challenges of mutual concern, including irregular migration and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

The United States and Panama share a longstanding security partnership that dates back more than a century.