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News | April 16, 2024

Commander of U.S. Southern Command Visits Guatemala for Meetings With Guatemalan and Regional Leaders

By U.S. Embassy Guatemala

See originally posted release on U.S. Embassy Guatemala website | En Espanol

U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), will arrive in Guatemala City, Monday, April 15, marking her first official visit to the country. 

Richardson’s four-day agenda in Guatemala includes scheduled bilateral meetings with President Bernardo Arévalo, military leadership including Minister of Defense Brigadier General Henry David Saenz, and other defense leaders. The engagements will be focused on the longstanding bilateral security partnership between the United States and Guatemala and collaborative efforts to address security threats and challenges of mutual concern. 

Security cooperation between the U.S. and Guatemala focuses on shared interests including combating transnational criminal organizations and other malign actors; disaster preparedness; cyber security; promoting respect for human rights; and the expanded integration of women in security, peace, and defense missions. 

During her visit, Richardson will also join Minister Saenz in co-hosting this year’s Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC), where defense and public-security leaders from across the Americas and Europe will exchange ideas, experiences, and perspectives on regional collaborative efforts to address security challenges in the 21st century. This year’s CENTSEC will include plenary sessions on critical infrastructure protection in the cyber domain, climate change and environmental security, and human rights. The conference, sponsored annually by SOUTHCOM, was last hosted by Guatemala in 2014. 

Additionally, Richardson will participate in a panel discussion on the integration of women in peace, security, and defense missions, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and diversity in global security efforts.