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Press Release | Nov. 10, 2020

Ecuador’s Chief of Defense Visits U.S. Southern Command

MIAMI, Fla. – Ecuadorian Army Lt. Gen. Luis Lara Jaramillo, Chief of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces’ Joint Staff, visited the headquarters of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami November 10.   

Lara Jaramillo met with U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, SOUTHCOM commander, and other command leaders to discuss his country’s longstanding cooperative defense ties with the United States.

The general’s visit was his first to SOUTHCOM’s headquarters. It comes as Ecuador hosts UNITAS, the world’s longest-running annual multinational maritime exercise, sponsored annually by the United States since 1960.

The U.S. and Ecuadorian armed forces enjoy a long history of security cooperation focused on topics of mutual interest; including air and maritime security; global peacekeeping; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; transnational organized crime; humanitarian assistance; and human rights.

This week, Ecuador will receive two 40-bed field hospitals, funded and donated under SOUTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP). Ecuadorian health-care professionals will staff, equip and operate the hospitals to care for patients in areas impacted by COVID-19.

From the onset of the pandemic, SOUTHCOM has worked closely with its Ecuadorian partners to purchase and donate $1.2 million in equipment and supplies essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and caring for infected patients in affected areas of the country.

Across the region, the command has funded more than 350 HAP projects, purchasing more than $19 million in supplies, equipment and other vital resources to support the COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts of 28 nations.

SOUTHCOM is one of the Department of Defense’s six geographically-focused unified commands with responsibility for U.S. military operations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, as well as security cooperation with defense and public-security forces in the region.