By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The two-day 2022 Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC), sponsored by the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), closes today in Belize.
The conference, which started on Tuesday, is hosting visiting security leaders from Central America and other countries in the Western Hemisphere who have come together for a series of roundtable discussions on strengthening information-sharing and enhancing the region’s security and humanitarian cooperation, said the US Embassy in Belize.
The opening ceremony featured remarks from SOUTHCOM Commander General Laura Richardson, Belize Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence Oscar Mira, and Belize Defence Force Commander General Azariel Loria.
Richardson pointed out the importance of partners working together in the face of regional challenges, like transnational criminal organizations, natural disasters, and cyber threats.
“These cross-cutting threats are too powerful and too overwhelming for one nation to handle on its own. We must work together like a football team or a soccer team, all of us wearing the same jerseys as one team. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin … uses the term ‘integrated deterrent’. It means bringing all our allies and all partners together and using all the tools available to counter a threat,” said Richardson in her remarks at the opening.
The opening ceremony also featured remarks by Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence Oscar Mira, and Belize Defence Force Commander General Azariel Loria.
The US Embassy statement on social media said the regional leaders are focusing on regional security and disaster response.
“Transnational criminal organizations, illicit traffickers, and cybercriminals often take advantage of a country’s vulnerability during natural disasters,” said the US Embassy.
“Defense and security agencies have an important role in disrupting and countering these activities while at the same time providing emergency assistance to those in need.”