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Regional military leaders discuss collaboration opportunities at Central American Security Conference

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2023. 9:18 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Military leaders from across the region convened for the Central American Security Conference 2023, in San José, Costa Rica.

The conference was held from February 6-8, 2023.

The theme was “Collaboration opportunities to address 21st century challenges.”

The Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC) 2023 is a U.S. Southern Command- (SOUTHCOM) sponsored event co-hosted by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security.

“We gather here at a critical moment when our democracies face a host of cross-cutting challenges that threaten our way of life and could dim the flame of freedom that unites us,” U.S. Army General Laura J. Richardson, SOUTHCOM commander, said in her opening remarks.

Costa Rica’s Minister of Public Security Jorge Luis Torres Carrillo thanked the leaders for their participation and commitment to addressing crucial regional security issues.

CENTSEC 23 united Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Panama, and the United States to discuss critical infrastructure protection in the cyber domain, climate change, and human rights.

 Canada, Colombia, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, were observer countries.

Experts from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Program joined the event, as well as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), the Inter-American Defense Board, the Inter-American Defense College, and the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies.

Discussions included the analysis of critical infrastructure protection in the cyber domain, climate change and its implications and human rights.

Belize Defence Force Sargent Major Wilfredo Majano stressed the importance of human rights and how to prevent violations as he encourages command senior enlisted leaders to make an impact in specific areas.

 “We must train and educate our forces, professionalize, and hold service member accountable. Proper training and education are key for operational effectiveness in a lawful manner. These actions must be instilled in doctrine in order to be able to hold NCOs accountable,” Majano stated.

CENTSEC 23 concluded with the common awareness that working together is key to confront regional security threats.


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