Republic of Panama, SOCSOUTH host Senior Leader Symposium

July 25, 2018

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA — Senior leaders from 17 countries in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and the United States participated in a Distinguished Visitor Program and Senior Leader Symposium as part of Fuerzas Comando July 23, 2018 at the Hilton, Panama City, Panama. 

The purpose of the event is to have a dialogue and exchange ideas of security and regional cooperation in an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and mutual respect. 

The SLS kicked off with an opening statement given by Brig. Gen. Antonio M. Fletcher, commanding general of Special Operations Command South. 

“I welcome you to Fuerzas Comando 2018 and the Senior Leader Symposium,” said Fletcher. “ On this occasion, we gather together in an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and mutual respect to continue building our relationships, cultivate and expand ideas to strengthen our security and collective prosperity.” 

Minister Alexis Bethancourt Yau and Vice Minister Jonattan Del Rosario, Ministry of Public Security, were in attendance along with other regional leaders. 

The SLS provides us the opportunity to establish a dialogue, exchange ideas and forge lasting friendships that strengthen our partnerships in the fight against the transnational organized crime, added Fletcher. 

The leaders headed out to watch the competitors of FC18 take on the obstacle course at the Cierro Tigre, Panama, after the SLS opening ceremony. 

The competition portion of Fuerzas Comando provides a unique venue to share knowledge, techniques, and tactics in an environment in which counterterrorism special operations forces, military and police, can participate in a friendly competition that builds camaraderie. 

Senior leaders greeted and cheered on teams as they started the obstacle course, but due to unforeseen weather conditions, the event was cut short and the DVs headed back to the Hotel for an afternoon of seminars that included lectures from Rosario, Dr. Vicente Torrijos and Minister Edmund Dillon, Maj. Gen. Retired.

The topics of discussion included; Organized Crime, Irregular Migration, Cyber Threats and Anarchism.

“We feel very honored with your visit and would like to express our gratitude on behalf of our entire Ministry team,” said Bethancourt. “We are here if you need us. Enjoy a pleasant stay and we hope to fulfill your expectations with quality and satisfaction.”

Over the next couple of days, the Senior Leaders are slated to observe FC18 and attend seminars ending July 26, 2018.