On May 20, Acting Director Ken LaPlante welcomed Guatemala’s Minister of Defense, Major General Manuel Augusto Lopez Ambrocio, to the Perry Center for a roundtable discussion. Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Luis Bitencourt served as moderator for an open discussion on the security environment in Guatemala, interagency coordination, force transformation, and education and training enhancements. The discussion centered on the accomplishments of the Guatemalan government in re-structuring the defense sector and their ability to improve their defense decision making model in a democracy with emphasis on interagency coordination, participation of the civil society, and respect to human rights.
General Lopez Ambrocio’s delegation included senior level Guatemalan defense officials: Brigadier General Paulino Santos Cardona, Vice Minister of Defense Policy; Colonel Mario Roberto Garcia Carranza, Executive Officer; Colonel Alan Leonel Castro Alvarado of Guatemala’s Human Rights Directorate; Colonel David Estuardo Mendez Guevara; Defense Attaché Col. Carlos Figueroa; Guatemalan Military Attaché Brigadier General Ismar Aldor Mendez; and Assistant Military Attaché Colonel Jorge Bernal Camey Colon. Other roundtable participants included Dean of Students, Administration, and Outreach John Thompson; Associate Dean of Academics Manuel Lora; Professors Pedro de la Fuente and Boris Saavedra; INSS Professor Erik Kjonnerod; Major General William Wofford, Arkansas National Guard Adjutant General; and Richard O’Connor from the US Office of National Drug Control Policy.