The William J. Perry Center supported a 3-day conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras that examined international humanitarian law, human rights, and the role of women in security institutions. From 09-11 August, Perry Center Professor Pat Paterson participated in the US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Human Rights Initiative (HRI) Conference with the Honduran Ministry of Defense, part of a series of bilateral conferences that the United States conducts with partner nations.
Approximately 45 senior officers from the Honduran military attended the discussion. Most of them were senior commanding officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Military Police for Public Order (PMOP for its abbreviations in Spanish). Conference facilitators and speakers from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Peru also shared their perspectives.
Honduran Secretary of Defense Jose Manuel Zelaya provided opening remarks followed by Chief of the Joint Staff, Vice Admiral Jose Jorge Fortin Aguilar, Minister of Human Rights Honduras Natalie Roque, and US Ambassador to Honduras, Laura F. Dogu.
Perry Center 2022 HR/ROL graduates Yuri Mejia and Colonel Mario Martinez developed the conference concept and recruited speakers.
Dr. Paterson spoke about the Russia-Ukraine conflict, differences between international humanitarian and human rights law, and the human rights consequences of climate change in the region. He also shared portions of his most recent book, The Blurred Battlefield, and the need to develop hybrid doctrines for Latin American militaries that support police and domestic operations.
From 23-25 August, Dr. Bill Godnick will assist USSOUTHCOM with a similar conference in Guatemala.