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Banner Image: Gates Visits Central America
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates set off on a five-day trip
to Latin America Oct. 2, 2007, to demonstrate continuing U.S. interest in strengthening defense ties with allies in the region.
Flag of El Salvador  El Salvador
U.S., El Salvador Work as Partners in Iraq
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, President Elias Antonio Saca and Minister of Defense Otto Romero hold a press conference at the presidential palace during the secretary's trip to Latin America, Oct. 2, 2007.   Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jerry MorrisonSAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, Oct. 2, 2007 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met briefly with the Salvadoran president and minister of defense today discussing shared security interests in the region and the country's continued participation in peacekeeping operations worldwide. Story  |  Video  |  Photos
Flag of Colombia Colombia
U.S., Colombia Have Strong Security Ties
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates takes a tour of Tolemaida Air Base during a recent trip to Bogota, Colombia, Oct. 3, 2007.   Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jerry MorrisonBOGOTA, Colombia, Oct. 3, 2007 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates finished up his second day in Latin America here today pledging continued support for what he called a "strong partnership" with Colombia. ... ”I think the turn-around in Colombia is one of the great success stories, in terms of establishing greater security, but also professionalizing the military, institutionalizing the rule of law, bringing people accused of wrongdoing to justice,” Gates said. Story  |  Video  |  Photos
Safe Return of Hostages Top Priority
BOGOTA, Colombia, Oct. 3, 2007 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today he discussed with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe the situation of three American hostages held in Colombia by guerilla fighters. Story 
MNF-I Needs Better Picture of Contractors' Role
BOGOTA, Colombia, Oct. 3, 2007 – Into his second day of a five-day, five-country trip to Central and South America, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has faced as many questions from the press about private security contractor issues in Iraq as he has regional security issues in the Americas. Story
U.S. to Provide Funds for War Children
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates talks with children and members of of the Batuta Foundation and Colombia's Presidential Agency for Social Action and International Cooperation during a trip to Bogota, Oct. 3, 2007.   Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jerry MorrisonBOGOTA, Colombia, Oct. 3, 2007 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today pledged U.S. funds to provide music education and other services to children displaced by the years of war here. Gates signed an agreement of intention to provide the funds after a meeting with Colombia’s president Alvaro Uribe Velez here at Casa de Narino, the presidential palace. Story
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CHILEAN HONORS   U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chilean Minister of Defense Jose Mario Goni attend an honor salute commemorating the Secretary's visit to Santiago, Chile, on Oct. 4, 2007. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Jerry Morrison  Hi-Res Photo
Flag of Chile Chile
U.S. to Strengthen Defense Relationship with Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile, Oct. 4, 2007 – The U.S. military will strengthen its ties with Chile by encouraging the country’s peacekeeping efforts and increasing interoperability with more foreign military exchanges, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today. Story  |  Photos
Flag of Peru Peru
U.S.,Peruvian Leaders Discuss Security Issues
LIMA, Peru, Oct. 6, 2007 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with top Peruvian leaders here yesterday to hear their plans to step-up the fight against drug trafficking along the country’s rivers and coasts. Story  |  Photos
Flag of Suriname Suriname
SOUTHCOM to Increase Humanitarian Missions
Defense Robert M. Gates greets sailors and receives a tour of the facilities onboard the USNS Comfort outside of Paramaribo, Suriname, Oct. 6, 2007. The hospital ship was completing its first large-scale humanitarian assistance deployment to Central and South America and the Caribbean. The ship’s 780-person staff worked to treat almost 2,500 patients in Suriname. Defense Dept. photo by Tech Sgt. Jerry Morrison, U.S. Air ForcePARAMARIBO, Suriname, Oct. 6, 2007 – The U.S. Defense Department will likely increase its humanitarian efforts in Central and South America, as well as support of local police and military forces to help allies in the region combat narco-terrorism and illegal drug and arms trafficking. Story  |  Video  |  Photos