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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Colombian Minister of National Defense Diego Molano

Department of Defense Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth L. Hoffman provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met this afternoon with Colombian Minister of National Defense Diego Molano on the sidelines of the U.S. Southern Command change of command ceremony and reaffirmed the importance of the defense relationship between our two countries.  This meeting was a follow-up to their phone call on May 24, 2021.

Secretary Austin congratulated Minister Molano on the recent capture of Colombia’s most-wanted cartel leader, Dario Antonio Úsaga (alias Otoniel). 

The leaders discussed their shared interest in deepening cooperation on strategic issues including Colombia’s contributions to global and regional security, migration, cyber defense, and intelligence.  They also underscored the importance of respect for democracy and human rights in all aspects of the bilateral defense relationship.