Paraguay to Host SOUTHDEC 2015
By Dialogo September 09, 2014
Lieutenant General Carlos Antonio Caballero Mayana, Head of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff of the Paraguayan Armed Forces, announced at the end of the IV South
American Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC), conducted on August 12-14 in Santiago,
Chile, that his country will co-host the 2015 edition of the same event, jointly
with the Unites States Southern Command. To discuss this and other topics, Diálogo
spoke with Lt. Gen. Caballeros at the end of SOUTHDEC 2014.
Diálogo: Regarding the conference held here in Chile, what is the
participation of the Paraguayan Armed Forces in peacekeeping missions?
Lt. Gen. Caballero: We already have a history of participation. We are
part of the largest contingent in Haiti, with a multi-role company. Also, we have a
platoon that is part of the Brazilian Battalion - BRABAT - and another larger
contingent in Cyprus, with a platoon that is part of the Argentine battalion. We
have several observers, most of whom are in Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leona and Sudan.
Diálogo: Does Paraguay have a military training school for peacekeeping
Lt. Gen. Caballero: Yes, and highly experienced. Our school is the
Paraguayan Joint Peacekeeping Operations Training Center (CECOPAZ), which is working
very well... and with very good experience. Thank God, we do not have major
problems, and we still have volunteers willing to participate in these peacekeeping
Diálogo: Are there any foreign exchange students in CECOPAZ?
Lt. Gen. Caballero: Yes and our personnel are trained in Argentina,
Uruguay, and Brazil. There is a very good cooperation.
Diálogo: And what about disaster relief?
Lt. Gen. Caballero: We [the Armed Forces] are part of the National
Emergency Center and that is keeping us very busy. We also participate in this kind
of missions abroad.
Diálogo: What do you think of those that criticize these missions,
those who say, “Well, we need our Armed Forces in Paraguay, and you are sending them
Lt. Gen. Caballero: We can't avoid that either. The press is very
critical, very harsh. The current issue is Haiti: what are the Armed Forces doing in
Haiti with equipment, if we have a great need in the north, we need roads, we need
schools, we need hospitals in Paraguay? They do not understand that it is good for
our image, for our military. Our multi-role company is preparing and it is the fifth
replacement company that is still in Haiti, and right now it is working in the
north. In other words, before leaving, it takes participation in activities held in
our country, as part of its training for deployment. Even the officers, or better,
all militaries return with an invaluable experience.
Diálogo: Regarding this new, non-traditional role for the Armed Forces,
namely the military involved in the fight against drug trafficking, is this also
happening in Paraguay or has this problem not come to the country yet?
Lt. Gen. Caballero: For specific missions, the fight against drug
trafficking is not included in the Armed Forces' mission. However, we have a counter
drug trafficking office. Most of the personnel involved in eradicating plantations
belongs to our forces; military personnel commissioned to the National Counterdrug
Secretary, which is a secretary at a ministry level. Drug trafficking is not a
serious problem for us yet, since Paraguay is a place with only marihuana
plantations, and it is considered as a transit country. However, we are very worried
for our crack-consuming young people. For example, not long ago we detected a large
shipment of marihuana in a military unit that was going to Bolivia through El
Diálogo: What can you tell us about the participation of Paraguay in
combined military exercises?
Lt. Gen. Caballero: There are many joint exercises that we are
conducting in the region. We have exercises with Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. We
have several training exchanges with airmen, for instance.
Diálogo: Why is Paraguaya’s participation reduced in these types of
exercises at the Army level?
Lt. Gen. Caballero: Because what we can offer are mostly personnel,
since we are short on materiel and equipment. In order to offset this, Paraguay
offered to co-host SOUTHDEC next year. We mentioned this idea to the President, our
commander-in-chief, and he approved it. Then he authorized me to propose, at the end
of SOUTHDEC 2014, that Paraguay became the host of this fabulous event next
Here in Cartagena of the Indies, Colombia, we love that people like General Caballero care about his country. I'm very pleased that our neighboring country Paraguay is hosting the 2015 SCOUT. I hope there's a positive turnout for our countries.- My comment on this project is good because it helps to show how the drug trafficking business is managed and, thus, attack the problem at its base and be successful in fighting it. I live in Panama, and it's terrible here how organized crime is growing. I think the corresponding authorities are not doing enough. The crimes of drug trafficking and money laundering are, we could say, institutionalized, therefore I think that they will never do enough since there are high levels of corruption by citizens in high level positions. How can we explain the fact that all caliber of weapons as well as drugs and highly sophisticated communications electronics were found in a prison raid? I think some countries aren't doing enough to contain organized crime, everyday citizens live in terror with the murders of whole families in their own homes. This unprotected situation is desperate and could come to an unexpected end, even put democracy itself at risk. U.S. Southern Command, WHAT A DISASTER, POOR PARAGUAYAN PEOPLE WITH THESE MEDIOCRE LEADERS!!!! GOING BACK TO SATAN I liked it a lot. I wanted the news report to be about headaches, how to treat them and why we get them. I think its perfect that all the military commanders of all the armed forces of the world are training their members, you have to belong to one to know and to have knowledge of the benefits that come with this, not just for the armed forces, but also for the governments in and of themselves. Here in my country, El Salvador, thanks to the participation of our armed force, the country has gotten its government debts pardoned and on top of that it has gotten benefits, equipment support, weapons and other benefits which the politicians wouldn't be able to give because they steal everything. So keep it up and I don't say how much can be achieved within the armed forces comment on this project is good because it helps to understand how the drug trafficking business is run and this way attack the problem deeply and be successful fighting it The death penalty is needed to improve the world. Criminals locked up give orders from inside prison. There's no use in arresting criminals if the laws aren't changed so that convicted criminals are not allowed conjugal visits or visits from attorneys. For what? To receive instructions?