Sen. Tommy Tuberville and U.S Rep. Jerry Carl visited the U.S. Southern Command and Panama with a delegation of other lawmakers.
The group met with military leaders, diplomatic officials, and trade experts to address securing America’s southern border, fighting China’s increasing influence in the region, and halting human trafficking and drug smuggling.
At SOUTHCOM headquarters in Miami, they received a briefing from Army Gen. Laura J. Richardson and her senior staff pertaining to the efforts of Panama to resist Chinese, Russian, and Transnational Crime Organizations (TCO).
The legislators were also informed on the work the U.S. and Panama are doing to halt the stream of narcotics and illegal immigrants.
In Panama, Tuberville (R-Auburn) and Carl (R-Mobile) met with U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte and State and Defense department officials for more briefings.
After the briefings, Tuberville and Carl talked with Panama Minister of Public Security Juan Pino. There, the group said they gained a more comprehensive view of what can be done to fight drug and human trafficking within the region.
The Port of Balboa was another destination for the Alabama lawmakers. There they met with General Director of Panama’s National Customs Authority, Tayra Barsallo, on port security and foreign investment in and near the Panama Canal.
Tuberville, during the trip, said that he believes a strong partnership between the two countries is important.
“From an immigration crisis to growing Chinese incursions, there are many issues where the U.S.–Panama relationship strengthens the security & economies of both nations,” he said.
In the delegation’s last stop, the legislators paid their respects to the 5,000 Americans buried at Corozal American Cemetery.