Democracy Providing Stability, Security in the Hemisphere, Mattis Says in Mexico

Democracy is succeeding in Latin America and can be a beacon to the rest of the world, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday at the Defense Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico.

The Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, co-hosted by Mexican Secretary of National Defense Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda and Mexican Secretary of Navy Adm. Vidal Francisco Soberon Sanz, allows defense ministers from Canada to Chile to gather and discuss shared hemispheric defense challenges. The forum was founded by then-Defense Secretary William J. Perry.

“From Ottawa to Buenos Aires to Santiago, from south to north and from east to west, our nations increasingly represent an island of democratic stability amidst a global sea of instability due to malign influence,” Mattis said during his address. “In bringing us together, Mexico continues to show important strategic leadership building trusted relationships between us based on respect, cooperation, and mutual understanding.”

Mattis said there are challenges to stability and security in the Americas, from transnational criminal syndicates to illegal immigration to humanitarian issues.

Partnership is Crucial

Partnership among the nations of the hemisphere is crucial to addressing these challenges, he said.

Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are the exceptions to the rule…

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