Colombia’s defense minister visits US

Colombia’s Defense Minister began an official visit to the United States Monday to meet with various high ranking officials.

Juan Carlos Pinzon said in a public statement that the purpose of his visit is to “strengthen matters of security and defense between the two countries.”

Travelling with him are Colombia’s Vice Minister for International Affairs and two senior military officials who coordinated “Operation Odysseus”, which killed FARC leader “Alfonso Cano” on November 4.

Several meetings took place Monday in the city of Boston, including one with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, before the team headed down to Washington.

They will meet with Pinzon’s American counterpart, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, on Tuesday, along with the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, Michael McKinley and National Security Adviser, Denis McDonough, among others.

On Wednesday, the last day of the visit, the Colombian minister will first meet with CIA Director General David Petraeus and then later with the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee of the State, Kay Granger, along with other members of the International Affairs Committee before returning home.

Pinzon has been Colombia’s Defense Minister since assuming office September 4, after having served as the chief of staff under President Juan Manuel Santos.

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