Governors visit counter-drugs organizations

POSTED: 01/31/12 1:02 PM
Director of JIATF-South Rear-Admiral Charles Michel stands with Aruba’s Governor Fredis Refunjol, Curacao’s Governor Frits Goedgedrag, St. Maarten’s Governor Eugene Holiday after giving an explanation about to the governors’ facts about a confiscated improvised submersible used for drugs smuggling. 

St. Maarten – Governor drs Eugene Holiday and his counterparts from Curacao Frits Goedgedrag and Aruba Fredis Refunjol recently visited the American military headquarters USSOUTHCOM in Miami, FL and the counter-drugs organization Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF)-South in Key West. This is the first time that the governors have made such a visit together. They were accompanied by Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean, brigadier-general Dick Swijgman who is subordinate commander of one of JIATF-South’s task-groups.

Aruba’s Governor Fredis Refunjol, Curacao’s Governor Frits Goedgedrag, Ambassador Martinez, St. Maarten’s Governor Eugene Holiday and Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean Brigadier-General Dick Swijgman pose together at USSOUTHCOM in Miami, Florida. (Photo contributed)

The governors were received by the civilian deputy commander of USSOUTHCOM Ambassador Martinez before having open and reciprocal discussions at the strategic military and political level. The governors were also briefed on the threats posed by transnational organized crime to the Caribbean region and the fact that countering it is considered the highest priority by the commander of USSOUTHCOM, which is responsible for the deployment of US forces in Central and South America.
The briefing at JIATF-South, which was conducted by Rear-Admiral (USCG) Charles Michel focused on the body’s efforts, results and international cooperation in using operations at sea to fight illicit trafficking (drugs, weapons and illegal immigration) in the Caribbean Sea.

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