first_imgBy Dialogo October 01, 2012 Long isolated by mud and dirt roads, rural communities in the department of Concepción received medical treatment and education from the Paraguayan Army and U.S. Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) on June 2-3, 2012. Paraguayan Military and police, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the National Anti-Drug Secretariat, brought doctors, surgeons, dentists and nurses to treat more than 2,400 residents. Laboratory and pharmacy services also were provided. Medical supplies were donated to the local clinic in Arroyito, and school supplies were given to the 12 de Abril school with a $70,000 grant from the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program. Brigadier General Mario Restituto González Benítez, the Paraguayan 4th Army Division commander, oversaw the Military-police operation in Arroyito. He said this was the first time his troops could fully operate in Arroyito. Commissioner Hugo Cesar Barrios, chief of the National Police’s Rural Operations Unit, also highlighted the Government’s objective to build relationships with the community. “It’s clear that when we talked to the communities, it’s about gaining their trust and letting them know that the Government and police are here to support them.” The Medical Civic Action Program (MedCAP) provided the opportunity for the military and police to serve a vulnerable population, develop rapport between the two partner nation services, and build community relations. Paraguayan Military, National Police and SOCSOUTH plan three more MedCAPs in the near future. Sources: Kelsey L. Campbell, SOCSOUTH, and Air Force Master Sgt. Larry Carpenter, SOCOM, http://spanish.paraguay.usembassy.govlast_img

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