On Monday 24th September, 18 members of Guatemala’s armed forces gathered at the Mariscal Zavala Military Base in Guatemala City to each receive diplomas from General of Brigade Walter Sanchez, Major Daniel Rivera of the US Armed Forces, HALO Project Manager Fernando Bejarano and HALO’s EOD Technical Manager Antonio Alpresa who congratulated all participants for having successfully completed Level 1 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training. With financial assistance from the US State Department and ongoing support from the US Embassy in Guatemala, Antonio Alpresa was able to teach the 18 young men how to destroy surplus explosive ordnance safely with the goal of reducing violence and ensuring a safer future for the people of Guatemala.
Captain Robin Leonardo Ajcalon Guoz, who has been in the military for 14 years, was one of the participants in this training course. He spoke of the explosion of one of their military ammunition stores in 2005 when he had just started serving in the military and the importance of EOD training for him.
Captain Ajcalon, Guatemalan Army
HALO is currently working with the armed forces in Guatemala, including the military and the national police, to provide support for the clearance of the debris of war, disarmament and help with weapons and ammunition stockpile management. This is made possible through funding from the US State Department’s division of weapons abatement (PM/WRA) as part of a security strengthening initiative from the US State Department. With support from the US Embassy in Guatemala, HALO aims to provide further training in both explosive ordnance disposal and physical security and stockpile management to local authorities.
Members of Guatemala's armed forces being taught safe demolition methods by HALO during practical training on the Explosive Ordnance Disposal course. They spent 3 days at the Escuela Politecnica doing demolition exercises with HALO.