Six years ago, U.S. Navy Admiral Kurt Tidd, the then-leader of U.S. Southern Command, declared that South American countries were uniquely positioned to test out and develop new geospatial intelligence capabilities to solve new problems, ranging from illegal mining and deforestation to protecting indigenous communities.

Since then, Maxar has had a front-row seat to seeing how countries in the region have been deploying new geospatial capabilities in cutting-edge use cases, as many of them have turned to Maxar products and services to serve their missions.

We asked Natalia Garzon, Lead Sales Manager in Public Sector Earth Intelligence, to discuss the growing adoption of geospatial intelligence in Latin America, some of Maxar’s recent deals in the region and what stands out as the proudest moment of her career.

Natalia Garzon, Lead Sales Manager in Public Sector Earth Intelligence, seen wearing a Colombian Air Force jacket, works closely with government and commercial customers across Latin America to help them unlock the value of geospatial intelligence.

Q: What is your role at Maxar?

Natalia: I’m Lead Sales Manager in the Public Sector Earth Intelligence segment, and I focus on Defense and Intelligence customers across the Latin America region. I am based out of Bogota, Colombia—where the best coffee in the world comes from!

Q: How did you come to Maxar?

Natalia: I’ve always had a deep enthusiasm for geospatial data and a passion to support clients in solving problems on Earth with space-based solutions. I’ve also always had a drive and willingness to continue to learn and apply the skills I’ve built over 18 years in the remote sensing industry. I started my career at Procalculo, a leader in the Colombian and Panamanian geographic information system (GIS) industries. After 10 years there, I had the opportunity to join Maxar. I was aware of the company and excited by its culture, so I jumped at the chance to make my mark here.

Q: Is there broad awareness of the value of geospatial intelligence across Latin America?

Natalia: I’d say so. In fact, Latin American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico have been betting heavily on the aerospace sector as a source of economic development. Many of our customers are using geospatial intelligence to counter illicit activity, to protect the environment and improve military situational awareness. We are seeing a lot of interest specifically across the intelligence and defense sectors, particularly for our Rapid Access Program (RAP) and Direct Access Program (DAP). We’re also seeing growing interest in maritime monitoring solutions—our Crow’s Nest product—and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for environmental and security use cases. In fact, our recent deal with the government of Guyana is a great example of this trend.

Q: What types of customers are you working with and what project are you most proud of?

Natalia: I have been supporting customers in the public sector for several years now, including in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. I’m proud of how we’ve been able to deepen our relationships with these customers to help them get full value from our geospatial intelligence products and services. Two years ago, for example, I helped bring in the Colombian Air Force as a RAP customer. In fact, I was recently awarded Colombia’s Intelligence Medal to recognize my support of the Colombian Air Force’s Directorate of Operations—an organization I’ve been working with for more than 12 years. It was one of the proudest moments of my career.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?

Natalia: I want to express how being a woman in the defense and intelligence sectors—particularly in Latin America—can be a big challenge. The opportunity to develop my passions and demonstrate my talent has been possible thanks to the support, inclusion and trust I have received from Maxar and my colleagues, from the very first day I started working here. Maxar gave me an opportunity that not only changed my life, but also the lives of my family members.

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