This will create the conditions to prevent the flow of irregular migrants to the United States, explained the diplomat in charge of supervising the policy of the White House to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
After two days of meetings with Guatemalan officials, the special envoy of Joe Biden’s government for the Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador), Ricardo Zúñiga gave some statements to the press of the neighboring country, in which he highlighted that one of the The points that they will bet the most on is the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law in these three countries.
“We spoke with the Foreign Minister (of Guatemala, Pedro Brolo) about the importance of the rule of law to help create the conditions” necessary so that people do not have to leave these countries irregularly for the United States, said the experienced diplomat.
It is thanks to democracy, he added, that it is possible to attract investment and generate jobs, as well as meet the health and education needs of Guatemalan citizens, but also Hondurans and Salvadorans.
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According to the diagnosis of the Biden administration, it is through the attention of basic needs, the search for economic opportunities, the fight against crime, the fight against corruption and the strengthening of democracy that the massive exodus of Central Americans to the States will be avoided. Joined.
Ricardo Zúñiga added that he held an in-depth discussion with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on the need to think more and more ways to create opportunities for Guatemalans.
For this reason, on the second day of his visit, he and other officials representing the White House took part in three working groups in which they addressed three main points: migration, the creation of opportunities, and the fight against crime and smuggling.
In this process, the diplomat in charge of supervising US policy in the Northern Triangle stressed that “never in so many years of diplomatic work have I been in a country where I have encountered more than half of the cabinet of a government in less than 18 hours ”.
For his part, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister explained the composition of the three working groups.
In that of economic development, Brolo affirmed that members of the ministries of Economy, Education, Agriculture, Finance and Labor participated. There, they addressed “the need to address the structural causes that originate migration from the point of view of integral development, economic development, production, community development, investment and trade opening,” added the foreign minister.
They also discussed ways to export agricultural products to the United States, he said.
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The security table was made up of members of the US delegation, as well as personnel from the Defense and Government portfolios (which in Guatemala is equivalent to the Ministry of Security). There were also delegates from the Superintendency of Tax Administration and the local Prosecutor’s Office.
In this, he illustrated that they talked about the existing cooperation between these institutions and agencies of the US government and asked for that collaboration to be expanded.
“The support we have had to combat smuggling and fight against tax evasion and customs fraud is important,” said the Guatemalan official.
Finally, he explained that the deputy director of the Guatemalan Migration Institute, the National Council for Migrant Care, the nation’s attorney general, as well as representatives of the United Nations, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Organization for Migration participated in the migration table.
“We are seeking together with the authorities of the United States government to integrate efforts that allow us to address not only migratory issues only in economic development but also better care for migrants who are in transit and returnees,” said the Guatemalan Foreign Minister.
Both Zúñiga and Brolo stressed that the borders of the United States are closed and called on Guatemalan citizens and the rest of the Northern Triangle not to undertake the trip irregularly and without documents to the United States.
However, Biden’s government envoy said they are trying to find legal avenues for migration and that people do not submit to the risks of embarking on the dangerous journey through Mexico towards a border that remains closed for the time being.
Later, he will travel to El Salvador
After passing through Guatemala, Ricardo Zúñiga will travel to El Salvador. Although the details of the agenda are not yet known, it is known that the objective of his visit is similar: to address the causes of irregular migration and to strengthen bilateral and regional commitments to strengthen democracy and fight corruption.
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His visit to El Salvador comes a few days after President Nayib Bukele attacked the Democratic congresswoman, Norma Torres, who has questioned his authoritarian behavior, something that the US Executive Branch has also pointed out. This has prompted condemnation from other congressmen of Hispanic origin in the United States.
Furthermore, the Salvadoran government continues to be condemned for its attacks on the independent press and its little commitment to transparency. All of these areas have already been flagged by Washington.