Ricardo Zúñiga will visit El Salvador and Guatemala from April 5 to 8 to talk with “interested parties” about the causes of illegal migration from and through Central America.
Following the attack by President Nayib Bukele against the California congresswoman, Norma Torres, for her criticism of the immigration policies of El Salvador and the rest of the countries in the region; The Office of the Spokesperson of the United States Department, reported that the Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle, Ricardo Zúñiga, will travel to El Salvador and Guatemala between April 5 and 8 of this year, to address the causes that cause the illegal migration from and through Central American countries.
In The advertisement it is stated that the objective of Zúñiga’s tour is “to converse with stakeholders about our broad and united efforts to address the root causes of migration and irregular migration in, from, and through the region, and humanitarian efforts to expand access to protection for those in need ”.
The Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle will be joined by Katie Tobin, who is the Senior Director for Cross-Border Security for the United States National Security Council.
SEE: US Congressman attributes migration crisis to corrupt and failed governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras
This will be Zúñiga’s first official visit to Guatemala and El Salvador. The diplomat was appointed to the post by the State Department on March 22, 2021, and is responsible for leading US diplomatic efforts, advising Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, and the acting undersecretary of the Office for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
It should be noted that Zúñiga’s visit to El Salvador will take place within the framework of Bukele’s attacks on Democratic congresswoman Norma Torres after her criticisms of the migration policies promoted by the Central American governments.
According to an official publication of the US Department of State, Zúñiga will act in close coordination with officials of the National Security Council in the government’s exhaustive efforts to curb irregular migration to the United States and implement the funds for 4,000 billion dollars that US President Joe Biden has arranged for them to be used over several years to eradicate the causes of illegal migration in Central America.
In this statement, the State Department also details that Zúñiga “will ensure that the partners (countries in the Northern Triangle) are accountable for their commitments to address the structural causes of migration and the increase in arrivals of unaccompanied minors to the southern border of the USA ”
Zúñiga is mandated by the United States government to hold its Central American partners accountable for their commitments to address the root causes of migration and the increased arrival of unaccompanied minors to the southern border with the United States.
Implications of the visit
In this regard, the foreign policy expert, Napoleón Campos, stated that this visit practically “leaves aside the governments” of El Salvador and Guatemala to speak directly with other interlocutors or “interested parties”.
“Without a doubt, the same language of the congressmen: governments do not inspire confidence in us, very strong, the line is clear, some interlocutors had advanced, for example, churches and non-governmental organizations,” Campos explained.
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The specialist also regrets that Bukele’s responses to Congresswoman Torres for her questions have not been the most appropriate, since he stated that, with his attitude, what he has done is to erode the confidence that the US government may have in El Salvador and lead to a decline or withdrawal of the aid that the country receives from the US government.
“President Bukele is overlooking something, President (Joe) Biden has put Vice President Kamala Harris at the head of the team towards Latin America and towards immigration issues,” says Campos and it is the case that Congresswoman Torres is part of the team that leads these initiatives towards Latin America on migration issues.
Torres also announced that this week they will publish the list of the corrupt in Central American countries, something that comes to further strain relations between the congresswoman and Bukele, since several Salvadoran government officials have been peppered in acts of corruption reported by Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, last Tuesday in his latest Rights Practices report. Humans 2020.
The current government’s lack of transparency has been denounced by different organizations, including:
the National Foundation for Development (Funde), National Chapter of International Transparency.
According to the Funde, they have always faced resistance from previous governments to their requests for the delivery of information, however, “with the current government the information ban is almost absolute” and they have even reached the point of using the Police to ” try to prevent investigations of crimes of corruption carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Court of Accounts ”.