THE VICE PRESIDENT
April 26, 2021
Statement by Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders on Vice President Kamala Harris’s Virtual Bilateral Meeting with President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala
Today, Vice President Kamala Harris hosted Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei for a virtual bilateral meeting to discuss working together to address immediate relief needs of the Guatemalan people and deepening cooperation on migration. They agreed on the importance of prosperity, good governance, and anti-corruption measures to protect all members of society and to build a foundation of hope for a better future. In light of the dire situation and acute suffering faced by millions of people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Vice President Harris announced an additional $310 million in U.S. government support for humanitarian relief and to address food insecurity.
The two leaders committed to strengthen bilateral efforts to manage migration in an orderly and humane manner in accordance with national and international laws. The Government of Guatemala will increase the number of border security personnel and strengthen and enhance safeguards at its northern and southern borders. Together, the United States and Guatemala will deepen bilateral law-enforcement cooperation to combat migrant smugglers, human traffickers, and narcotics traffickers including through the reconstitution of a Mobile Tactical Interdiction Unit focused on dismantling transnational criminal activities in Guatemala, by providing U.S. law enforcement personnel to train and advise Guatemalan border security and law enforcement, and by identifying and seizing the illicit assets of those criminal organizations.
Additionally, the two governments agreed on the need to establish orderly and legal channels for migrants. They agreed to open Migrant Resource Centers in Guatemala to provide services for people seeking lawful pathways of migration as well as those in need of protection, asylum referrals, and refugee resettlement. These centers will also provide reintegration support for migrants returned from the United States and other countries.
Finally, the two governments agreed on the importance of creating economic opportunities in the region that will benefit both countries. Vice President Harris underscored the importance of good governance and addressing corruption to create the conditions on the ground in Guatemala to attract investment and to create better opportunities for all its people.