On September 29, U.S. Ambassador Luis E. Arreaga joined Guatemalan Vice President Guillermo Castillo Reyes, Director of La Ruta Victor Asturias, Sandy Recinos of Secretaría Contra la Violencia Sexual, Explotación y Trata de Personas (SVET), and other Guatemalan government officials in Esquipulas to announce the U.S. government’s support for the Guatemala-led Plan Trifinio Initiative.
The U.S. government committed to invest over $7 million in new and existing projects of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). These projects will help prioritize development needs, improve living conditions of Guatemala’s most vulnerable citizens within the Trifinio region, encompassing eastern departments bordering Honduras and El Salvador. The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala is proud to support Plan Trifinio’s mission of enhancing cross-border economic, social, and environmental development, while ensuring secure borders, and the preservation of the region’s ecosystems.
The U.S. government pledged to provide support to:
- Assist SVET to establish two anti-trafficking-in-persons offices, including one in Chiquimula.
- Establish a regional alternative measures office for juveniles in Chiquimula.
- Continue support for border security projects, in collaboration with the Ministry of Government, in support of Plan Trifinio’s cross-border mission.
- Improvements to technology, infrastructure, and training at ports of entry to reduce drug trafficking and contraband entering Guatemala, while facilitating legitimate trade and strengthening overall border security.
- Support the socio-economic empowerment of women, youth, and indigenous communities to deter illegal migration to the United States by providing viable, substantive opportunities for these populations to thrive in their own communities.
These initiatives will bolster U.S.-Guatemala cross-border economic, social, and environmental development cooperation, while advancing Plan Trifinio’s goals and mitigating the factors, such as poverty and insecurity, that fuel illegal immigration to the United States. The U.S. Embassy commends Vice President Castillo, Mr. Asturias, Ms. Recinos and the entire Guatemalan government for their dedication to improving the lives of all Guatemalan citizens.