U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris walks with Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pedro Brolo as she exits Air Force Two upon her arrival in Guatemala City, Sunday, June 6, at Guatemalan Air Force Central Command.
The United States is set to announce Monday new measures to fight drug smuggling and trafficking as Vice President Kamala Harris meets with leaders in Guatemala to discuss migration and security issues.
A senior administration official told reporters they also hope to announce additional measures to address corruption, but that there are no plans to unveil additional aid money at this time.
U.S. President Joe Biden has tasked Harris with leading the effort to address the causes behind a rise in migrants traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Administration officials highlighted corruption as a major factor both in that migration and in private companies avoiding expanding their investments in Central America.
“For us it’s a direct correlation between corruption and people arriving on our southwest border,” one official said.
In addition to talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, Harris is also meeting Monday with community leaders and entrepreneurs.
“What she wants to do is hear from all of the individuals that she’s going to meet with, so that she can advance a very comprehensive agenda, a strategy that the vice president has elaborated, that takes into account the need to grow the Guatemalan economy, to deal with the climate crisis and the food insecurity that has resulted, to work to combat poverty, violence and corruption,” said Nancy McEldowney, national security adviser to the vice president.
Harris continues similar discussions Tuesday in Mexico City with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, entrepreneurs and labor figures. (AP/VOA)