The deal comes amid a surge in the number of migrant children arriving at the U.S. border, including a man from Guatemala.
“With regard to border security, the establishment of a joint border security task force was discussed,” said Pedro Brolo, Guatemala’s foreign minister. “The US government offered training.”
The efforts are led on the Guatemalan side by the Border Ports and Airports Department.
Harris told Giammattei that the US plans to increase aid to the Northern Triangle region – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – and “strengthen our cooperation” to better cope with the surge in migration on the US southern border .
The conversation was a reinforcement of Harris’s diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from the region, a role she was given by President Joe Biden last month.
In her opening speech, Harris spoke about the “acute causes” of the surge in migration – hurricanes that struck the region last fall, an ongoing drought and the coronavirus pandemic – as well as “root causes” such as the lack of economic opportunities in the region, extreme ones Weather conditions and government corruption.
“We want to work with you to address both acute and root causes in a way that people of Guatemala hope to have the opportunity to stay at home,” said Harris.
She promised to increase aid to countries in the region and to seek better cooperation to “manage migration in an effective, safe and humane way”.
Your comments come on the same day that the Biden government announced sanctions against a current and a former Guatemalan government official for corruption.
“These sanctions support the efforts of the people of Guatemala to end the scourge of corruption as part of the US government’s commitment to support improvements in governance in Guatemala,” Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Neither Harris nor Giammattei made any reference to the sanctions in their opening statements.
Giammattei told Harris that his country’s government wants to be a “partner” with the US in “fighting not just poverty but so many of the evils that affect us”.