Vice President Kamala Harris, after meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on Monday, said the United States wants to increase aid to the region and manage migration in a secure and humane way as she looks for ways to defuse a migrant crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Harris was appointed the job of leading U.S. efforts with Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – to stop migrants from crossing into the United States.
The Biden administration announced on the same day sanctions against one current and one former Guatemalan government official for corruption. In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “these sanctions support efforts by 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.”
Challenges surfaced during their first call, when Giammattei asked Harris about the possibility of purchasing COVID-19 vaccines, but an administration official said it was not politically tenable to assure vaccine supplies to other countries before inoculating every American.
Guatemalan lawmakers have also refused to swear in an anti-corruption judge.