US Special Envoy to conclude migration talks in Guatemala, El Salvador

US Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle Ricardo Zuniga will conclude a Central America trip today in El Salvador. In

Photo: Reuters

US Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle Ricardo Zuniga will conclude a Central America trip today in El Salvador.

In the two-nation visit, Zuniga held talks addressing root causes of migration to the US from Northern Triangle nations Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Last month, the number of migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border reached a fifteen-year high, adding momentum to US President Joe Biden’s four-year, $4 billion plan aimed at decreasing violence, poverty and corruption in the Triangle.

Expect Zuniga to focus on developing US initiatives to fight corruption in the region. In the medium-term, Washington is set to intensify anti-corruption efforts outlined in recent legislation like the US-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, also known as the “Engel List” after bill sponsor and US House Representative Eliot Engel.

As the US has already decided not to award regional aid to Central American politicians, expect the Special Envoy to discuss conditions for disbursement of foreign assistance, including government compliance with programs to reduce poverty or combat drug trafficking. In the future, Washington could threaten to withhold such aid should local actors fail to comply with its regional policies.

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