Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. Photo:



As part of a regional effort to stem Central American migration northward and reduce extreme poverty – one of the main incentives for illegal immigration – on Tuesday, Dec. 18, the administration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump pledged $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico, as well as $5.8 billion for Central America, specifically for the so-called Northern Triangle, composed of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The proposal, which was announced in a joint statement simultaneously by the U.S. State Department and the newly instated Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) administration via Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard, came just as the U.S. government is facing a looming shutdown over border security.

The State Department specified that $10.6 billion will be given to the four countries in the hopes of enhancing security, governance and economic prosperity that can create greater opportunities and benefits for the people of the region” so as to help “jointly address the shared challenges of migration, narcotics trafficking and the activities of transnational criminal organizations.”

The statement also said that “the United States also wishes to recognize Mexico’s willingness to develop a framework to ensure migration occurs in a legal, orderly and safe manner.”

AMLO is expected to announce his plan for dealing with illegal migration on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

On taking office, López Obrador announced an “Alliance for Prosperity” plan to help develop Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as a series of projects aimed at creating jobs and investment opportunities in Mexico’s impoverished south.

The announcement by the United States indicates an endorsement of those programs, and Mexico’s government welcomed the pledge.

Notwithstanding, much of the money pledged had already been committed and a large portion will come in the form of private investments, which will be subject to project viabilities.



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