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The Guatemalan government says it has not signed any troop deployment agreement with the United States

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2021. 7:53 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Guatemala has not signed any troops deployment agreement with the United States, said an official press release issued by the Guatemalan government today.

The Guatemalan government’s press release posted on Twitter by the Ministry of Social Communication said the government of Alejandro Giammattei issued the release in response to declarations by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki that the United States had signed an agreement with Guatemala for border protection.

Earlier, international reports quoted Psaki saying that the United States had signed an agreement with Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico for the deployment of military personnel and police to the borders to stem the wave of illegal migration.

The Guatemalan government’s press release said that while the strengthening of border security is a priority for Guatemala there is no signed document and that the 1,500 soldiers that are referred to were deployed by Guatemala in response to the massive flow of people with the characteristics of migrants in January of this year.  The statement further says that 40 Guatemalan institutions worked in a coordinated manner to control the migrants’ caravan.

The Guatemalan government’s press release says that from last year Guatemala has carried out joint measures with the neighbouring countries to deal with the situation.

The release also says the present government assumed office with the commitment of securing the country’s borders against transnational threats such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and as a pandemic control measure.

Earlier, AP reported that Psaki said that under the agreement Mexico would keep 10,000 troops deployed at its borders while Honduras would deploy 7,000 police and soldiers to its border, and Guatemala 1,500 police and soldiers to its border with Honduras.

Psaki said the agreement was part of a series of bilateral agreements between the United States and the Central American governments.

AP also reported that Honduran Foreign Affairs Minister Lisandro Rosales said on Monday that while Honduras maintains forces by its border with Guatemala and cooperates with Guatemalan forces on immigration, crime, and other illegal activities, it had not committed to put soldiers at the border.

However, according to AP, Honduran Defense Secretary Fredy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, who was part of a Honduran delegation that met with US officials last week in Washington, said Honduras would do that “in response to this request that comes from the great nation to the north (the United States) to be able to help on the issue of immigration.”

 

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