US to unveil steps on smuggling, human trafficking in Guatemala

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The US is expected on Monday to announce steps to tackle human trafficking and smuggling in Guatemala, a senior US official said, as Vice President Kamala Harris visits the region to try to lower migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle countries.

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Harris’ trip to Guatemala and Mexico this week is likely to emphasize cooperation with non-government organizations, amid some criticism from local officials over the timing and thrust of her mission to curb migration to the US from the region, advisers and experts said.

The focus on civil society could be a sore point in Mexico, which sent a diplomatic note to Washington last month complaining about US support for a group that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador considers to be part of the political opposition.

Speaking as Harris flew to Guatemala, a senior US official said that in addition to announcing the steps to combat human trafficking, the Biden administration hoped on Monday to unveil anti-corruption measures in the Central American nation.

The vice president’s first overseas trip since taking office, which began on Sunday, will focus on economic development, climate and food insecurity and women’s issues, White House officials say.

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