Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Alliance for Prosperity: Solution to the Central American Migrant Crisis or Déjà Vu?

By Jeff Abbott, Truthout
February 13, 2016

This year Guatemala inaugurated a new president: Jimmy Morales, a former comedian known for a racist television show in which he regularly performed in blackface and mocked Guatemala's indigenous populations. Morales, who took office on January 14, had positioned himself as a political outsider who was able to ride the wave of popular discontent to the office. But before his inauguration, Morales was paid a special visit by US Vice President Joseph Biden, whose late arrival disrupted the events planned for the day. Biden privately met with the new president in an upscale hotel in Guatemala's wealthy Zone 10. Guatemala's daily newspaper reports that the two discussed the importance of Washington's latest plan to curb northern migration, the Alliance for Prosperity.

A month prior, the US Senate passed the controversial Alliance for Prosperity Plan as part of the 2016 budget on December 18, 2015, in a vote of 66 to 33. The plan includes $750 million to improve governance, strengthen security and promote the economic integration of the northern triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. In late 2015, Mexico and Nicaragua were both added to the plan, with each country receiving nearly $120 million of the funds made available to secure their borders.[...]

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