Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan has formalized an agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Ministry of Government of Guatemala with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC). The agreement, which will expand areas of collaboration between the United States and the Northern Triangle country to target human smuggling and trafficking networks, marks the start of the Acting Secretary’s four-day trip to participate in bilateral and multilateral meetings with officials representing the governments of the Northern Triangle countries.
The meetings will highlight the root causes driving the current high rate of irregular migration to the U.S., as well as viable options for enhancing protections of vulnerable populations.
“I am proud to sign this agreement with Minister Enrique Antonio Degenhart,” said Acting Secretary McAleenan. “Through our continued collaboration and partnership, the U.S. and Guatemala are formalizing a number of initiatives to improve the lives and security of our respective citizens by combating human trafficking and the smuggling of illegal goods, helping to limit ‘push’ factors that encourage dangerous irregular migration to the U.S., perpetuating the ongoing crisis at or border.”
According to the MOC, both countries have agreed to take concrete actions necessary to combat the scourge of human trafficking and smuggling, interdict illicit drug trafficking, and target illegal trade and financial flows. This will include law enforcement training and collaboration to improve criminal investigations.
Other areas of cooperation include increasing the security of the Guatemalan border to stem the flow of irregular migration while ensuring proper preparation to improve the ability of both countries to identify and better understand their root causes.
The Acting Secretary will be in Guatemala through Thursday, May 30th, to meet with officials representing Northern Triangle countries, leadership from non-governmental organizations and Guatemalan civil society.