Kamala Harris arrives in Guatemala on her first international tour with immigration in the spotlight
The Vice President of the United States , Kamala Harris, arrived this Sunday in Guatemala City to begin her first working tour abroad, with the aim of starting dialogues on immigration and the fight against corruption.
The flight carrying Harris landed on the main runway of the Guatemalan Air Force base at 18:18 local time (00:18 GMT on Monday), after suffering a delay of about two hours over initially planned due to to a technical problem of the official plane.
The vice president left Andrews air base in Maryland, where a failure that did not represent risks forced the delegation to change aircraft after almost half an hour of travel, according to official information.
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo was appointed to receive Harris upon his arrival in the country with a brief greeting ceremony upon his arrival in the Guatemalan Air Force, in which the US Ambassador, William Popp, also participated in the midst of a strong security operation, which included snipers and the US secret service.
Fight against crime and corruption
Harris will meet this Monday morning with the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, at the National Palace of Culture, seat of the Government, where at the end of the meeting they will offer a joint statement.
The vice president said this week that she wants to have “a frank conversation” about the fight against corruption, crime and violence during her stay in Guatemala.
After the interview with Giammattei, Harris will hold meetings with community leaders at another location south of the Guatemalan capital, and will later talk with business leaders about investment and development initiatives.
Also, Harris pointed out during the week that there are many other issues to talk about in Guatemala, such as malnutrition, economic development amid climate change.
Before Harris’s arrival in Guatemala, a score of military veterans and relatives of former high-ranking military commanders, subject to criminal proceedings for crimes against humanity, took up residence in the streets in front of the Guatemalan Air Force in repudiation of the vice president.
The protesters carried blankets with slogans written in English such as “Kamala, Trump won” or “Go home.”
In contrast, on Saturday dozens of people demonstrated in the central plaza of Guatemala City against corruption, one of the main scourges that encourage Guatemalans to migrate, and showed messages such as “Kamala lie to you,” in relation to to the future meeting with President Giammattei.
Heading to mexico
The US vice president will leave the Central American country on Monday after 24 hours in Guatemala to go to the second destination of the trip, Mexico, where she will hold a meeting with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador .
Harris’s visit is part of the strategy of US President Joe Biden , who came to power in January, to nip irregular immigration into his country, especially from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
According to official figures, in the United States there are more than three million Guatemalans, most of them in an irregular situation, and each year at least 300,000 people try to reach the North American nation without documents in search of better living conditions.