Mexico City — The US government will contribute US$40 million to the deployment of social programs promoted by the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) in Central America, Cuba and Ecuador, as a measure aimed at discouraging migration.
The resources will be used in the programs ‘Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro’ (Youths Build the Future) and ‘Sembrando Vida’ (Sowing Life) in El Salvador, Honduras, mainly, but also in Belize, Guatemala, Cuba and Ecuador, said Alicia Bárcena, who was appointed by AMLO as Foreign Minister in mid-June.
“It is the first time that the United States is going to contribute a fund with the characteristics that interest us, which is to directly reach the beneficiaries,” Bárcena said during a press conference Wednesday.
The pledge of resources was made in the framework of a bilateral meeting held in Mexico by Mexican and US officials on migration and security issues on July 24 and 25.
The Mexican government has allocated $62 million in total, $31 million to El Salvador and $31 million to Honduras, to benefit 20,000 people per country through the two programs, according to the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (Amexcid).
The US commitment comes after an investigation by media outlet Expansión in Mexico and other media in Central America in June showed that Sembrando Vida’s goals in Central America were far from being achieved.
Regarding migration, Bárcena said there was a 50% drop in illegal crossings into the US after the end of Title 42, but warned of a 36% increase in irregular family migration between June and July.
Looking ahead, Mexico plans to establish a facility in the south of the country to provide shelter and employment services for people from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela who stayed in the country after the end of Title 42 rather than continuing their trek north to attempt to enter the US.
Regarding the installation of buoys on the Rio Grande by the government of Texas, Bárcena said that the government of Mexico has sent diplomatic notes warning about the violation of the treaties of border limits and waterways of both countries, and highlighted the support of the government of US President Joe Biden, which filed a lawsuit against the governor of Texas over the measures.