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The presidents of Mexico and Guatemala convene at the border to talk about migration, security, and development

Bernardo Arevalo talks to the press (Via Sam Hardy/ Shutterstock)

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo met on Friday in a Mexican border city to discuss important issues, with immigration being a primary focus.

Arévalo, who began his presidency this year, mentioned the historical significance of their meeting place, where his father Juan José Arévalo, a former Guatemalan president, had met with Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho in 1946.

“We seek a border that brings our peoples together, one that fosters mutual development and growth for both Mexicans and Guatemalans, built on trust, enthusiasm, and collaboration,” Arévalo stated.

Both countries face pressure from the United States to enhance border control to manage the flow of migrants northward. Security concerns along the border are also a significant issue.

Migrant filled the street (Via Sam Hardy/ Shutterstock)

Ahead of their first meeting, López Obrador expressed concerns about security in the border region. Two Mexican cartels are currently engaged in a violent struggle for control, leading to deaths and displacement in rural areas as they vie for dominance over drug, migrant, and weapons routes through the region. López Obrador noted that Guatemala shares these concerns, and discussions focused on addressing these challenges.

The meeting occurs amidst heightened diplomatic efforts between the United States, Mexico, and other regional countries. The Biden administration is particularly focused on addressing migration to the U.S.-Mexico border, which reached record levels in late 2023.

Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Alicia Bárcena announced on Tuesday that Mexico, the United States, and Guatemala have agreed to allocate more resources to the Mexico-Guatemala border.

They aim to accelerate development programs, trade, and job creation initiatives. Additionally, Mexico plans to discuss the possibility of issuing more temporary work visas to facilitate Guatemalan labor in Mexico.

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