WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, traveled to Guatemala City as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation led by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
During their visit, the bipartisan delegation met with President Alejandro Giammattei and Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo to discuss the ways that the U.S. and Guatemala can partner together to reduce migration, address human and narcotics trafficking, and curb the presence of transnational criminal organizations. This includes through increasing economic opportunity and social services in Guatemala and enhancing already strong law enforcement cooperation. The delegation also stressed the need for Guatemala to better tackle corruption, improve the rule of law, and continue the progress made to address violence within the country. The senators also discussed U.S. efforts to help Guatemala fight COVID-19. The delegation arrived at the same time as the U.S. donation of 1.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Guatemala.
“I was pleased to join Senators Kaine and Portman on a bipartisan delegation to Guatemala City, and to arrive just as the United States delivered 1.5 million vaccines to Guatemala to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Senator Coons. “As the Chair of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that funds foreign assistance, I appreciated the opportunity to meet with President Giammattei and Foreign Minister Brolo, civil society activists, business leaders, and members of the faith community to identify ways to strengthen the partnership between the United States and Guatemala, better support the Guatemalan people, and address issues of corruption, the rule of law, and the lack of economic opportunity that are driving irregular migration. I am encouraged that the Biden Administration has prioritized tackling these regional challenges, and I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to advance this critical work.”
“I appreciate our discussions with President Giammattei, Foreign Minister Brolo, civil society, and business leaders on ways to expand bilateral relations between our two countries and how best to improve security within Guatemala,” said Senator Portman. “Guatemala’s work to root out corruption, make progress on judicial reforms, and address economic and societal drivers to unlawful migration is vital to stability in the region and I encourage leaders within the country to take the steps necessary to sustain democratic institutions and spur economic opportunities for Guatemala.”
“The U.S.-Guatemala relationship is a critical one to supporting stability and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere. Our alliance is more relevant than ever as we work together to create economic opportunities and foster alternatives to migration, including by strengthening Guatemala’s democratic institutions and the rule of law,” said Senator Kaine. “This is why I was glad to lead a bipartisan CODEL to Guatemala and hear directly from the country’s leaders, civil society representatives, and business leaders to collaborate on solutions. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, I will continue working to prioritize initiatives that support good governance and long-term stability in the region.”
The senators also met with civil society, where they discussed continued efforts to address corruption, and business leaders to discuss ways to deepen bilateral economic opportunity.
The delegation was grateful to the men and women of U.S. Embassy Guatemala City for their outstanding support of the delegation’s visit and for ably representing our country abroad.