MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Mexican government announced on Saturday to help Honduras create 20,000 jobs and support its coffee growers as the two countries seek to stem migration to the US, causing tensions with the US US President Donald Trump has led.
FILE PHOTO: People belonging to a caravan of migrants from Honduras pass an immigration checkpoint in Huehuetan, Mexico, on their way to the United States. REUTERS / Jose Cabezas
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his Honduran counterpart Juan Orlando Hernández has pledged to work together to promote prosperity in Central America, where poverty and violence have fueled the exodus of people to the north.
This migration has angered Trump, who has made border security a priority, and has made economic threats against Mexico and Central America if nothing more is done to stem the flow.
Following the meeting of Honduran and Mexican heads of state in the eastern state of Veracruz, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Lopez Obrador had given instructions to help Honduras create 20,000 jobs by December.
He did not disclose any details, but afterward, the two Presidents in speeches in the eastern city of Minatitlan provided further insights into their plans.
Hernandez hoped that a "large international coalition to create mass jobs" could be forged in Central America, while Lopez Obrador stressed that Mexico would support the region with funds and employment programs.
In particular, Lopez Obrador said, Mexico will help Honduran coffee growers, whose companies have suffered a decline in international prices this year.
"We will help improve coffee production, whatever is needed," he said. "So you have no problem selling coffee." Creating jobs through youth education and tree planting would also come to Honduras.
This year, there has been an increase in concerns among migrants on the southern US border with Mexico. Most people caught trying to enter the US illegally are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
On Friday, Trump said he had reached an agreement with Guatemala to curb migration, even though this plan was challenged on Saturday by the two politicians who wanted to become Guatemala's next president next month.
coverage by Noe Torres and Dave Graham; Editing by Richard Chang