MEXICO CITY – President Trump's plan to stop helping three Central American countries because they have not stopped the flow of migrants to the United States breaks with the years of conventional wisdom in Washington that the best way to stop migration is in it exists to attack their roots causes.
The decision also contradicts the approach taken by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico. Mr. López Obrador has worked in Washington to invest billions of dollars with his government in Central America and southern Mexico, arguing that economic development and reducing violence are the most effective means of getting Central Americans to stay home ,
The president, however, is raving about the growing numbers of people families who arrive at the southern border to ask for asylum. His government told Congress late Friday that he intended to reprogram $ 450 million in aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and has already issued messages to embassies in the region.
"There is no money left," he told reporters on Friday. "We give them tremendous help. We have stopped the payment. "
While the legislature has instruments to tackle this decision, it is quite possible that some, if not all, of these subsidies will be suspended for the time being.
The decision turns American politics in the region upside down. It will not only curtail development and humanitarian aid, but also curb the efforts of law enforcement agencies, such as United States-sanctioned anti-gang units previously supported by the Republicans and the Trump government, Juan S said Gonzalez, a former Deputy Secretary of State in the Obama administration.
Indeed, one day before Trump's statements, the United States signed a border security treaty with the three Central American governments to increase cooperation against trafficking and organized crime.
Mr. Gonzalez said the aid's withdrawal "undermines our interest," adding, "In the United States, we actually succeed against gangs by working with regional law enforcement, which has helped us prevent increased gait."
The decision also embarrassed Mexico, which was already plagued on Friday by Mr. Trump's threat to close down parts or the entire border in response to the immigration spike as early as next week, which was an additional blow.
Proponents argue that stopping aid will only aggravate the main cause that causes migrants to leave the three countries where a long history of corrupt governments and rigid inequalities perpetuate deep poverty.
Band violence, drug trafficking and abusive security forces – some of them are the result of American politics in the US A Re Gion, which focused on the fight against communism in the 1980s and drug trafficking since the 1990s, has led to the world's highest murder rates outside war zones.
The Obama administration increased its support after a wave of Central American children arrived in the US The Texas border in 2014. Support for the region doubled in 2016 to some $ 750 million, the Washington office said Latin America.
The group's director, Beltrán, said that after 2016 aid was not just about violence and insecurity, but also reflected the agreement that "you are dealing with issues of governance and corruption, creating economic opportunities, and Create institutions. "  With substantial aid available in the region only in 2017, there was not much time left for a strong impact.
"There are long-term challenges that require a long-term sustainable solution," said Ms Ms. Beltrán said. "You can have a discussion on how we can ensure that the assistance is effective, that the corrupt governments are not supported by the support."
Much of the humanitarian aid is distributed through local governments and non-governmental organizations. Cutting off this help is "illogical and vindictive," said Tim Rieser, a senior foreign policy advisor to Sen. Patrick Leahy, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
But direct aid to the national governments of the North has been cut off Triangular countries are long overdue, he added, because they are part of the problem.
"Senator Leahy does not believe that we should support governments that are more interested in enriching their power than the needs of their own people." He added, pointing to the efforts of the governments of Honduras and Guatemala, to control the courts and stop efforts to fight corruption.
The Trump government lifted pressure as the governments of Guatemala and Honduras cultivated conservative allies in Washington and Washington as allies in the drug ban.
Guatemala followed the Trump administration to win Washington's favor laying his message in Israel. f from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said last week that his government opened a trading office in Jerusalem, which he called "a first step" in moving the embassy of his country.
On Saturday there was no official response from the Central American governments. Ebal Díaz, the minister of the presidency, told Radio América, a Honduran broadcaster, that American aid was largely directed to non-governmental humanitarian groups and aid agencies.