• During their meeting in Chiapas, the presidents of Mexico and Guatemala agreed to strengthen cooperation on security, rail connectivity, human mobility, improvement of local communities, customs infrastructure and consular cooperation.

The presidents of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Guatemala, César Bernardo Arévalo de León, met today, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Tapachula, Chiapas. In the context of the 175th anniversary of diplomatic relations and based on the millenary roots of our peoples, this meeting reaffirms a new stage of collaboration based on common national projects underpinned by principles of equality, social justice and sustainable prosperity.

The heads of state, accompanied by various ministers, reaffirmed their vision of the border as a noble space; therefore, they agreed to redouble their efforts to strengthen collaboration between the two countries, particularly in the border area, in order to address the challenges of security, infrastructure, trade and investment, and to improve the lives of local communities and people in situations of mobility.

The delegations, led by the presidents, addressed the following topics:

1. In security, the armed forces of both countries highlighted the deep bilateral collaboration and shared the results of the main cooperation mechanisms, such as the Meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Border Commanders Board. The intelligence centers reported the results of the recent meeting of the High-Level Security Group on migration, border issues, intelligence, international security, terrorism, public security, customs and crime prevention.

2. With regard to rail connectivity between the two countries, Mexico presented its two iconic projects: the Maya Train and the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Guatemala expressed interest in analyzing the initiatives and participating in them, opening possibilities for collaboration and joint work to contribute to the integration of Guatemala with Mexico and the North American economy.

3. In the area of human mobility, Mexico and Guatemala reaffirmed their commitment to address the structural causes of migration and to continue collaborating to support communities of origin, with a hemispheric and human rights perspective, including labor issues, in order to promote regular, safe, orderly and circular migration. They also agreed on the importance of assisting and protecting Guatemalans in Mexico who are in the process of returning, and to ensure that repatriation is swift, orderly, dignified and humanitarian.

4. Regarding cooperation, they highlighted the progress of the Sembrando Vida program in Guatemala, which has benefited 14,000 Guatemalans, 63 percent of whom are women, with a contribution of US$20 million. President Bernardo Arévalo praised the program's focus on assisting diverse communities, putting in place sustainable agricultural systems and promoting local development.

5. In order to promote trade and develop a more integrated border with greater wellbeing, the presidents agreed to prioritize the development of infrastructure at 3 of the 8 border crossings: El Ceibo-El Ceibo, Ingenieros-Nuevo Orizaba and Tecún Umán II-Suchiate II. They agreed on the construction in the near future of the Guatemalan facilities in Ingenieros and the modernization of the Suchiate II-Tecún Umán II and El Ceibo-El Ceibo Border Ports, particularly regarding implementation of the Joint Cargo Dispatch (JCD) Pilot Plan at the Suchiate II-Tecún Umán II crossing, where 80 percent of bilateral trade takes place, by next October to optimize the customs process, reduce logistics costs, improve security at the crossing points and promote bilateral and regional trade. To achieve these goals, the presidents agreed to create a working group to follow up on the project.

6. Considering the synergies between the Mexican and Guatemalan consular networks, the leaders celebrated the creation of the Consular Cooperation Group (GCC) between Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras on May 7. They instructed that its first actions be carried out immediately in the consular representations in Texas, to coordinate preventive protection efforts in light of Texas SB4.

7. Both presidents agreed on the priority need to work together on natural disasters, particularly forest fires, where there are great areas of opportunity for cooperation and to exchange information and best practices.

8. Convinced of their shared responsibility in the fight against transnational organized crime, the presidents instructed the security agencies of both countries to carry out joint and immediate actions. They prioritized activities related to the fight against drug trafficking, smuggling and migrant trafficking and smuggling, through initiatives aimed at prevention, prosecution and the exchange of information to strengthen security on the common border, and to protect the wellbeing of the communities in the area.

Mexico was represented by the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Alicia Bárcena Ibarra; Interior, Luisa María Alcalde Luján; National Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval González; the Navy, José Rafael Ojeda Durán; and Security and Civil Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez; National Migration Institute Commissioner Francisco Garduño Yánez; the Director General of the National Intelligence Center, Audomaro Martínez Zapata; the Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Foreign Ministry, Laura Elena Carrillo Cubillas; the Executive Director of the Mexican Agency of International Development Cooperation (Amexcid), Gloria Sandoval Salas; and the Mexican ambassador to Guatemala, Romeo Ruiz Armento. Also present were the governors of the border states of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas; Tabasco, Carlos Manuel Merino Campos; Campeche, Layda Elena Sansores San Román; and Quintana Roo, María Elena Lezama Espinosa.

The Guatemalan delegation was composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Ramiro Martínez Alvarado; Interior, Francisco Jiménez Irungaray; National Defense, Henry David Sáenz Ramos; Energy and Mines, Víctor Hugo Ventura Ruiz; Ana Glenda Tager Rosado, Private Secretary to the President; the Ambassador of Guatemala to Mexico, Marco Tulio Chicas Sosa; Secretary of Strategic Intelligence Christian Esaú Espinoza Sandoval; the Superintendent of Tax Administration, Marco Livio Díaz Reyes; the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Disaster Reduction, Claudinne Ogaldes Cruz; the Director General of the Guatemalan Migration Institute, Alfredo Danilo Rivera; and the governors of the border departments of San Marcos, Rolando López Crisóstomo; Huehuetenango, Elsa Hernández Méndez; and Petén, Mauricio José Acevedo Sandoval.

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