The United States is plotting an ambitious attempt to shore up Central America, with the administration of President Donald Trump pressing Mexico to do more to stem the flow of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in the region, U.S. and Mexican officials say.
The U.S. vision is being shaped by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly, who is due to give a speech about his goals for Central America in Washington on Thursday.
Kelly, who knows Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador well from his time as chief of the U.S. Southern Command, helped the administration of former President Barack Obama design his Alliance for Prosperity. That $750-million initiative sought to curtail Central American migration through development projects as well as law-and-order funding to crack down on the region’s dominant gangs.
Kelly aims to re-tool the Obama-era alliance without a large increase in American funding by pressing Mexico to shoulder more responsibility for governance and security in Central America, and by drumming up fresh private investment for the region, U.S. and Mexican diplomats say.