Mexico Offers U.S. Golden Chance To Join in Development for Southern Mexico and Central America
May 29, 2019 (EIRNS)—In a May 23 meeting in Washington, first with the State Department and then at the White House, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard laid out the details of the comprehensive development plan for southern Mexico and the three Northern Triangle nations of Central America—Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. He met with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and then with presidential advisor Jared Kushner and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
A more detailed report of this program was presented in Mexico City on May 20. Having been discussed intensively with the Trump Administration since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s election last July, the program offers the United States a unique opportunity to participate in developing the region to its south through infrastructure building, poverty reduction and job creation to provide economic security to those nations and thus stem the tide of illegal migration north to the United States. Ebrard emphasized that Mexico is approaching this problem in the spirit of the cordial dialogue that Presidents Donald Trump and López Obrador began last July, in which they agreed to cooperate to resolve the migration problem. Such a program would also lend itself beautifully to cooperation with China through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Among the projects Ebrard mentioned were a plan for regional interconnection of the electricity grid, a network of gas pipelines—the Department of Energy has already contacted him—and rail lines, and setting up companies in the region. He pointed to a $5.8 billion commitment earlier this year by the U.S. government to Central America.
Last November, at López Obrador’s request, Ebrard had outlined a “Marshall Plan” for southern Mexico and the Northern Triangle, indicating it would require a $20 billion investment for Mexico and another $20 billion for Central America. In Washington last week, he said he hopes America will come through with the $5.8 billion committed to last December, adding he will ask for “much more,” without specifying an amount. Mexico, he said, has indicated its commitment to the program—$10 billion over a ten-year period—and the three Central American nations will shortly publicize what they are able to contribute.
But, Ebrard underscored, unless measures of this kind are implemented in the short term, with the necessary financial aid, “it will be impossible” to deal with the migration problem.