A look at President Donald Trump‘s warning that he may suspend cooperation with Honduras over a group of some 2,000 Honduran migrants who have crossed into Guatemala and headed for the U.S. border:
WHAT DID TRUMP SAY?
“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” Trump wrote via Twitter. Hernandez, who the day before travelled to Colombia, had not responded. Honduras’ ability to stop the caravan is doubtful since the group is already in Guatemala.
Trump’s warning came just five days after Vice President Mike Pence told leaders from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that the U.S. is willing to increase aid to combat illegal immigration and spur economic development if those countries do their part. Through the Alliance for Prosperity, the U.S. committed $2.6 billion in assistance to the countries of Central America’s Northern Triangle between 2015 and 2018. Those three nations have together committed $8.6 billion.
AT STAKE FOR HONDURAS
For the fiscal year that started Oct. 1, the U.S. has designated $65.7 million for aid to Honduras, primarily through the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. A third of those funds are designated for strengthening the country’s democracy, human rights and governability. Another third targets economic development. The final third is for education, social services, the environment and security.
SECURITY IN HONDURAS
Honduras suffers from high levels of violence, mostly attributed to powerful street gangs. Their extortion rackets and aggressive recruitment of young people have driven thousands to migrate. The country is also a major transshipment point for drugs traveling from South America to the United States. Its homicide rate has declined in recent years, but remains high.