GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – The winner of Guatemala’s presidential election, Alejandro Giammattei, stated on Sunday he hoped he might make modifications to a controversial migration deal the Central American nation signed with the Trump administration final month.
The winner of Guatemala’s presidential election, Alejandro Giammattei, talks throughout an interview with Reuters in Guatemala Metropolis, Guatemala, August 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Talking to Reuters shortly earlier than being declared victor, the conservative Giammattei stated he needed to see what could possibly be completed to enhance the deal that outgoing President Jimmy Morales agreed to stem U.S.-bound migration from Central America.
Giammattei is not going to take workplace till January, by which period Guatemala could also be below extreme strain from the deal that successfully turns the nation right into a buffer zone, by forcing migrants to hunt refuge there quite than in america.
“I hope that in this transition the doorways will open to get extra data so we will see what, from a diplomatic standpoint, we will do to take away from this deal the issues that aren’t proper for us, or how we will come to an settlement with america,” Giammattei, 63, stated within the interview.
Threatened with financial sanctions if he stated no, Morales reached an accord in late July to make Guatemala a so-called secure third nation for migrants, regardless of the endemic poverty and violence plaguing the Central American nation.
“It’s not proper for the nation,” Giammattei stated of the deal. “If we don’t have the capability to take care of our personal individuals, think about what it is going to be like for foreigners.”
The settlement can be extremely unpopular in Guatemala.
A ballot revealed this week by Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre confirmed greater than eight out of 10 respondents rejected the concept of the nation accepting overseas migrants looking for asylum.
Giammattei famous that since a U.S. choose had already suspended a separate secure third nation accord, there was an opportunity that the cope with Guatemala might change.
“We’ll must see what occurs in america with the federal choose’s choice. The most definitely consequence is that america must modify … the deal,” he stated, additionally noting Guatemala’s Congress would have to be consulted.
In July, a U.S. federal choose in California blocked a Trump administration rule that might bar asylum functions on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Previous to the accord president Morales signed, Guatemala’s Constitutional Courtroom stated Congress, which is in recess, wanted to be consulted on any secure third nation deal.
However when Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Guatemalan exports, and to levy expenses on billions of in remittances despatched dwelling by Guatemalans residing in america if he didn’t signal the migration deal, Morales relented.
Three million Guatemalans dwell and work in america, which can be the nation’s primary buying and selling companion.
Giammattei additionally stated he doubted that migrants can be keen to adjust to the deal.
“They’re in search of asylum in america,” he stated. “I don’t suppose there are lots of people from El Salvador and Honduras who need to search asylum in Guatemala, particularly if they’re fleeing poverty.”
To deal with the migration downside, Giammattei has pledged to construct a “wall of funding” alongside Guatemala’s impoverished border area with Mexico as a way of selling financial improvement and inspiring individuals to remain at dwelling.
Giammattei, a veteran bureaucrat, had misplaced his three earlier bids for the presidency.
However he defeated his center-left rival, former first woman Sandra Torres, by a landslide, successful greater than 58% of the vote, preliminary outcomes confirmed.
Reporting by Sofia Menchu and Diego Oré; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Delphine Schrank; Modifying by Dave Graham and Stephen Coates