Vice President Harris’ Trip to Mexico & Guatemala

VP Harris speaking Maryland National Guard / CC BY-ND 2.0

On June 6, Vice President Kamala Harris, in her first foreign visit, will go to Mexico and Guatemala, where she will be meeting with presidents Lopez Obrador and Giamettei, as well as with a wide range of groups and civil society organizations. In March, President Biden asked her to lead efforts to stem migration from Central America and address its root causes.  

The Vice President is expected to focus on a wide range of challenges, some more short-term like more effective enforcement and others deeper, and longer-term, including corruption, violence, organized crime, lack of economic development, investment, job opportunities, and climate change. In recent years, the situation in Central America has deteriorated, aggravated by the pandemic. 

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RELATED ANALYSIS

Shifter: “López Obrador va a exigir cosas a cambio de colaborar en el tema de migración”

May 1  |  Michael Shifter  |  Reforma

En esta entrevista con Reforma, Michael Shifter opinó sobre la crisis migratoria en la frontera de México y Estados Unidos, la relación bilateral entre ambos países y la primera reunión virtual entre Andrés Manuel López Obrador y Joe Biden.

Biden’s First 100 Days and Latin America Policy

Apr 29  |  Michael Shifter  |  Voces Blog

Given the huge demands on Washington  – domestic and international  – and today’s ravaged, fragmented, and leaderless region, this is probably not the right time for bold, ambitious initiatives. But the Biden administration should move quickly to renew partnerships with select countries, emphasizing recovery from Covid-19 and restoring economic and political stability.

The Biden Administration has pledged significant aid to Central America. But where should it go and how should it get there?

Apr 22  |  Rachel Schwartz  |  Voces Blog

Given its commitment to reviving multilateralism and bringing together diverse stakeholders, the Biden administration is well-positioned to use these instruments to implement its more holistic regional agenda. After decades of privileging police and military assistance and waiting for government uptake of institutional strengthening efforts, it is time to look beyond Central American states and reinvest in civil society-based anti-corruption coalitions that can be the engines of political and economic change.

Addressing the Root Causes of Migration from Central America

Apr 21  |  Kathryn Klass  |  Event Summary

The Inter-American Dialogue, Creative Associates International, and the International Organization on Migration hosted the online event Addressing the Root Causes of Migration from Central America to discuss trends in Central American migration alongside practical solutions for managing these flows and addressing the factors pressuring people to leave their homes.

Climate and Migration: Two Biden Priorities Meet in the Northern Triangle

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Making climate change a central theme of a renewed US focus on the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle presents an opportunity for the Biden administration to address its border dilemma while simultaneously advancing its climate-related foreign policy goals.

Private Roundtable on US-Mexico Energy Cooperation

Mar 11  |  Lisa Viscidi  |  External Engagement

The energy markets of the United States and Mexico are deeply integrated, to the benefit of both countries and their economies. The new US administration has a clear interest in preserving and expanding this fruitful relationship while advancing its ambitious clean energy and climate goals, both at home and abroad.

Biden’s Central America Plan – Perspectives from the Region

Feb 19  |  Worth Talley  |  Event Summary

On February 17, 2021, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted the online event “Biden’s Central America Plan – Perspectives from the Region” in partnership with Creative Associates International. Taking into account the Biden administration’s plan for Central America, speakers addressed the region’s doubts, needs and aspirations with respect to US partnerships toward short-term and long-term development in the region.

FEATURED Q&A FROM THE LATIN AMERICA ADVISOR

What’s at Stake in Mexico’s June Midterm Election?

Mexicans on June 6 will elect the entire Federal Chamber of Deputies, as well as 15 governors and members of 30 state legislatures, in the nation’s first major vote since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in December 2018. The ruling Morena party, which currently holds a majority in both chambers of Congress, is leading in the polls with 56 percent of respondents’ support, Bloomberg News reported. What’s at stake in Mexico’s midterm election, and which issues are most important to voters? Will opposition parties’ coalition garner enough support to strip Morena of its near-supermajority in Congress? To what extent, and in what ways, might the results influence López Obrador’s political agenda going forward?

Featured Expert Commentary:

Earl Anthony Wayne  |  Former ambassador to Mexico and co-chair, Mexico Institute Advisory Board, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
Lorena Becerra  |  Political analyst and head of polling, Grupo Reforma
Alma Caballero  |  Director, McLarty Associates
Ruben Olmos  |  President, Global Nexus

DIALOGUE IN THE PRESS 

“El reto de Harris es conducir la situación actual con México simultáneamente con firmeza y delicadeza, tomando en cuenta la continua popularidad de AMLO y la aparente determinación de éste de consolidar el poder aunque eso implique recurrir al nacionalismo y a desafiar a EEUU.”

MICHAEL SHIFTER
Harris y AMLO repasan retos bilaterales en medio de tensas relaciones
El Tiempo Latino
May 7 

“El reto de Harris es conducir la situación actual con México simultáneamente con firmeza y delicadeza, tomando en cuenta la continua popularidad de AMLO y la aparente determinación de éste de consolidar el poder aunque eso implique recurrir al nacionalismo y a desafiar a EEUU.”

MICHAEL SHIFTER
Harris y AMLO repasan retos bilaterales en medio de tensas relaciones
El Tiempo Latino
May 7 

“AMLO se sintió cómodo con las relaciones con EEUU bajo (el expresidente Donald) Trump, quien ignoró el historial del gobierno mexicano en cuanto a derechos humanos, corrupción y seguridad. La Administración Biden ha generado malestar en el gobierno de AMLO por presionar por más resultados en la lucha anti-corrupción y lo más probable es que avance con cautela porque a Washington le conviene más tener la cooperación de México en materia migratoria.”

MICHAEL SHIFTER
Harris y AMLO repasan retos bilaterales en medio de tensas relaciones
El Tiempo Latino
May 7 

“[Kamala Harris] understands the importance of partnerships and alliances when it comes to our national security.”

REBECCA BILL CHAVEZ
Kamala Harris Foreign Policy Views, Explained
Vox
Aug 14 

“While Harris doesn’t have the experience of Biden on foreign policy, she is no foreign-policy lightweight. Harris was a quick study with strong instincts on foreign policy who quickly got up to speed on the issues during the primaries. She’s smart, and she understands the complex national security challenges that we’re facing.”

REBECCA BILL CHAVEZ
Biden Picks Kamala Harris as Running Mate
Foreign Policy
Aug 11 

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