Q24N – The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and the president of the United States, Joe Biden, will hold a virtual meeting on Friday to discuss their plans for Central America and analyze the upcoming challenges in terms of migration, security, energy, and economic cooperation.
The meeting, announced Tuesday by the White House through a statement, has the objective of analyzing the Summit of the Americas that will be held in June in Los Angeles and, specifically, preparing a common strategy on how “North America can lead priority initiatives for the region”.
The appointment is held days before López Obrador undertakes a working tour of the northern triangle of Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize. This trip seeks to promote the social programs launched by the Mexican government in an attempt to alleviate migratory flows, such as the Sembrando Vida job bank, which employs tens of thousands of people in the repopulation and planting of the countryside.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes that everything that happens on the southern border automatically has repercussions on the northern border and, in this context, fine-tuning coordination with Washington is key.
The two presidents made clear, like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, their commitment to North American integration during the trilateral meeting held last November.
From that summit, known colloquially as Los Three Amigos, relations between Mexico and the United States have gone through moments of tension, especially due to López Obrador’s energy policy. But to that have been added in recent days new sources of friction that have to do precisely with the migratory phenomenon and with security.
Last week, the dissolution in Mexico of one of the so-called Sensitive Investigation Units was known, an elite group that worked with the DEA, the United States anti-drug agency, for more than 25 years.
It was just one more episode, but it reflects the shift in the approach of the López Obrador Administration to combat the onslaught of drug trafficking, while the country is mired in a serious security crisis derived mainly from the confrontation between cartels.
The so-called Bicentennial Understanding, the bilateral cooperation framework to combat crime recently sealed between the Mexican government and the White House, focuses more on prevention than on operations against organized crime and has barely started.
There are more factors that motivate the deepening of the dialogue. The United States has decided to turn away Ukrainian migrants fleeing Russian aggression if they enter by land from Mexico. And the Republican opposition to Biden has chosen to tighten the screws on Washington in the face of Biden’s determination to lift the so-called Title 42 at the end of May, a health regulation adopted by former President Donald Trump under the pretext of the covid-19 pandemic that makes it even easier to deport immigrants.
This political pulse between Democrats and Republicans caused scenes of chaos at the main border crossings in Texas at Easter when. Gov. Greg Abbott enforced additional truck and bus inspections at four international bridges, resulting in miles-long queues and protests that were infiltrated by criminals.
Several trailers, for example, were burned in Reynosa allegedly at the hands of organized crime. Faced with pressure from the neighboring country, Abbott, who aspires to re-election in the November elections, relaxed and was forced to relax the controls.