WASHINGTON — US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly leaves for Guatemala and Mexico on Wednesday to discuss border security and trade with the countries’ presidents and other top officials.
Kelly is well acquainted with the region, having served as head of US Southern Command under former president Barack Obama until he took up his latest post in January after being tapped by President Donald Trump.
The Department of Homeland Security said that during his first stop, in Guatemala, Kelly would meet with President Jimmy Morales, as well as the ministers of government and foreign affairs.
He will also observe the arrival of a DHS repatriation flight in Guatemala City filled with undocumented migrants to the United States who were sent back to their home country.
In Mexico, Kelly will join Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The pair will meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto, as well as his ministers of interior, foreign relations, finance, national defence and navy.
"The group will discuss border security, law enforcement cooperation and trade, among other issues," a Department of Homeland Security statement read.
Mexico-US ties are at their most strained point in years.
On Friday, thousands of Mexicans linked arms in Ciudad Juarez to form a "human wall" on their country’s border with the United States, protesting Trump’s plan to build a massive barrier between the countries. — AFP