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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Guatemalans in the US seek support with Marco Rubio

Por Damian

A network of Guatemalan migrants in the United States expressed concern over the recent call by Senator Marco Rubio to freeze the funds of the international commission that fights corruption in Guatemala. The measure could increase migration, warned Guillermo Castillo, president of Cooperación Migrantes, a network of Guatemalans in at least 11 states in the United States.

It is estimated that there are approximately 1.4 million Guatemalans, according to an official census of 2016. "In the case of Florida, the people who migrate from Guatemala are from the western area and when they do not find justice (instead they see hired killers, drug traffickers, corrupt people and weapons in their town) all they have left is to migrate", exemplified Castillo.

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) is a United Nations effort that, since 2006, has collaborated with the Guatemalan authorities in investigating corruption cases. "By weakening the CICIG and the Public Prosecutor of Guatemala, what is going to encourage is that people, instead of waiting, will flee the country and increase migration to the United States", said Castillo, who lives in Kentucky.

This weekend, the Florida Senator announced that he will ask to freeze a disbursement of 6 million dollars, which the United States government plans to give to CICIG in the coming weeks. Rubio looks suspiciously at CICIG's investigations against a Russian family, which sought to settle in the Central American country after an alleged persecution by President Vladimir Putin.

"I am concerned that CICIG, a commission funded primarily by the United States, has been manipulated and used by radical elements and by Russia's campaign against the Bitkov family in Guatemala. CICIG was established by the United Nations and by Guatemala to prosecute corruption and abuses of human rights, not to participate in it," Rubio said in a statement.

In the letter, Rubio also asked Morales to consider the family's safety and not deport them to Russia. The Senator's accusations come at a time when the country is divided between those who see in the CICIG an advance in the fight against corruption, and those who see excesses in their actions.

Something to keep in mind is that today more than ever, US policy seems to be influenced by the phenomenon of migration.