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Weekly Report - 15 April 2021 (WR-21-15)

EL SALVADOR-GUATEMALA: US envoy’s first trip to isthmus causes stir

The new US envoy for Central America, Ricardo Zúñiga, paid his first visit to the sub-region last week. His appointment by US President Joe Biden, who also named Vice President Kamala Harris to lead US efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) to stem illegal migration, highlights the importance placed on the issue by the Biden administration, which is facing a renewed surge in migrants at the southern border [WR-21-13]. Zúñiga’s first visit, however, made headlines as much for who he did not meet as who he did. Amid speculation regarding Honduras’s omission from his itinerary, which followed drug-related allegations involving President Juan Orlando Hernández [WR-21-14], Zúñiga’s failure to secure a meeting with El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele also raised eyebrows given existing signs of bilateral tensions.

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