Guatemala City—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement following his visit to Guatemala as part of a congressional delegation:
“Yesterday, I joined Speaker Pelosi and a bipartisan delegation in Guatemala where we focused on the root causes that drive child and family migration to the United States. It continues to be clear to me that U.S. assistance to the Northern Triangle has been transformative and must be immediately restored.
“It was particularly moving to meet with the staff of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) whose work I have supported since the very start because of its efforts to fight corruption. While I am disappointed that CICIG’s mandate is not being renewed, I urge the Guatemalan government and judicial sector to ensure that the Commission’s efforts to end impunity continue in the months and years ahead.
“I am pleased by Guatemala’s preparations for Sunday’s presidential run-off and urge a free, fair process to move forward.
“The future of Guatemala’s democracy will depend on a commitment to fighting corruption and respecting the rule of law. Ultimately, this how we ensure that children and families are not forced to make the dangerous trek north—not by cutting off U.S. assistance.”
Earlier this year, Chairman Engel introduced the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act (H.R. 2615) to restore foreign assistance to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The legislation passed the House on July 15.
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