Guatemalan President: White House’s ‘Confusing’ Messages Exploited by Smugglers
“I’m nobody to make a judgment here, but I believe in the first weeks in the Biden administration, messages were confusing,” Giammattei said in an interview with MSNBC. “They were compassionate messages that were understood by people in our country, especially to coyotes [border smugglers] to tell families, ‘We’ll take the children, the children can go in, and once they’re there, the children can call their parents.’”
Giammattei said that White House officials’ “messages were confusing, not because of the way they were communicated but because of the way they were translated here.”
The Central American leader said that he’s particularly concerned about unaccompanied children trying to travel to the U.S.–Mexico border, adding that some may end up in “prostitution networks” and in other organized crime activities. He noted that there have been instances of inhumane activity or violence at the border itself, including an incident in which human smugglers dropped two young children over a 14-foot-tall border ball and another when a 6-month-old girl was thrown by smugglers from a raft along the Rio Grande River.
“So a huge wave of migrant unaccompanied children starts, that’s a matter of concern because as soon as they cross the border between Mexico and the U.S., they fall into the hands of cartels for prostitution networks and so on,” Giammattei said.
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