AMERICA/GUATEMALA - Mgr. Ramazzini: the country is economically dependent on remittances from workers in the US

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Bern (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishop of the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, His Exc. Mgr. Alvaro Ramazzini Imeri, participated in a panel discussion at the European Parliament in Brussels, which has launched a study on trade and on human rights in Latin America, sponsored by CIDSE, a network of 17 Catholic development agencies in Europe and North America. Yesterday, Mgr. Ramazzini Imeri traveled to Bern, Switzerland, where he visited the headquarters of a group of NGOs committed to helping Guatemala.
The Bishop said that the situation in the Central American country is increasingly difficult. On the new US president’s policy, Mgr. Ramazzini Imeri said: "If Mr. Trump does what he anticipated about emigration, this can be dramatic for Guatemala. One must consider that in 2016 remittances by Guatemalan emigrants working in the United States reached more than 6.4 billion dollars. If the country has not collapsed it is largely thanks to these revenues. If they are reduced, cut or taxed, the consequences will be disastrous. Our current social situation, combined with that of El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, could anticipate new civil wars. Maybe I have a very pessimistic view, but current signs are not good and the closure to migration will have unimaginable consequences".
In his interview with swissinfo, the Swiss information portal, the Bishop also highlighted signs of hope: "As Episcopal Conference we offer ourselves as bridges of communication to encourage meetings . We are always there to accompany the people, trying to reorient those who speak of violence. and we feel strengthened and in tune with Pope Francis". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 22/03/2017)