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  • A general view shows migrants from Central America and Cuba waiting to be registered for humanitarian visas to cross the country on their way to the United States, in Acacoyagua, in Chiapas state, Mexico March 27, 2019.

    A general view shows migrants from Central America and Cuba waiting to be registered for humanitarian visas to cross the country on their way to the United States, in Acacoyagua, in Chiapas state, Mexico March 27, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 March 2019

The regional accord signed between the U.S. and Central America's Northern Triangle was "a first of its kind."

The United States, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have reached an agreement to carry out joint police operations in Central America to improve security, the countries said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

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The statement was issued after a meeting between U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Central American government officials in Honduras.

According to Nielsen, the regional pact between the U.S. and state officials of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador is aimed at addressing "the migration crisis" Central America is facing. 

Over the last few years, increasing numbers of individuals fleeing gang violence and persecution in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, have fled to the United States in search of protection and a decent life. 

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more than 294,000 asylum seekers and refugees from the North of Central America were registered globally as of the end of 2017, an increase of 58 percent from a year earlier. This is 16 times more people than at the end of 2011.

The agreement was signed few days after the U.S. Department of Defense shifted $1 billion to plan and build a 91 kilometers-section (57 miles) of “pedestrian fencing,” roads and lighting along the border between the United States and Mexico. 

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