Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK Minister for the Americas travels to Guatemala [April 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 13 April 2023.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), David Rutley, will travel to Guatemala on 17 April.

This is Minister Rutley’s first visit to the country and the second by a British Minister since 2016. His visit is part of a regional tour that will take him to the Central American Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras).

His visit will focus on strengthening UK ties with Guatemala as well as discussing a wide range of international issues, such as the war in Ukraine, free trade, regional stability and climate change, amongst others. For this purpose, Minister Rutley will meet:

  • Guatemalan Government officials
  • Human Rights defenders
  • Environmental institutions
  • Business leaders

On Ukraine, Minister Rutley will stress the need for countries stand together against the war while welcoming Guatemala’s efforts at multilateral forums to condemn the Russian aggression. Latin America is suffering from the fallout from Putin’s war in terms of higher energy, food and fertiliser prices, which feed into higher prices across the board.

Minister Rutley will also discuss with the business sector how to continue strengthening our bilateral economic ties, including boosting trade through the UK-Central America Association Agreement. The UK is also keen to support the infrastructure development that the region needs with UK expertise and finance, including investments from the private sectors.

On climate change, Minister Rutley will urge Guatemala to continue playing an active role in cutting emissions and transitioning to clean energy. These plans will complement the UK’s investment of US$19 million in Mesoamerica, including Trifinio and the Mayan Jungle in Guatemala, through the Biodiverse Landscapes Fund, to reduce poverty and create climate resilience.

At meetings with civil society groups, Minister Rutley will stress the unequivocal UK commitment to defend human rights and the rule of law, ranging from the situation of media freedom in the country, to listening to human rights defenders and continue advocating for the rights of vulnerable minorities.

Finally, Minister Rutley will visit British NGO Street Kids Direct and learn about the work they are doing with kids in vulnerable situations.