The Central American nations of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have said they are to form a bloc with Mexico to deal with president-elect of the United States Donald Trump. The construction mogul's election to the White House has been particularly worrisome for Latin American nations, the US' neighbours to the south.
Anti-immigrant rhetoric particularly aimed at Latinos and pledges to re-examine North American trade deals formed central pillars of Trump's presidential platform.
Central America's economies rely heavily on US remittances and bilateral trade, with the poorer nations of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador sending many emigrants to the US.
There are also fears that if Trump delivers on his promise to deport immigrants by their millions, it could have a destabilising effect on their home nations.
Reuters reported that on Wednesday (16 November 2016) – the day after a regional meeting in Honduras – Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras released a joint-statement asking their respective foreign ministries to collaborate on jobs, investment and migration in order to deal with the incoming Trump administration.
While their initial statement did not mention Mexico, the leaders of the three nations have said they would seek its support.
"What the presidents told us was that aside from this group [...] we could expand to look for contact with Mexico, at first, and then also with the other Latin American countries," Hugo Martinez, El Salvador's foreign minister, said.
Mexican officials have said they expect the number of deportations of illegal Mexican migrants from the US to rise once Trump takes office. However, Humberto Roque Villanueva, Mexico's deputy interior minister for migration, has said the process would not begin soon.
Donald Trump has said he would deport three million immigrants from the US "immediately" once he assumes power in January. On Sunday (13 November) the president-elect made his first TV interview since the US presidential election.
Throughout his campaign, Trump pledged hard-line policies on immigration, which included promising to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.