Juan Manuel Santos presumably didn’t consult with the people who’ve just been deported across it.
At a White House ceremony commemorating the 15-year anniversary of Plan Colombia and unrolling President Obama’s new $450 million “Peace Colombia” corollary, Santos called the United States a “true friend” to the South American nation. “I speak for all the people in Latin America and the Caribbean, all the people who live south of the Rio Grande, when I say, ‘Thank you,’” he said.
Santos went on to refer to Obama’s diplomatic rapprochement with Cuba and support for the Colombian peace process, initiatives that are indeed widely popular in the region. But to mention the Rio Grande, specifically—on a week when the secretary of Homeland Security insisted that deportation raids against recent undocumented immigrants, many of them women and children who had fled violence in Central America, will continue—seems a bit out of touch.