In 2013 Julio Ligorría accepted the appointment as Guatemala's Ambassador to the government of the United States of America.
He was appointed for his political and crisis management experience. The humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied minors who arrived at the southern border of the United States from the countries of the Central American Northern Triangle broke out while on assignment in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Ligorría led the Guatemalan Embassy’s team work to prioritize the migrant issue agenda, which served to coordinate efforts which resulted in that, in one year, the number of unaccompanied minors detained at the border dropped considerably, in better treatment to detained migrants and in cooperation with the United States to ensure the respect of their rights.
Ambassador Julio Ligorría with Dr. Rebecca B Chávez Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, the day the Ambassador was informed by the senior Pentagon official that the Guatemalan Army had been included in the high-level hemispheric dialogue group along with Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
General John Kelly, Head of the Southern Command of the United States during a private lunch with Central America’s northern triangle country Ambassadors: Francisco Altschul, from El Salvador and Julio Ligorria, from Guatemala
Ligorria was responsible for the Guatemala’s political representation in Washington, D.C. during this crisis and during the political crisis in Guatemala in 2015. He led the Guatemalan Government's approaches to the White House, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense, among others. Likewise, he oversaw the relationship with the Congress of the United States of America, which during his tenure allocated US$ 750 million dollars to the State Department Budget to support the implementation of the Alliance for Prosperity Plan in the Northern Triangle of Central America.
Other outstanding events during his tenure:
- Guatemala and the United States agree on the creation of the High-level Group on Defense.
- The mandate of the United Nations International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) is renewed, largely financed by the United States of America.
For the management of the unaccompanied children crisis in the Summer of 2014, Ambassador Ligorría was awarded the 2015 REED LATINO award by Campaign & Elections magazine in October 2015 for the best crisis management of 2014 in the hemisphere.
Ambassador Julio Ligorría participates in the Forum on Security in the Northern Central American triangle at the headquarters of the Southern Command together with General John Kelly, Head of the US Southern Command, the Defense Ministers of Mexico and Colombia, the Minister of the Presidency of Honduras, the President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno and Ambassador Tom Shannon, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs
In the book “The Eagle and the Quetzal” (“El Aguila y el Quetzal”) by Spanish intellectual Cesar Vidal, (2016, Planeta Publishing House), Julio Ligorría is mentioned as someone whom the diplomatic authorities and the U.S. government came to consider a model Ambassador, that is, the best and most active Central American diplomat of his time stationed in Washington.