Remittances to the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean totaled $60 billion in 2013, a 1 percent decline compared with their level in 2012, according to an annual report released Thursday in Washington.

Manuel Orozco, the main author of the report prepared by the Inter-American Dialogue, said that "a combination of factors among which are immigration controls and growing deportations" in the United States and the "slow" economic recovery were among the causes.

The countries that experienced the greatest fall-off in remittances were Paraguay, down 10 percent; Ecuador, 5.2 percent; and Mexico, off 2 percent.

Nevertheless, Orozco said that "this reduction does not necessarily represent bad news."

In some cases, such as that of Paraguay, the figures "reflect an improvement in the local economy," he emphasized.

In Central America, remittances registered a "substantial" increase in 2013, with Honduras, up 2 percent, and Guatemala, 11 percent, leading the pack, in part in response to the "new wave" of migration sparked by the worsening violence in the region. EFE