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News > Mexico

LATAM Countries Hold Migration Summit in Chiapas, Mexico

  • " Palenque Meeting, for a fraternal neighborhood and well-being," in Chiapas, Mexico. Oct. 22, 2023. | Photo: X/@SRE_mx

Published 22 October 2023

Mexican President Andres Manuel Obrador convened today's summit with a promise to bring a common regional position to a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden scheduled for next month. 

On Sunday, eleven Latin American countries took part in the Palenque Summit on migration held in the Mexican state of Chiapas. 

Latin American Summit on Migration to Be Held in Chiapas

High representatives of Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama and Venezuela attended the meeting which focused on developing an action plan that allows addressing the structural causes of emigration in the region.

The summit concluded with a joint declaration of 13 points of agreement rejecting coercive measures against countries in the region, a promise to respect the human right to migrate and a request for more legal alternatives for migration.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Alicia Bárcena read the consensus statement agreeing to "urge countries of origin, transit and destination to implement comprehensive migration policies that respect the human right to migrate, safeguarding the life and dignity of migrants and their families, and including the promotion of permanent regularization options."

The tweet reads, "In Chiapas, Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena underscored the promotion of other agreements reached by the 12 countries that participated in the "Palenque Meeting, for a fraternal neighborhood with well-being", led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador with representatives of the region's fraternal peoples."

The so called "Palenque Meeting: for a fraternal and well-being neighborhood" said that the main causes of the growing irregular migratory flow faced by the region are of a structural type and of economic, political and social origin, to which are added factors linked to climate change.

In the joint declaration the participants brought up the influence of external factors in the current exodus. They mentioned the unilateral restrictive measures of an indiscriminate nature that are applied by third countries. Such measures "negatively affect entire populations and to a greater extent the most vulnerable people and communities," Bárcena said. 

They warned of the need to confront thie migration issue from a human rights dimension, which makes it possible to address its structural causes and regulate migratory flows jointly. 

It was agreed to "request destination countries to expand regular, orderly and safe migration channels with special emphasis on labor mobility and to promote the reintegration and return of temporary workers."

The tweet reads, "The Palenque Meeting, for a fraternal neighborhood with well-being, is a call to join efforts, wills and resources to address the causes of the migratory phenomenon. This is a humanitarian issue on which we must work together. President, presidents and prime minister: count on our cooperation in everything that is needed."

They agreed as well "to call on destination countries to adopt migration policies and practices in line with the current reality of our region and to abandon those that are inconsistent and selective, in order to avoid arbitrarily producing both call and deterrent effects, such as the regularization of certain nationalities," Bárcena said.

The heads of State and high representatives agreed to draw up a plan of action, with food self-sufficiency, environmental protection, energy security, trade, investment and the fight against organized crime as its axes. It is aimed at addressing the structural causes of irregular emigration in the region.

The governments urged an end to unilateral coercive measures in the region, which are contrary to international law. They also promised to promote trade, in basic goods and services, with tariff preferences.

Furthermore, it was urged to contribute decisively to the sustainable development of Haiti, the reestablishment of its human security environment and the normalization of its economic, political and social situation.

The action plan also includes proposing a coordinated way to rethink the international financial architecture of debt, so that lower and middle income countries reach a higher level of development. 

In addition, they proposed to the Governments of Cuba and the U.S. to hold a comprehensive dialogue on their bilateral relations as soon as possible.

As a follow-up, the regional leaders will create a "dialogue at the highest level" with a new working group led by the foreign ministries. They will link these agreements with the high-level meeting on migration and development in Latin America and the Caribbean proposed by Colombia and Mexico for the first quarter of 2024.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Obrador convened today's summit with a promise to bring a common regional position to a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden scheduled for next month on the migration crisis. 

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