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News > Mexico

Mexico to Offer Salvadorans, Guatemalans Work in South Border

  • Mexican President AMLO assumed office Dec. 1, 2018. He has already put forward plans to tackle mass immigration.

    Mexican President AMLO assumed office Dec. 1, 2018. He has already put forward plans to tackle mass immigration. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 January 2019

The initiative comes shortly after a new migrant caravan was announced in Honduras.

The commissioner of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration, Tonatiuh Guillen, announced a government initiative for Salvadorans and Hondurans to work at the southern border of Mexico.

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"The government's proposal that involves legislative reforms will allow nationals of Honduras and El Salvador to have the possibility of interacting as visitors or (as part) of that broad labor market in southern Mexico," Guillen said Friday.

He added that Guatemala and Mexico have a "huge" working relationship at the border with 700,000 reported crossings per year, El Mundo reports.

"On the Mexican side there are large projects in progress,” the commissioner said. “There is an approach for the south of the country to become a dynamic hub of economic development." Among those projects is the so-called Maya Train, which has been rejected by Mexico's Indigenous groups, particularly those who inhabit the territories affected by the train's construction.

On Dec. 19, 2018, the Mexican Government and the United States administration signed a joint investment agreement called the Migration Plan of Mexico and Central America proposed by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). Under the plan, they will invest US$35.6 billion in job creation and economic development between 2019 and 2024.

The deal seeks to reduce mass migration by tackling one of its main drivers. Insecurity, gang violence, joblessness, and impunity are serious and ongoing issues that have forced people to flee Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Experts have stressed that these issues are rooted in historic U.S. interventionism and foreign policy.

A Honduran migrant protects his child as he crosses over knocked-down barriers at the border in Guatemala. | Source: Reuters

In mid-October 2018, a massive exodus of Central American migrants left for the U.S border. The first migrant caravan started with a thousand Hondurans who left San Pedro Sula, Honduras and arrived at the U.S. southern border to seek asylum.

It was followed by a second caravan of about a thousand Hondurans, who left Esquipulas, Guatemala, and by three other caravans made up of Salvadorans.

Previous caravans over the years have aided the journeys of migrants and refugees as they attempt to traverse Mexico safely in areas where, according to an Associated Press investigation, over 4,000 migrants have been killed over the past four years.

Another caravan of people seeking the increased security of traveling in a large group as they leave dangerous and unstable situations in their home countries is expected to journey across the Northern Triangle region and through Mexico on Jan. 15. 

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