Reporting by Dave Graham and Valentine Hilaire, Reuters
EnergiesNet.com 10 13 2023
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro would attend a regional summit in Mexico that aims to contain a recent jump in migration.
Lopez Obrador said he had spoken by phone with fellow leftist Petro about the Oct. 22 meeting taking place in the southern border state of Chiapas.
“Gustavo Petro confirmed to me that he will attend, along with other presidents,” he said at a press conference.
“We’re really worried,” he added. “The flow of migrants is growing and we have to find options… so that people have the possibility of staying put in their towns and don’t see the need to migrate.”
He did not name other leaders who have confirmed, although a Mexican official said the administration was eager to see whether Panama and Costa Rica could help stem the flow of migrants.
But reaching a significant consensus at the gathering would be difficult, the official said.
Both the United States and Mexico hold presidential elections next year and migration has become a fraught issue, with thousands of people arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border every week, straining resources in both countries.
Prior to the summit, leaders across Latin America are discussing and drafting a plan that should later be approved by all participants, Lopez Obrador said.
“We’re not just thinking about walls or militarizing the border, but rather how to care for the needs of the people,” he said.
The presidents of Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and Cuba are among the others to have been invited to the talks.
One point of discussion is the possible installation of migrant processing centers, which Lopez Obrador said he wants set up in migrants’ countries of origin instead of Mexico.
Reporting by Dave Graham and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by David Alire Garcia, David Gregorio and Rod Nickel
reuters.com 10 13 2023