Mexico to invest in southern region to tackle migration flows

12 Dec 18

Mexico will invest more than $30m in its southern states over the next five years to boost economic growth and tackle migration in and out of the country, the foreign minister has said.

Marcelo Ebrard told a UN-backed conference on 11 December the investment would come with policy changes designed to stem migration. Mexico has been struggling to halt the flow of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

The foreign minister did not specify what policies would be changed or how the investment will be funded, Reuters reported.

“What happens to a migrant today in our nation is a disgrace,” Ebrard told the UN conference.

Mexico can’t let this happen anymore.”

His counterparts from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have promised to work together on regional development.

In October the US said it would “begin cutting off” foreign aid to Central American countries because of a migrant caravan that was heading north from Honduras. 

In 2017, Guatemala received over $248m in aid from the US, Honduras $175m and El Salvador $115m, according to the US Agency for International Development.

Thousands of migrants set off on foot through Mexico towards the US border to flee poverty and insecurity in their home countries.

Roughly 6,000 made it to Mexico’s northern border city of Tijuana.

Mexico’s new president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office at the start of this month, is pushing for US help to fight poverty and crime, which prompts people to leave their homes a migrate north every year.

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