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Montevideo, January 16th 2019 - 12:14 UTC

Mexico to invest US$ 30bn in the “Central American conundrum” and improve migration relations with US

Wednesday, December 12th 2018 - 06:37 UTC
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 Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said that the investment would accompany a broad policy shift to stem migration, better than “containment measures.” Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said that the investment would accompany a broad policy shift to stem migration, better than “containment measures.”
Several thousand people set off on foot in a caravan from Honduras in October, enduring hot sun and rain on the long route in hopes of reaching the United States. Several thousand people set off on foot in a caravan from Honduras in October, enduring hot sun and rain on the long route in hopes of reaching the United States.
President Lopez Obrador is pushing for U.S. support to fight poverty and crime in Central America that prompt thousands to risk the journey north. President Lopez Obrador is pushing for U.S. support to fight poverty and crime in Central America that prompt thousands to risk the journey north.

Mexico will invest more than US$ 30 billion in its poor southern states over the next five years, the foreign minister said, boosting the region economically as part of efforts to curb migration. Under pressure from the United States, Mexico is grappling to halt the northward flow of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a United Nations-backed conference on migration in Marrakech that the investment would accompany a broad policy shift he expected would stem migration better than “containment measures.”

He did not detail what policies Mexico may change, or exactly how the US$ 30 billion investment will be funded and deployed.

“What happens to a migrant today in our nation is a disgrace,” he said, seated beside counterparts from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who have pledged to work together on regional development. “Mexico can't let this happen anymore.”

Several thousand people set off on foot in a caravan from Honduras in October, enduring hot sun and rain on the long route in hopes of reaching the United States.

Roughly 6,000 made it to Mexico's northern border city of Tijuana, many encountering hostility from locals and dirty conditions at crowded shelters.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1, is pushing for U.S. support to fight poverty and crime in Central America that prompt thousands of people to abandon their homes every year and risk the journey north.

He says his plans for major infrastructure projects, including a refinery and two railways, will provide jobs to both Mexicans and Central Americans.

Ebrard previously said Mexico was likely to invest more than US$ 20 billion in southern Mexico, and that El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras should each match that sum.

He added that the three countries south of Mexico had finished an initial “diagnostic” and were expected to present their priority projects at the beginning of 2019

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