President López Obrador plans to present U.S. President Joe Biden with a regional plan to address the migration crisis, based on discussions with the 10 Latin American countries that generate the greatest numbers of migrants.
Oaxaca Governor Salomón Jara announced the decision after a meeting at the National Palace between AMLO and other politicians from southern Mexico. Attendees included the governors of Chiapas, Tabasco and Campeche, Interior Minister Luisa María Alcalde and Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena.
“It was agreed that there would be a meeting with the foreign ministers of the 10 countries where there is a greater flow of migrants, such as Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, Cuba… to present to President Biden a proposal that the Foreign Ministry is working on,” Jara told reporters.
Jara said that the meetings would take place over the next two weeks, in order to finalize the proposal before AMLO’s next bilateral meeting with President Biden. AMLO announced last week that he would not attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco in November, proposing instead that Biden visit Mexico to tour infrastructure projects, including the Maya Train. He said that if Biden does not make the trip to Mexico, he will travel to Washington, but no official visits have been confirmed.
While the details of the proposal have not been announced, it is likely to include seeking more U.S. support to address the poverty and violence that drive migration in the region.
“The United States has to allocate resources to these places where we have most migrant flows,” Jara said.
In his Monday morning press conference, AMLO also called for greater action by the United Nations to combat the poverty, inequality and political insecurity that have increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let’s reactivate the economy in all countries so that people don’t need to emigrate, and also that political problems are resolved,” he said. “[These problems] often stem from the desire for regional dominance, the desire for hegemony. The U.N. should address that.”
The president recalled the November 2021 visit to the U.N. where he addressed the Security Council with a proposal that the world’s richest corporations, individuals and economies address global poverty by making voluntary donations to a fund to benefit the poor. “I made a proposal when I went … They did not take it under consideration. Because the U.N. is stiff, dusty, in need of a shake-up.”
AMLO indicated that he would use his next meeting to address themes he discussed with Biden during bilateral talks in January, when he urged Biden to champion “a new policy of economic and social integration on our continent,” like the Alliance for Progress development plan of the 1960s.
“The economic and trade agreement in North America is going very well, but we need to support Central America, to support many countries in the Caribbean, in South America, to consolidate America,” AMLO said on Monday. “That can be done, [but] there has not been a plan to support countries in Latin America and the Caribbean since the time of President Kennedy.”
The Alliance for Progress, a major aid initiative in the U.S.’s Cold War Latin America poverty, was initiated by Kennedy in 1961 to keep the region in the U.S.’s orbit by promoting economic growth and political stability. By the early 1970s, the Alliance was widely considered to have failed.