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SICA Leaders Share Common Concern Over Regional Migration

Jun 28, 2023

SICA Leaders Share Common Concern Over Regional Migration

Eamon Courtenay

The SICA Heads of Government Summit for Central American leaders and foreign ministers is finished but there was a lot of discussion coming out of the six-month pro-tempore presidency that Belize held for the past six months. One issue that is sure to surface at the upcoming CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in the first week of July was also on the SICA agenda. It has to do with the migration of regional nationals to the United States. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtenay, who was present at the SICA Summit and who will represent Prime Minister John Briceño at the upcoming CARICOM meeting shared the common concern that Central American leaders had about this emerging problem.

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The issue is we have people traveling going north. They are going north to seek a better way of life and also running away from climate change effects. They are running away from violence. They are running away from insecurity, political repression, and indeed sanctions imposed on certain countries in the region. Those people are on the move. The latest statistics show that – from the International Organization of Migration show that – the numbers for 2023 are already higher than they were in 2022. We have to ensure as best as possible we do a number of things: firstly, treat people in a humane way, secondly, we have got to join forces, share intelligence in trying to dismantle the criminal organizations, the criminal networks that are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to move people through the hemisphere. And so if we can try to dismantle those organizations, we think that it goes a long way in trying to arrest a problem. But ultimately, there has to be economic and social development in the countries of origin in order to give people an opportunity to get them to stay.”

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