The senior official led a high-level virtual meeting with the foreign ministers of several Latin American countries, in order to comprehensively analyze the migration crisis that is occurring in the continent and work in coordination to provide effective responses and solutions.
Vice President and Foreign Minister of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, identified mass migration not as a conjuncture, but as a pattern that can increase and generate a critical situation in economic, social and health terms, for transit countries such as Colombia.
Bogotá, DC, August 11, 2021
With a strong call to address the migratory flow in the region in a regional and multidimensional way, the Vice President and Foreign Minister of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, led -last Wednesday – a high-level virtual meeting with the foreign ministers of Panama, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico, the vice chancellor of Peru and representatives of the United States and Canada, in order to comprehensively analyze the migratory crisis that is occurring on the continent and work in coordination to provide effective responses and solutions, from a humanitarian, health and security perspective.
The senior official stated that migration is not a transitory issue and, on the contrary, it should be understood as a humanitarian scourge that can increase and generate a critical situation -in economic, social and health terms- for transit countries, such as Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, and even for destination countries, such as the United States and Canada.
“The invitation is that we address this problem regionally and not only to address a situation, but to understand that there is a trend here. We are seeing at this moment this great pressure from Haitian migration, as well as extra-continental migration, which – unfortunately – will continue and will increasingly accompany migrants from various countries in the region, for a multiplicity of reasons: poverty, difficulties in democracy, search for other places to support their families, among others,” said the Vice President and Chancellor.
In this sense, she established six points that she considers should be highlighted, in all countries, for a comprehensive approach to the migration crisis:
1. Principle of co-responsibility: “Here we are all responsible. We must understand that each country is overwhelmed by migration in very large quantities and understand the circumstances and particularities of each one. The destination of this migration is not Colombia, in the case of the Haitian and a good part of the African migrants, which we have detected in the passage through Colombia, they have a clear destination: the United States and Canada, and these countries also have a limit in their absorptive capacity of foreign migrants.”
2. Principle of humanity: “Human beings are passing through our borders and not things. We must have solidarity with them and support their right to seek a better place to live, taking care of them and taking care of ourselves. For this reason, we propose to the Chancellor of Panama this comprehensive and regional perspective for this meeting.”
3. Security: “We must protect migrants in transit and also take care of our citizens. Migration cannot be uncontrolled and uncertain and we must avoid generating a negative environmental impact!”
4. Cooperation: “The United States and Canada are destination countries, and they can support, developing capacities and technology for in-transit countries. In addition, with vaccines, so that each migrant who enters and goes north receives their immunization against COVID.”
5. Legality dimension: “We must create a joint task force of Ameripol, the Police and Interpol of each country, in addition to the Prosecutor’s Office, to identify, prosecute and extradite to the United States those members of the mafias that are trafficking and taking advantage of immigrants, as well as generate coordinated actions between immigration authorities.”
6. Development vision: “Latin America, the Caribbean, Central America and the United States, we must convene in economic and multilateral teams for a regional development proposal, within a framework of human dignity and some possibility of work, for a quota of migrants, even if it is on a temporary basis, because this pandemic calls on all of us to practice solidarity and sustainability as values ??and objectives of our societies.”
Participants of the high-level meeting included the foreign ministers of Panama, Erika Mouynes; Brazil, Carlos Alberto Franco; Costa Rica, Rodolfo Solano; Chile, Andrés Allamand; Ecuador, Mauricio Montalvo; and Mexico, Marcelo Luis Ebrard; as well as the Vice Ministers of Foreign Relations of Colombia, Francisco Echeverri; and Peru, Luis Enrique Chávez. Also, the Director of Migration Colombia, Juan Francisco Espinosa; the Undersecretary of Civil Security, Democracy and Human Rights from the United States Department of State, Uzra Zeya; and the Minister of Immigration of Canada, Marco Mendicino.
Dr. Soledad Quartucci is the founder and CEO of Latina Republic, a 501(C)3 California-based nonprofit organization. Latina Republic is a reporting, research, advocacy and charitable organization advancing human rights in the Americas. We fill the void in coverage of urgent social, political, human rights, economic and gender inequalities affecting the Americas. Through our allies in Latin America, we highlight contributions, heritage, history, leadership and innovation. Latina Republic reports on stories that integrate local strategies to the betterment of the region. We make space for and empower unheard voices and celebrate the rich histories of Latin America.