In a joint statement, the authorities indicated that they will address the challenges of this phenomenon in the aforementioned space, which is scheduled to take place next year.
“In the first quarter of 2023, we will hold a Latin American continental conference that will deal with migration to set the rules of the game for all parties that will attend,” said the Colombian foreign minister.
Leyva, without elaborating, indicated that the topic of the Latin American conference is related to the interests of the United States.
For his part, Mayorcas explained that they agreed today, during his visit to Colombia, that all countries in the region meet in that meeting and ensure that everyone participates in developing and implementing a solution to the so-called collective challenge.
The US official noted that migration is “a challenge in the Western Hemisphere” that requires a regional solution.
He said it was necessary to “respect the human rights of individuals seeking asylum and at the same time we also have to abide by the laws of our countries”.
He added, “This is what we look forward to doing, to ensure people are protected while at the same time creating an opportunity for them to stay in the countries they are in and build successful and prosperous lives.”
The Minister of Security, who was received this morning by President Gustavo Petro, said he was proud of today’s discussions which reflect a shared commitment for a better future.
Mayorcas arrived in Colombia from Ecuador where he also discussed migration as part of the follow-up to the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration last June during the Summit of the Americas.
Colombia has been a transit bridge for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from different countries who cross its territory to reach the Darien Forest and reach the territory of the United States.
Although the figures for the Panamanian and Colombian institutions are alarming, the prevailing secrecy makes them unclear.
Most of the migrants are adults, but there are also unaccompanied children traveling in the company of “chilingueros”, as people smugglers are known in the area.
According to data from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), between January and October, 32,488 minors (an all-time high) crossed the Darien River, up 10 percent from last year, and half of them were under the age of five.
In this sense, UNICEF has urged all governments to take measures to protect all migrant children, regardless of their origin.
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