Belize and Mexico held bilateral session on migration and border management

5 August, 2018


Belize City. On July 12 and 13, the second edition of the Belize-Mexico Cross-border Meeting was held, thanks to the Government of Belize and the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the Embassy of Mexico in Belize.

The existing statistics on the flow of migrants between Belize and Mexico are limited, which makes it more difficult to respond to the difficulties migrants may face. However, there is known to be a long tradition of irregular border crossings in the region, motivated by formal and informal labor demands.

The cross-border meetings are a tool to understand and to respond to changing dynamics and challenges that migrants face.

The first edition of the cross-border meeting was held in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, on September 1, 2017. Some of the primary results were cooperation on the management of labor migration, sharing research on migration, and re-establishing a system of protection, with appropriate referral mechanisms that promote safe migration practices.

In this second edition, a cross-border technical group was formed which will work to improve migration management on both sides of the border.

"International cooperation is fundamental in order to improve migration management, promoting regular, orderly, and safe migration for the benefit of all. The cross-border meetings promote channels of communication and create networks of concerned parties that can better respond to the needs of migrants, defend their human rights, and take advantage of the benefits of migration to both countries," expressed Rene Chuc, head of IOM Office in Belize.

"The Ministry is pleased to collaborate with IOM again to promote safe migration practices between Belize and Mexico. We enjoy a harmonious, cooperative relationship with our Mexican neighbors, but improving border security through implementing mechanisms that will guarantee better border management and equipping border management personnel continues to be a priority for our administration. The second edition of the Cross-border Meeting endorses these priorities. We have identified some of the challenges created by migration between Belize and Mexico, and we continue working and implementing strategies to improve border management in this Second Cross-border Meeting," said Ms. Diana Locke, Director of Immigration and Nationality of Belize.

The Cross-border Meeting is part of the activities of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the implementation of strategies for regular, orderly, and safe migration.