Varela on Immigration and Security at Tuxtla Summit

Immigration issues were among the main topics discussed at the XVI Summit of the Tuxtla Mechanism, an international summit in San José Costa Rica. President Juan Carlos Varela was among the world leaders in attendance.

Panama’s president explained on the last day of the summit that cooperation on security and immigration are the greatest challenges faced in Latin America.

Varela explained that during his leadership of the Central American Integration System (SICA), which he will assume in June, Panama will seek to strengthen the fight against organized crime and the control of migrants.Furthermore Varela asked for solidarity with migrants to safeguard their rights and prevent them from becomming victims.

In his speech, the president said the role of Panama in the areas of security, immigration, climate change, energy and finally the celebration of World Youth Day 2019.

"Panama is committed to regional security and to protecting our service and logistics platform from the threat of organized crime," Varela said, noting that with support from countries like Mexico and Colombia, mechanisms can be put in place to deal with threats of violence.

Many of the speeches given mentioned President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, and his plans to build a wall along the U.S. - Mexico boarder. In response to this Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos said.

“I think the best wall that can be built is progress in Central America and Mesoamerica.”
Leaders in attendence signed a final declaration on Wednesday at the summit which offered a comprehensive approach to migration. The document  highlights actions to decrease discrimination against migrants.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís said at a press conference that it is clear that the declaration refers to risks that the migrant population, and the region as a whole, faces as a result of immigration policies promoted by the Trump Administration.