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Red Cross working with Latin American authorities to address immigration

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began a meeting with police delegates from 12 Latin American countries in Guatemala on Wednesday to discuss the actions of law enforcement agencies in the face of the migratory exodus in the region.

The meeting seeks to “promote a better understanding of the migration phenomenon and its dynamics in the Americas, as well as the humanitarian challenges that this implies for operations to maintain order,” said Frenchman Kian Abbassian, ICRC mission chief, in a statement.

Participants can exchange “good practices and innovative responses” to address migration flows, including Central Americans seeking to reach the United States.

The continent also faces humanitarian emergencies due to the emigration of Venezuelans and Nicaraguans in response to the political crises in their respective countries.

In the meeting, which will be held for three days in the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, police from the host country, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru are participating.

Abbassian explained that the event is held in Guatemala because of the importance of the country as the territory of origin, transit, asylum and return of thousands of migrants, which “generates needs for protection and humanitarian assistance.”

Similar meetings were previously held in Peru, Chile and Ecuador, and at the end of the appointment, recommendations will be made to implement in police operations.

 “For the ICRC, it is essential to foster a substantive dialogue with the police forces for the protection and effective guarantee of the rights of migrants and to promote, on a national and international level, dialogues on comprehensive responses,” Abbassian said.


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