Agencies look at new development to stem migration from Central America
Published: August 3, 2012
CIUDAD IXTEPEC, Mexico (CNS) -- Undocumented Central Americans stream through this sweaty railway town in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca state, just one of the many pit stops for migrants as they traverse Mexico. In Ixtepec, shelter operator Father Alejandro Solalinde said he's welcoming a growing number of Central Americans, even though the road through Mexico is dangerous and he himself has been targeted with threats by those who prey on undocumented migrants. "We're noticing an increase in all (Mexican) shelters," said Father Solalinde, director of the Brothers of the Road shelter. He recently returned to his work after being forced to flee for several months because of the threats. Church officials and nongovernmental organizations long have battled for the better treatment of Central American migrants as they transit Mexico and pursue economic opportunities in the United States. But developing public policies and economic development programs in the migrants' countries of origin in an attempt to reduce the incentive to leave has been difficult -- and often an afterthought. "We believe in the right of people to migrate in order to sustain their families if they can't do it any other way," said Erica Dahl-Bredine, country representative for CRS in El Salvador. "The piece ... that has been neglected for quite some time is the flip side of the coin ... that people have the right not to have to migrate, to make a dignified living in their countries of origin," she said.
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