Mesoamerica Program opens tenth office for vulnerable migrants in Mesoamerica

25 January, 2017

Palenque, Chiapas - Last month the municipality of Palenque (Chiapas, southern Mexico) inaugurated its Bureau of Assistance for Migrants and Refugees,  which will bring information and support to at-risk migrants and refugees. This is the tenth office opened in the region with the Mesoamerica Program support.

For the creation of this office, IOM and the PRM Bureau of the US State Department, trough their Mesoamerica Program, backed the Palenque Mayor's Office and the Secretary for the Development of the Southern Border and Liason for International Cooperation (SPDFSyECI) of the State of Chiapas.

With this inauguration, ten information and assistance counters in the border areas of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico already operate under the Mesoamerica Program. In the following months,  at least four more counters in Nicaragua and other Central American countries will open. During 2016, more than 1974 migrants were attended at this hubs. The majority were adult men; 4% were children.

The recently opened service in Palenque seeks to promote the detection migrants most at risk for irregular migration to provide information and differentiated attention based on the specific needs of each case, to achieve an efficient institutional channeling; while establishing a primary institutional coordination infrastructure for the care of migrants.

The event was attended by the the Secretary for the Development of the Southern Border, Adolfo Zamora; the Municipal Secretary of Palenque, Samuel Luna and IOM Chief of Mission in Mexico, Christopher Gascon. Staff from the National Institute of Migration (INM), the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also attended the event.

 

"IOM and its partners seek to improve the quality of life of migrants. This new office is an investment for all; we benefit from this because we assist people who want to contribute to their destination countries," says Christopher Gascon, IOM Representative in Mexico.  "With this office we intend to empower the public servants of the city in assisting vulnerable migrants, to contribute to their security and defense of their human rights and contribute to social cohesion between the migrant population and the community of Palenque".

The Bureau of Assistance for Migrants and Refugees of Palenque is already operational, to serve as a reference point to assist migrants not only traveling through the municipality but also for people who have decided to settle in the town.

Mexico manifests one of the world's highest migration dynamics, with flows that emigrate, settle, transit and return to this country. Chiapas continues to be the main gateway to the most traveled migratory corridor in the world and Palenque forms an essential part of this route.

For further information please contact Claudette Walls, IOM Mexico, Tel: +52 962 642 56 74, Email: cwalls@iom.int.