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Central American Presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras with OAS SG at the OAS on July 24, 2014. (OAS image)

By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. July 24, 2014: As Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández, gets ready to meet with President Obama today, his message is clear: the U.S. must work to address the root cause of the problems that is triggering massive migration and the southern border crisis.

At a special meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS)  in Washington, DC, Thursday, Hernández said “it is essential to attack the root problems and this means to engage everyone, creating opportunities, being strong against ‘coyotes,’ (smugglers), to be effective in taking care of our borders, and of course, accepting the co-responsibility.”

The Honduran leader said the current border crisis involving children and women “shows that security in Central America and the United States is closely linked,” and called on U.S. political leaders to take into account that a violent Central America as a result of drugs, permeated by drug trafficking and poverty, is a problem “not only for the Central America itself but also for the United States.”

In this regard, he highlighted that most cities from which Honduran children emigrate are located on drug trafficking routes.

The President of El Salvador, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, for his part, called on the international community in general to deal with the problem from an integral perspective.

President Sánchez Cerén said the migratory phenomenon arises from the lack of opportunities in Central America, which makes necessary, in his judgment, agreement on an agenda for economic development, and also “firm combating of organized crime, narco-trafficking and the people who traffic in children.”

The President of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina, emphasized in his speech that the situation of the unaccompanied child migrants constitutes “a crisis that should be resolved with a humanitarian vision and a vision of human rights.”

“We believe that if we can resolve this humanitarian crisis, and I have faith that we are on the path to doing so, we can in the medium and long term resolve the root problems behind it,” said the Guatemalan President.
Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, welcomed the Presidents and congratulated the Central American leaders for “the serious and attentive disposition with which you have addressed this very serious problem,” which he called a “sign of the maturity of our nations that will not go unnoticed.”

He added that “this is an issue on which the community of the Americas has united with its friends from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador,” he added, as shown in the Declaration on the issue that the OAS Permanent Council approved by acclamation in its meeting on Wednesday.


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