Migration, the Economy, Trade and Security on the Agenda at Mexico City Summit

We go to Mexico Metropolis for an replace on the North American Leaders’ Summit, the place the presidents of Mexico, the USA and Canada are discussing migration, the economic system, commerce and safety. The summit comes simply days after Biden introduced that the USA will begin to block migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba from making use of for asylum on the U.S.-Mexico border. We converse with Elías Camhaji, Mexican journalist and reporter with the Spanish newspaper El País, and Erika Guevara-Rosas, human rights lawyer and Americas director for Amnesty Worldwide.


It is a rush transcript. Copy is probably not in its ultimate type.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to start right this moment in Mexico. President Biden is assembly with the presidents of Mexico and Canada right this moment for the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico Metropolis. Key points on the desk embrace migration, the economic system, commerce and safety. On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador welcomed Biden to the Nationwide Palace in Mexico Metropolis. AMLO known as on Biden to take a position extra in Latin America and to finish what he describes as many years of, quote, “disdain” by the U.S. in direction of the area.

PRESIDENT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR: [translated] Subsequently, I maintain that that is the second for us to find out to dispose of this abandonment, this disdain and this forgetfulness for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is against the coverage of a “good neighborhood” of the titan of freedom and liberty — FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt — and beginning with you, as a result of there could be no different chief that would implement this enterprise, starting with you, to begin a brand new stage with you, Mr. President, of the nations and the peoples of the continent as of respect and mutual assist and assist and help. President Biden, you maintain the important thing in your hand to open and to considerably enhance the connection amongst all of the nations of the American continent.

AMY GOODMAN: Throughout his assembly with the Mexican president, President Biden vowed to debate methods to strengthen U.S. relations with Mexico.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: So, right this moment, we’re going to debate how we will additional deepen that relationship, not solely in Mexico however the Western Hemisphere. This consists of strengthening our provide chains to make the hemisphere much more aggressive. And we’re additionally going to debate our shared safety, together with our joint motion to deal with the plague of fentanyl, which has killed 100,000 People up to now, and the way we will sort out irregular migration, which I believe we’re effectively on our option to doing. Above all, we each dedicated to pursuing a greater future, one grounded on peace and prosperity for all of our individuals.

AMY GOODMAN: The North American Leaders’ Summit comes simply days after Biden introduced the USA will begin to block migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba from making use of for asylum in the event that they’re apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The transfer is an growth of the contested Trump-era Title 42 pandemic coverage.

The summit can also be going down lower than every week after Mexico carried out a serious army operation to arrest Ovidio Guzmán, the son of the imprisoned Mexican drug lord El Chapo, Joaquín Guzmán. The operation concerned over 3,500 troops, led to the deaths of 29 individuals, together with 10 Mexican troopers and 19 suspected drug cartel members.

To speak about U.S.-Mexico relations and the North American Leaders’ Summit, we’re joined by two company in Mexico Metropolis. Elías Camhaji is a Mexican journalist and reporter with the Spanish newspaper El País. He received Mexico’s Nationwide Journalism Award in 2021. And Erika Guevara-Rosas is a human rights lawyer and Americas director for Amnesty Worldwide.

We welcome you each to Democracy Now! Erika, let’s start with you. Are you able to speak in regards to the significance of this summit, and notably the Amnesty report that you just simply put out? President Biden got here from the border, El Paso, first go to he has made as president to the border, and made his option to Mexico Metropolis. Speak about what has occurred alongside the border and what Amnesty Worldwide feels must occur.

ERIKA GUEVARA-ROSAS: Amy, this summit is extraordinarily vital, notably given the present state within the Americas, when the continent is experiencing a number of the most complicated refugee and migrant disaster, compared even with different areas of the world which can be experiencing battle. The Americas, sadly, is the house of many nations which can be experiencing human rights violations and of many individuals which can be searching for asylum exactly of the situations of the nations of origin. Sadly, these three governments, the North American governments, have applied shared immigration insurance policies aiming at deterring migration, which can be violating the rights of individuals, notably of those that are searching for asylum.

President Biden has visited for the primary time the border, a few days after he applied or he expanded a number of the insurance policies which were criticized from many human rights organizations, a few of these insurance policies that had been applied by the Trump administration, together with what it’s known as a “keep in Mexico” coverage. That’s this Migrant Safety Protocol, that may be a shared coverage with the Mexican authorities, that’s stopping individuals from searching for asylum, that’s expulsing individuals, that’s forcing Mexico to militarize its borders, to violate the human rights of the people who find themselves attempting to cross the Mexico-U.S. border, by, like, forcing them to remain in very harmful communities on the border on the Mexico aspect, placing them in danger and by the hands of the organized crime, that, sadly, continues to abuse the human rights of these people who find themselves searching for asylum.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Erika Guevara, I needed to ask you — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, when he got here into workplace, promised a unique remedy for migrants crossing via Mexico, but Mexico has continued to militarize and to not be as hospitable as he would — as his rhetoric would recommend. Might you discuss how the scenario in Mexico when it comes to migrants has developed since AMLO got here to workplace?

ERIKA GUEVARA-ROSAS: Juan, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been persevering with with this narrative about humane insurance policies in direction of migrants and refugees. Sadly, in follow, we’re seeing completely a distance from that narrative, from that discourse — the militarization of the border, the continuation of those shared insurance policies which can be violating the rights of individuals, the remedy that many of those individuals are receiving on the border, together with the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Amnesty Worldwide has been documenting large deportation of individuals in want of worldwide safety, together with Haitians, Central People, Venezuelans, Cubans. Folks have been detained in immigration detention services that don’t have the situations, together with in the course of the pandemic of COVID-19, individuals that aren’t accessing the fitting to hunt asylum in Mexico as a result of data is just not out there or just because the state, the establishment that’s created to offer worldwide safety, doesn’t have the capability, as a result of doesn’t have the funding to have the ability to reply to the calls for from individuals which can be searching for asylum. So, sadly, we’re seeing a continuation of insurance policies of former governments, but in addition a continuation of insurance policies which can be violating the rights of individuals.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I’d wish to deliver Elías Camhaji into the dialog, as effectively. Might you speak — you’ve been masking this summit because it’s creating. Discuss to us about what you suppose are the primary points that can be mentioned by the three presidents.

ELÍAS CAMHAJI: Properly, the primary subjects of the summit are the migrant disaster, in fact, the battle on medicine, and financial integration. And it’s been a really extremely anticipated summit, however we’re nonetheless ready for concrete agreements on these points, like this announcement of beckoning 30,000 individuals to the U.S. from Haiti, from Nicaragua, from Cuba, from Venezuela. This has had direct impression on the opposite aspect of the border. And we have to come out with concrete actions on the sector to keep away from this humanitarian disaster to be greater, proper?

So, at the present time, this Tuesday, appears to be a vital day for the summit as a way to have a extra concrete panorama of what may be anticipated in our shared border, which is 2,000 miles lengthy. No? It is a geographical marriage, however typically the priorities and the impacts are very totally different on both sides of the border. So, for us, as Mexicans, we’re anticipating to see what’s going to be the impression of receiving all of the people who find themselves not accepted to enter the U.S., and to see what are we going to do, as a result of they’re going to be staying in a number of the most harmful components of the nation, proper? So, we have to have extra concrete outcomes and outputs of this summit, particularly within the upcoming hours.

AMY GOODMAN: Elías, you’re a journalist, an award-winning journalist in Mexico. Mexico is without doubt one of the deadliest locations to follow journalism on the planet. Are you able to discuss why you suppose that’s, what these leaders can do, and likewise, included in that, in fact, the context of the so-called battle on medicine and the way it’s fueled drug lords in Mexico?

ELÍAS CAMHAJI: After all. The scenario right here in Mexico may be very problematic for journalism. President Biden ought to have a extra intense function than denouncing the scenario the journalists reside right here in Mexico.

On this summit, on the state degree, the nationwide degree, the priorities are essential, proper? And these elements additionally come into place. But in addition there’s a person element, proper? There must be a chemistry between López Obrador and President Biden to translate these actions, to translate these agreements to concrete actions on the sector, proper? We see how the White Home’s insurance policies have a direct impression, for instance, on the opposite aspect of the border, however different nationwide authorities on the metropolis degree or on the state degree should be taken under consideration, as effectively, as a result of there must be a conjunction of pursuits and situations for these individuals to have a extra humane keep in Mexico.

So, what we noticed, for instance, final week, relating to safety, with the seize of El Chapo’s son, was full mayhem. We noticed blockades. We noticed gunshots. Twenty-nine individuals died, as you stated. And there must be a discourse that justifies why these actions had been taken and the way that is going to learn the communities dwelling within the areas of the nation which can be principally managed by the drug cartels, proper?

So, within the U.S., for instance, the opioid disaster is especially a public well being concern, proper? However right here on the opposite aspect of the border, the place the consumption of fentanyl, for instance, may be very low, we have to have additionally a justification to be carrying the heaviest burden on this battle towards medicine, no? So, that’s what I might inform you proper now.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yeah, I’d like to return to Erika Guevara-Rosas. What do you say to these individuals in the USA who would say that the extra that the USA opens its doorways to asylum seekers and refugees and people crossing the border, the extra individuals will come from Latin America, given the big disparities in financial way of life, in addition to the political issues in Latin America? What would you say to these of us?

ERIKA GUEVARA-ROSAS: Properly, Juan, we now have migration ranges which can be breaking report at the moment, not solely within the U.S.-Mexico border however throughout the continent. All these immigration insurance policies aimed toward deterring migration aren’t working. We’re seeing it. Individuals are merely taking extra harmful routes. They’re placing themselves in danger, exactly as a result of these immigration insurance policies are stopping them for accessing to the fitting to hunt asylum in a safe method.

Sadly, all these insurance policies are violating the rights of individuals, not solely as a result of they don’t seem to be capable of entry the fitting to hunt asylum, however a few of these individuals have been returned to their nations of origin, when they’re additionally experiencing large human rights violations, and that is towards the worldwide regulation, the worldwide human rights regulation, that the USA and plenty of different governments, in fact, are obliged to observe.

It can be crucial for individuals in the USA to grasp the implications of U.S. coverage in lots of of those nations, that in sure method are exacerbating the situations which can be forcing these individuals to go away their communities, to go away their nations, to cross the borders and to hunt security for themselves and for his or her households. Humane insurance policies, insurance policies that put within the middle the human rights of those individuals, are going to learn not solely individuals accessing the fitting to hunt asylum, but in addition the communities of reception. Now we have seen it all around the world. We’re seeing it within the continent. I’ve simply been in Colombia, the place I’ve seen that accepting, welcoming Venezuelan refugees, as an example, legalizing their situation, offering them with the situations to train rights, together with training, well being, work, is bettering not solely their lives, but in addition bettering the situations of dwelling on the communities of reception. So it is vital for individuals to grasp that respecting the rights of individuals are additionally benefiting the communities which can be welcoming these individuals, but in addition, and extra vital, to grasp that these immigration insurance policies are violating the human rights of individuals and are violating the obligations of the USA towards its commitments on human rights.

AMY GOODMAN: Erika, I needed to ask you in regards to the context by which this assembly of the three leaders is going down: additional south, in fact, Brazil. There, January eighth, maybe worse than what occurred in the USA January sixth, the rebel in Brasília that attacked three homes of presidency — the presidential palace, the Congress, the Supreme Court docket. President Biden spoke with President Lula of Brazil on Monday after the violence. He invited him to the USA, which — for early subsequent month. Are you able to discuss what you need to see each Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, President Biden and AMLO, the Mexican president, say about authoritarianism and this far-right home violence, from Brazil to the USA? What would you like them to say?

ERIKA GUEVARA-ROSAS: Amy, what occurred in Brazil may be very symptomatic of the state of the world and the state of our area, the growing radicalization of anti-rights, anti-democratic teams, actions which were inspired by political leaders to, , have this violent expression. So, the photographs that got here from Brasília had been very, very stunning and regarding, as a result of these are photographs that remind us of the assault on the Capitol within the U.S. They’re reminding us of many different incidents which can be taking place in lots of different nations throughout the continent. It can be crucial that North American leaders commit themselves to democratic values, to commit themselves to place human rights on the middle of their insurance policies, that basically welcome, , the choice of individuals via the election course of, and to actually help democratic values in these nations the place, sadly, are struggling as a result of individuals don’t have choices.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Elías Camhaji, in a few minutes we now have left, I needed to ask you in regards to the third matter of the summit, the one which hasn’t gotten very a lot consideration, which is commerce coverage and financial integration. President López Obrador has actually made it a degree of his administration to reestablish nationwide sovereignty by Mexico over its oil trade. This has the American enterprise upset. And in addition, the second model of NAFTA, which was accredited beneath President Trump, had all types of latest rules about manufacturing of cars, a portion of which needed to be in the USA. That’s additionally been a bone of rivalry since then. Might you discuss these two points and what you count on would possibly come out of this summit?

ELÍAS CAMHAJI: Positive, Juan. President López Obrador has confronted a variety of criticism due to his vitality insurance policies. And he defends these insurance policies by saying they’re essential to have financial progress, financial improvement. So, what they’re attempting to do is to mix the transition to wash energies with financial integration. There’s a plan between Arizona and Sonora, on the opposite aspect of the border, to extend the provision chain of semiconductors, for instance. So, the minerals key to this exploitation can be extracted from Mexico and brought to Arizona to have extra jobs, to have substantial advantages, concrete advantages, on the financial aspect. And right here in Mexico, it’s anticipated that president — Prime Minister Trudeau, sorry, will strain on that, as a result of local weather change and local weather worries are a precedence for U.S. and Canada, however not as a lot for Mexican authorities. So, they’re attempting to mix these two elements beneath NAFTA, beneath this umbrella of NAFTA, to have a optimistic output — no? — and to have extra concrete advantages for the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants. That’s how President López Obrador has justified his unwillingness to wager on clear vitality, for instance.

AMY GOODMAN: Properly, Elías Camhaji, we need to thanks for being with us, Mexican journalist for El País, and Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director for Amnesty worldwide, each chatting with us from Mexico Metropolis.

Subsequent up, 100 years in the past this weekend, the Rosewood bloodbath in Florida passed off. An armed white mob attacked the predominantly Black city in central Florida. We’ll speak with the grandchild of a survivor. After which, afterwards, Ben Jealous has a brand new memoir, and we’ll converse with him. Stick with us.