Mexican Foreign Minister Videgaray Meets with SICA

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray met with representatives from the member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA)—Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—on March 2 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The meeting focused on migration, an issue highlighted by President Donald Trump’s stated plans to deport illegal immigrants who primarily arrive from Mexico and Central America, as reported by LatinNews. In the meeting, Videgaray insisted that the migration phenomenon is not exclusive to just one or two countries in the region and emphasized the importance of working together to find a solution to the problem. ‘‘The migration phenomenon is a consequence of instability stemming from unemployment and lack of opportunities; the only way to really handle [it] is by handling its underlying causes,’’ he told Costa Rica’s primary newspaper, La Nación. For Videgaray, this underlying cause is development.

The SICA meeting came a week after Videgaray met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security General John Kelly on their first official visit to Mexico. Videgaray remains optimistic in the face of the U.S. migration issue, assuring that both Trump representatives stressed that deportations would not occur on a massive scale.

In reference to the SICA meeting, Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade highlighted that ‘‘the border with Central America [will] be the next big story of development in the world.’’ Since the beginning of President Trump’s administration, the Mexican government has increasingly looked south for both trade opportunities and cooperation.