Ricardo Pascoe Pierce - Palenque Summit: farewell to friends

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The chancellor of Mexico assured that 12 leaders are coming to the summit convened by AMLO in Palenque about migration, “and with us there are 13.” However, the list ends up being one of friends: Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala. Perhaps there will be more lower-ranking representatives in attendance representing other countries.

  • According to statements from the Foreign Ministry, there are two main objectives of the summit. First, investigate the “causes” of migration and its possible solutions. Two, propose methods to ensure their free and safe passage through transit areas.

To address these objectives effectively, it is assumed, as would happen in any international summit convened for very specific purposes, that teams from all the attending countries will have been preparing studies and proposals on the matter. So, when the leaders arrive, the public event will consist of grandiose speeches and the signing and protocolization of previous agreements.

To date, no document has been released with the studies or the proposals that will be the subject of agreement. It must be remembered that the first purpose is to recognize the migration phenomenon, its causes and possible solutions. The objective is broad. Therefore, it merits the production of good documents prepared by experts from the attending countries.

It would be very interesting, for example, to know what Cuban experts on migration have said, when the official position of their government is that it does not recognize any problem in the matter. “Who would want to leave the socialist paradise?” ask the Cuban authorities.

Or the posture of Ripe, from Venezuela, when he affirms that Venezuelans who leave their country are “scourges and traitors to the country.” “It's good that they left!”

With these official approaches to migration, it will be difficult to find “solutions” to the phenomenon. At least real social solutions that do not involve jail, torture or shootings of the “offenders.”

Another ingredient is added to these official denials. Due to the acute internal economic crisis in most of their countries, the rulers actually deliberately promote, even if in a veiled manner, the mass migration abroad of their compatriots. The explanation is simple: it takes away the pressure of having so many mouths to feed. In their closed circles they celebrate “that the gringos, promoters of neoliberalism, are in charge.”

Seeing the problem like this, there is nothing serious to discuss. Any solution option offered will be accepted with a sardonic and sarcastic smile. “What else do you propose, my dear experts on the subject?” they will say.

As for the second purpose of the summit, security for migrants, since that is an internal problem for Mexico and an internal political conflict for the US government on its southern border. The sending countries, with the notable exception of Mexico, look askance and with absolute alienation at the problem. That migrants are hooked or hired by organized crime and kidnapped for the sale of organs or human trafficking is Mexico's problem. What happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico.

What, then, is the true purpose of the summit in Palenque? It seems that everything will be formally discussed to come to nothing. Of course, there will be a final declaration (The Palenque Declaration?) with historical and moving phrases, of unfulfillable commitments and tasks that will not be carried out in the future. It was a summit that offered to solve everything and solved nothing.

  • Lopez Obrador leaves the Presidency in eleven months. It seems that the summit will be remembered as the Farewell Summit with My Friends. Without further ado.

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