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Mexico to offer medical care to migrants crossing its land

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico, Jun 22 (EFE).- Mexico promised to offer medical care to migrants crossing its territory at a meeting in which that country, Central America, Colombia and the Dominican Republic worked on an integration plan that goes well beyond economic accords.

Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Jose Antonio Meade announced his nation's commitment at the Friday press conference that closed the meeting with his counterparts from Central America, Colombia and the Dominican Republic aimed at reviewing the regional agenda and making progress with Mesoamerican integration projects.

At the conference in San Cristobal de Las Casas in the Mexican state of Chiapas, they also analyzed such topics as migration, which particularly affects Mexico, since people in their hundreds of thousands cross its territory each year, most of them from Central America on their way to the United States in hopes of finding a better life.

Meade said that at the meeting, the director general of the Mexican Social Security Institute, or IMSS, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, announced "the decision of the Mexican government to make mobile medical care units available to any migrants who need them."

That was one of the specific accords of a meeting that, according to the final press conference, focused on four basic points: security, economic relations and investment, migration and regional cooperation.

With regard to migration and security, Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez said that while "the challenges will not be resolved from one day to the next," Mexico did commit to "doing more to guarantee the migrant population its full rights."

Every year, tens of thousands of Central Americans undertake the journey across Mexico to reach the United States. The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.

Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, officials say.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130622/mexico-offer-medical-care-migrants-crossing-its-land