U.S. has invested little in LatAm development, Mexican president says

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MEXICO CITY, (Xinhua) — U.S. administrations have invested little in recent decades in the development of Latin America, a factor that could reduce migration flows, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.

The last time the United States invested significantly in the region was during the John F. Kennedy administration (1961-1963), with some 10 billion U.S. dollars (the equivalent of 120 billion U.S. dollars at current prices), Lopez Obrador said during his daily press conference.

“How much have they invested since then in the development of Latin America and the Caribbean? Not even 10 percent of that amount,” he said.

Lopez Obrador noted that when he took office in December 2018, the United States committed to investing 4 billion U.S. dollars in development projects in Mexico and Central America, but “nothing has arrived.”

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However, he said he was “confident” U.S. President Joe Biden will accept his proposal to boost development in Central America to curb migration.

The migratory phenomenon should not be solved with force, Lopez Obrador said, but with productive options that discourage emigration.

“Enough of trying to solve a social and economic problem with coercive measures … what we want is for people to have resources to plant and cultivate their land,” he said.

Mass migration north from impoverished parts of Central America has been further aggravated recently by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on jobs and production.