Among the challenges discussed, one of the main topics was migration. Campbell Barr highlighted the growing problem of migrants coming to Costa Rica and Panama, countries more accessible to South American migrants than the United States. The growing migrant population of Nicaragua and Venezuela makes a significant contribution to the economies of both countries, but also demands spending that is not readily available during times of budget constraint, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In our region, poverty, insecurity and the lack of economic opportunities are pushing people out, forcing them to leave. Building barriers is not going to stop migration because migrants will find a way to improve their lives. Multilateral organizations should be more involved in the fight against this phenomenon, ”she said.
Solis agreed. “Migrant women [need] policies to meet their specific needs, as discrimination and violence against them are pervasive, ”he added.
Discussing drugs and crime in the region, Campbell Barr said there was a correlation between drugs and human trafficking, and added that it took a heavy toll, especially on women.
“We are thinking about how to fight and end these [drug] networks, but we forget how many women, boys and girls are victims [of human trafficking]. Many times without the possibility of surviving, ”she said. “This issue needs to be further discussed in international and public agendas.”
In conclusion, the vice president underlined that democracy remains the best political system, even if it is imperfect. In this regard, greater civic participation is needed to produce results that enable positive and tangible improvements in the quality of life of the people of the region.
“The constitutions of our countries should not be promises to our citizens. They should be realities, ”she concluded.