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At Ibero-American summit, calls to address migration

November 16, 2018
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Presidents and heads of delegations waves to photographers during the XXVI Iberoamerican Summit in Antigua, Guatemala, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

ANTIGUA, Guatemala (AP) — Leaders at a summit of Ibero-American nations called Friday for development and assistance for the poor to alleviate waves of migrants fleeing poverty, violence, political instability and persecution in the Americas.

More than a dozen presidents and King Felipe VI of Spain met in the colonial Guatemalan city of Antigua as large numbers of people have been migrating from places such as Venezuela and parts of Central America. Thousands of mostly Hondurans traveling in a caravan have been arriving in recent days at the Mexican city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto called on leaders to sign a global pact on migration in Morocco next month.

“It is true that the best way to avoid having people migrate involuntarily is by promoting, among other things, internal development in our nations,” Pena Nieto said.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez blamed emigration from his country on a coffee crisis and climate change, which he says has caused droughts.

Migrants in the caravan have said repeatedly that they left due to poverty, violence and insecurity in Honduras.

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado called for dialogue to resolve festering political crises in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Host President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala said the summit aimed to “renew the region’s commitment to sustainable development.”

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