Vice President Herrera supervises assistance to migrants in San Marcos

According to IOM data, the returnee center in Tecún Umán has supported 20,644 migrants since May 2022.

by Pamela Contreras

Guatemala City, by Brenda Larios -AGN-. Vice President Karin Herrera supervised on Thursday the Attention Center for Migrants and Refugees -CAPMiR- in Tecún Umán, San Marcos.

The vice president said, “We came to visit this center for returnees in Tecún Umán, San Marcos. We checked the plans to serve the returnees better, and one of these plans will start in May 2024.”

This plan includes the construction of an attention center that contains a space for the Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons -SVET- and other institutions. 

The Chief of the Mission of the International Organization for Migration -IOM-, Stéphanie Daviot, and the Guatemalan Migration Institute -IGM- director accompanied the vice president.

Fortify the attention

Vice President Herrera underlined that during her visit, she learned about the attention to migrants. She also learned more about other plans that were discussed with the director of the IGM and proposals are already in place. 

Herrera stated that there are proposals, such as buses, to transport the returnees to their places of origin. In this way, they will not be exposed to people who extort or steal from them. In addition, she will have a conversation with the Minister of the Interior, Francisco Jiménez, so they can follow up on taking care of the integrity of the migrants when they are already in the country as returnees.

She stressed that there is much to do for Guatemalans to decide to stay in the country and recognize that migration is not the only option. Likewise, she thanked the support and cooperation of the IOM, which has been fundamental to the attention of migrant returnees in the country. 

About the Attention Centers

Guatemala has four returnee centers: in Guatemala City, Tecún Umán, Ayutla, and San Marcos.

The Tecún Umán Center is a space managed by the IGM. It has also been supported by the IOM since 2015 and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development -USAID-.

In addition, the center provides services that meet the population’s basic needs. The primary beneficiaries of this center are returned Guatemalan migrants, women and men, family units, and accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children.

IOM cooperates and coordinates its response with other governmental entities, such as IGM and the National Council for Attention to Migrants of Guatemala. It has the support of the Secretariat of Social Works of the Wife of the President, the Secretariat of Social Welfare, and the Attorney General’s Office. Other organizations, such as Casa del Migrante and El Refugio de la Niñez, also provide support.

Over 79,979 returnees were registered in 2023. Of these, 24,679 were from Mexico, and 8% were children and teenagers. The Returnee Center has supported 20,644 migrants since May 2022.

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