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  • Writer's pictureVoces Unidas de las Montañas

CLEAP participants spend first-day discussing causes of forced migration

Civic Leader Education & Advocacy Program (CLEAP) participants spent their first full day in Mexico City learning about climate migration, migration due to the negative effects of trade and economic policies, and the militarization of Mexico’s borders.


On the agenda for Wednesday, May 29:


The first full day began with a welcome session, grounding participants on the program's objectives, followed by a press conference with Mexican media and facilitated sessions on policy issues of interest to participants.


The press conference invited local reporters to learn more about CLEAP and the policy issues being discussed. Voces Unidas CEO Alex Sánchez explained the program objectives and two participants -- Luz Galaviz, a classroom teacher from Rifle and Elizabeth Sánchez, a corrections commander in Eagle -- shared their migration stories.


Guest facilitator Elizabeth Velasco moderated the first policy discussion, using an investigative report titled Bajo la bota that documented civil rights abuses of migrants from Central and South America by the Mexican military, an effort that the U.S. government funded. Participants reflected on the role and influence that the U.S. plays in the militarization of Mexico’s southern and northern borders. Velasco, a native of Mexico, has first-hand experience navigating our broken U.S. immigration system. In 2022, Velasco became the first Latina from the Western Slope elected to the state legislature.


The next policy session covered the root causes of forced migration due to climate change and the negative effects of trade and economic policies. Led by Voces Unidas' staff member Alan Muñoz, participants used a New York Times article titled The Great Climate Migration and The Nation's How US Policies Fueled Mexico's Great Migration article to discuss these issues. Participants reflected on how these policies impacted their own family's migration journeys.


The day closed with a reflection session where participants shared what they learned throughout the day.



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