Mexico president: Colombia’s Petro to join migrants summit as numbers surge

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro’s attendance at a regional summit later this month where participants will discuss spiking U.S.-bound migration, the Mexican leader said on Friday.

Lopez Obrador told reporters at a regular press conference he had spoken by phone with fellow leftist Petro about the Oct. 22 meeting set to take place in Mexico’s southern border state of Chiapas.

Prior to the summit, leaders across Latin America are discussing and beginning to prepare a draft plan that should later be approved by all participants, the Mexican leader added.

Lopez Obrador has previously said that presidents from Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and Cuba have been invited to the talks.

The meeting comes as record numbers of migrants have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, straining resources and stoking sensitive political debates across the region.

One of the points to be discussed at the summit is the installation of migrant processing centers, which Lopez Obrador has said he wants to be set up in migrants’ countries of origin instead of Mexico.

(Reporting by Dave Graham and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by David Alire Garcia)