Merida, October 28th, 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – At the 10th South American Migration Conference (CSM for its Spanish initials) held on 25 and 26 October in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the Venezuelan representative, Morella Moya, proposed that inhabitants of the region should be able to move freely and live anywhere within the region.
12 South American countries participated in the conference, titled “Advancing towards a South American Citizenship”, with Mexico as invited as observer.
“It’s a slightly radical proposal, that we approve the establishment of a South American citizen, by definite consensus,” Moya said at the meeting.
The Ecuadorian representative Hernan Holguin supported the idea, commenting on the possibility of creating a common migratory space and argued that any South American citizen should be able to travel freely around the continent.
He said visas and passports should not be required, and it would unite the two regional blocs; the Andean Community of Nations and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).
In 2008 ten member and observer countries of Mercosur agreed to allow citizens to travel between their countries without the use of a passport, though some still required visas.
The president of the conference, Alfonso Hinojosa, said there wasn’t any information about the number of immigrants in South America that are deported each year, “but its certain that… the number has tripled, compared to what it was five or 10 years ago.”
The CSM, which meets annually, began in 1999. It was initiated by a few governments, with cooperation from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and in the first conference, all South American countries apart from Guyana and Surinam participated. Governments recognised the importance of migratory movements in the region and the need to regularly discuss the issue at a regional level.
Venezuela is the third highest country in terms of immigration in Latin America, with most migrants (both legal and illegal) coming from Colombia, then Spain.