In this episode, we speak to Dr Marcia Vera Espinoza, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sheffield, and Esteban Sanchez Botero, Master student from Colombia at the University of Sheffield, about refugees and migration in Latin America. The discussion begins with the question of how a US wall at the Mexican border may affect immigrants in the US from Latin America, as well as immigration within Latin America. But what about Latin American countries themselves, how welcoming are they to refugees and migrants, and who is welcomed?
Many of these countries came out of dictatorships so they wanted to show that they were good partners of the international community [by accepting refugees]. They also wanted to give back and return in terms of gratitude what other countries did for their own citizens.
Maria Vera Espinoza
Vera Espinoza currently work on the research project Prospects for International Migration Governance, and has previously researched the experiences of resettlement and integration of Palestinian and Colombian refugees in Chile and Brazil, which she discusses here (Spanish). You can find more of what she has written here and here.
The rest of the Latin American countries [apart from Mexico], they don’t see it as a physical wall. They see it as a political clash between the US and the rest of the populations that live south of the wall.
Esteban Sanchez Botero
Sanchez Botero studies the MA programme Intercultural Communications and International Development. He has previously worked with the charities Gaia Amazonas Foundation and in Un Techo Para Mi País.