Mesoamerica: The “Mesoamerica Project” to replace Plan Puebla Panamá

President Felipe Calderón addressing the X Tuxtla Presidential Summit (Source: La Jornada)

At the suggestion of Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Plan Puebla-Panama was abandoned in favor of the new “Mesoamerica Project.” The decision was approved on Saturday June 28 at the 10th Tuxtla Summit, site of the meeting of the leaders of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia and Costa Rica. Also present were the governors of the Mexican states of Puebla, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Guerrero, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Chiapas.

According to those in attendance, the new project eliminates some 95% of the development and infrastructure projects originally planned for in the Plan Puebla-Panama since its inception in 2001. The remaining plans concentrate on highways and infrastructure, and energy, electrical and information networking. In addition, there will also be a focus on plans to establish mechanisms for joint purchases of food stuffs and fertilizers, as well as working together on the issues of biofuels, fuel prices and climate change.

The leaders also reiterated their pledge to fight organized crime, noting that with the approval of the Mérida Initiative a foundation is now in place to start a Security Plan between Mexico and Central America that will include bilateral and multilateral strategies. It is estimated that there will be some USD 953 million slated for concrete measures within the plan.

As of the time of writing, there has been no response from the Mexican or international civil society on this issue.

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