Why did Mexico decide to reimpose visas for Peruvians? The figures behind the conflict

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Starting April 20, Peruvian citizens will need a visa to enter Mexico for tourism and business, announced the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, citing the government’s concern about the increasing flow of irregular migrants who would be entering the country.

In response, Peru informed that it would request the same requirement in application of the “Principle of Reciprocity.”

What were the arguments of the Mexican authorities and what are the figures behind the debate? We explain them here.

In November 2012, Mexican authorities eliminated the visa requirement for Peruvians for trips without permission to perform remunerated activities in order to expedite the flow of people and trade. This included tourists, athletes, business travelers, or those seeking medical treatments, among others.

In the reasons given for reimposing the visa for Peruvian citizens, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) points out “a substantial increase of Peruvian nationals entering the national territory under the aforementioned decision (visa elimination) with the intention of carrying out activities different from those allowed by the visitor’s stay condition.”

It affirms that the situation is reflected in the immigration filters with the identification of people whose profile “does not fit that of a genuine visitor or tourist” and who, instead, present inconsistencies in their documentation or information.

According to the Ministry, this increases “the possibility that a significant number of people intend to use the visa suppression improperly.”

The Secretariat of Foreign Affairs did not provide details on the number of Peruvian citizens who entered Mexico and remained in the country irregularly or performing activities different from those allowed as visitors. CNN contacted the Ministry to request data on this matter, but so far has not received a response.

Data from the Unit of Migration Policy, Registry, and Identity of Persons of the Secretariat of the Interior indicates that from November 2012 to January 2024, there was an entry via air of 2,216,475 nationals from Peru.

In the figures of air entries of foreigners by nationality, Peru was the tenth country with the most citizens entering Mexico, behind other Latin American countries such as Colombia (5,397,685), Argentina (3,536,151), and Brazil (3,370,439).

At the end of 2023, Peru was the eighth country of origin of foreigners to Mexico with 293,668 people, a 7.3% decrease from 2022, when the air entry of 316,655 Peruvian citizens was recorded.

The Ministry affirms that it is a temporary measure and details that it will work on joint actions with the government of Peru to guarantee safe, orderly, and regular migratory flows that allow “at the time” the elimination of the visa requirement for nationals of that country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru regretted Mexico’s decision considering that it “undermines efforts to improve bilateral relations and affects the programmatic commitments assumed in the Pacific Alliance to facilitate the free movement of people between both countries.”

The relations between Mexico and Peru

The measures of both countries occur in a context of conflict between President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his counterpart from Peru, Dina Boluarte.

Relations began to deteriorate after Castillo attempted to illegally dissolve Congress when it was preparing for a motion of vacancy against the president, and the assumption of Boluarte as head of state by constitutional succession…

Source: CNN Español