Mexican Agency to Offer Life Insurance for Migrants on the Perilous Journey North

Guerrero is a small state on the southwestern coast of Mexico where tourists travel each year to stay at popular beach resorts in Acapulco and Ixtapa. But the trip for migrants leaving Guerrero for the United States is anything but luxurious, often involving organized crime gangs, treacherous railways and the threat of kidnappings.

Guerrero’s newly created Office of the Secretary of Migrants and International Issues says it wants to help migrants. The state agency will offer life insurance policies for migrants making their way to the United States. The office is in talks with two banks to consider possible options and is planning to offer coverage for 500 migrants for one year in the pilot program.

“I think we as a government have an obligation to pay attention to the flow and transit of our citizens,” Netzahualcóyotl Bustamante Santín, Secretary of Migrants and International Issues, says. “We want them to make whatever decision they will, but know that they can count on their government and that their government can support them in case of any contingency.”

Bustamante says the office is not promoting migration – it’s the state’s youngest working-age people who are migrating – but that they can’t stop their people from leaving the country. The life insurance policy will also cover policyholders while they live in the United States, providing their families with peace of mind.

Other Mexican states offer life insurance policies for Mexican immigrants already living in the United States. Banorte, one of the country’s leading banks based in Monterrey, started offering such a policy in 2009 to people from the state of Zacatecas, eventually expanding coverage to other states.

According to a 2010 study by the Multilateral Investment Fund, Banorte had already sold more than 16,000 life insurance and repatriation policies to families in Mexico for relatives living in the United States.

The state of Guerrero currently offers repatriation services for citizens living in the United States. The nearest Mexican consulate covers the cost of transporting the body to the airport in Mexico City, and the Office of the Secretary of Migrant and International Issues then pays to deliver the body back to the family in their city of origin. … FULL STORY

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