Briefing Notes, 10 May 2002
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 10 May 2002, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Stressing the importance of local integration, Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada helped hand over 2,806 land titles in a former settlement for Guatemalan refugees in the state of Campeche on Wednesday.
The land titles went primarily to former refugees as well as to local residents in a ceremony in the village of Quetzal Edzná. Addressing a crowd of some 2,000 former refugees and local residents, Fox underscored the importance of participation in development projects in the region and informed them about a scholarship programme for children.
Government officials said the provision of property deeds was part of a "National Crusade for Legal Security in Rural Areas" for all Mexican citizens owing land and working in agriculture. Federal and local officials thanked UNHCR for its work since the early 1980s on behalf of Guatemalan refugees in cooperation with its local counterpart, the Mexican Commission to Aid Refugees. In addition to those refugees who opted to remain in Mexico, approximately 43,000 have returned to Guatemala to rebuild their lives.