U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, top left, took part in a bipartisan congressional delegation (CODEL) visit to Mexico to discuss bilateral issues with top leaders. Courtesy/BRL office
U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, right, at meeting with leaders in Mexico. Courtesy/BRL office
U.S. SENATE News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) took part in a bipartisan congressional delegation (CODEL) visit last week to Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala to discuss bilateral issues with top government officials and civil society and business leaders.
The CODEL, led by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), also included Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.). The five-day trip marked Luján’s first CODEL as a U.S. senator.
During his meetings with government officials – including the president of each of the countries – Luján stressed the importance of partnering to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, tackle the root causes of migration, combat corruption, act on climate, and protect the rights of women, children and indigenous people.
Luján and the delegation also discussed the importance of human rights, press freedom and environmental protections with civil society representatives in each country.
“Our partnerships with Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala are critical for building economic opportunities, strengthening national security and ending the COVID-19 pandemic globally,” Luján said. “In meetings with leaders from all four countries, I highlighted New Mexico’s importance as a trade partner and underscored the importance of bilateral cooperation to address migration, border security, drug abuse and trafficking, and arms trafficking. I also discussed the need to fix America’s broken immigration system, strengthen security at our ports of entry, and help protect women and children in the region from violence while creating economic and educational opportunities for them. I was proud to represent the Commerce Committee on this bipartisan congressional delegation, and I look forward to the work ahead to strengthen these partnerships.”
U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, center, with government officials in Colombia. Courtesy/BRL office
U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, left, second row from bottom, with leaders in Ecuador. Courtesy/BRL office