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Mexico should prepare for the return of 350,000 countrymen from the U.S

October 6, 2008 | 11:34 am

Mexico should prepare itself for both the forced and voluntary return of more than 350,000 of its people currently living in the United States due to the financial crisis north of the border,  an organization representing farm workers warned Sunday.

Cruz Lopez, the head of la Confederacion Nacional Campesina (The National Confederation of Farm Workers) said that the return of so many Mexicans will increase unemployment here and also add to problems being caused by a fall in the remittances sent by migrant Mexicans living in the United States.

Lopez, quoted in Milenio today, said: “We are in the middle of a grave economic conflict that in no way is the little sniffle that President Felipe Calderon and his cabinet would have us believe.”

There is a saying here that when the United States catches a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia. That bodes badly for Mexico should the United States catch pneumonia -– which is how many have diagnosed the economic crisis currently gripping Mexico’s northern neighbor.

Mexico’s finance secretary Agustin Carstens said at the end of last month that the country can withstand the crisis in the global financial markets because its banks aren’t reliant on external credit.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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