Santos expresses solidarity with Mexico after landslides

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday expressed his solidarity with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in the wake of recent landslide tragedies in both countries.

In the north-west Colombian department of Antioquia, an estimated 30 people are missing after a torrent of 100,000 cubic meters (3.5 million cubic feet) of earth swept onto a highway in the town of Giraldo, which leads to the city of Medellin, on Monday. Authorities in the area said Monday that there is no hope of locating survivors.

Mexico suffered a similar tragedy early Tuesday in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca. At least 100 people are believed to be missing, and more than 30 houses were completely buried by the landslide. The number of people missing is expected to rise.

The landslides come in the midst of a deadly rainy season in much of Central and Latin America, including Colombia, where 74 people have been killed in incidents related to heavy rains since the beginning of the year.

The presidents will meet in Cancun, Mexico to discuss policies to avoid future tragedies. Santos said they will discuss ways to reduce the global warming that he believes is producing the heavy rains in both Mexico and Colombia.

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