How US Policy Responses Are Helping, Hurting and Can Be Improved

The unprecedented number of migrants fleeing Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – highlights regional challenges: unparalleled levels of organized crime, gang violence, and corruption – problems all fueling and being fueled by lack of economic opportunity. The public generally assumes that drug trafficking is behind the violence, but rampant gangs and weak state institutions that cannot curb crime also contribute to regional instability. Criminals rarely face punishment, and organized crime groups have infiltrated many government agencies. US demand has driven the drug trade, while a lax US policy on guns strengthens gangs, The US State Department’s Central America Regional Security Initiative has attempted to assist in curbing the region’s violence, but the program has had mixed results, suggests a review by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program. Programs to curb drug trafficking have proven effective, while programs on institutional change are less successful. – YaleGlobal

How US Policy Responses Are Helping, Hurting and Can Be Improved

Woodrow Wilson reviews the US Central America Regional Security Initiative and finds programs aimed at institutional change are ineffective
Cristina Eguizábal, Karise M. Curtis, Matthew C. Ingram, Aaron Korthuis, Eric L. Olson and Nicholas Phillips
Friday, January 30, 2015
2015 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

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