U.S policy and practice has contributed to the violence in Central America. Poverty and drugs have been issues for Central America because they are hindering its domestic development. However, research done by the Wilson Center explains that drugs are not the sole cause of violence and poverty. In fact, U.S policy is a key contributing factor to the poverty and violence in Central America. For example, America serves as the primary root of the existence of gangs Central America. This is due to the fact the U.S deported many Central Americans who were in gangs in the U.S during the 90’s and 00’s (Olson, 2). These same deported individuals are now controlling countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The United States took the issue of violence within America, and exported it to Central America. Now these gangs have been terrorizing Central Americans, and the gangs have been having their own wars against each other for power and economic control (Azam). The economic profits and incentives of gangs are fueled by drug trafficking, which is also a dilemma U.S policy has created. The U.S consumption of drugs is the highest in the world, causing U.S. citizens to be the largest contributors to the drug market. This position was previously held by Mexico and the Caribbean. However, laws (created by U.S and Mexico) made the drug market relocate out of Mexico and the Caribbean (Olson, 2). Instead, drug trafficking is now present in Central American countries. Instead of ceasing the drug trafficking and incarcerating gang members, the U.S decided to simply push its problems elsewhere. Central America ended up serving as this “elsewhere” and now the U.S is attempting to resolve the mistakes it has committed.
In order to address these issues, the U.S has a system in place called CARSI. While its intentions are pure, its results have been lacking. The main issue with CARSI is that it has not identified if its focus is on drug trafficking or citizen safety. After conducting research, it has been identified that while CARSI consists of well intended programs, it does not truly have a strategy to stop the issue at hand. As a result, it will not stop the poverty and crime in Central America. In spite of this, the United States has been actively making a far more positive effect in recent times, as Jorge G. Castañeda from the Jordan Times reports. Jorge’s article explains that with the recent removal of the corrupt President and Vice president of Guatemala, and the support of the newly transformed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), there seems to be hope for Guatemala and soon other Central American countries (Castañeda). The United States has been playing an active role in transforming and supporting the CICIG, and it appears that it is giving hope to the people of Guatemala and neighboring nations. While U.S policies have been hurting Central American countries for many years, they could finally amend the damage through their recent developments within Central America.
Eguizàbal, Cristina, Karisa M. Curtis, Matthew C. Ingram, and Eric L. Olson. “Crime and Violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle: How U.S. Policy Response Are Helping, Hurting, and Can Be Improved.” Wilsoncenter.org. The Wilson Center, 19 Dec. 2014.