Latin American Program in the News: As Central America heads towards lawlessness a new drug strategy is needed
It has been 12 years since Plan Colombia, an extensive U.S. aid program focused on military and police assistance, was enacted and as the project winds down some are calling for a similar security plan for Central America, which has become the latest ground-zero in the “War on Drugs”.
The increased attention and pressure on the drug trade in Colombia caused much of the trafficking to move to Mexico, while production has shifted to Peru and Bolivia. Mexico’s own crackdown which started in 2006 under the Calderon administration has displaced some of the violence to Central America.
According to the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, “not since the Central American wars of the 1980s has the region commanded so much attention in the international arena.”
The drug trade has made Central America the most violent place in the world. Honduras, with a population of 8.3 million, had the world’s highest murder rate in 2010, with 82.1 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, a jump from 57 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008. Neighboring El Salvador had 66 murders per 100,000 in 2010. By comparison Colombia had 33 per 100,000 and the US had 4.7 per 100,000.
Original article here.