The humanitarian crisis is so high-profile that 250 people crammed into the Wilson Center’s sixth-floor auditorium and two overflow rooms to attend Thursday’s program, which was moderated by Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition; another 170 watched the conference online.
“I can recall no time since the Central American wars of the 1980s when so much U.S. media attention has been paid to this region,” said Cynthia Arnson, director of the think tank’s Latin American program, in introducing the three foreign ministers.
“These children come from an extremely violent region, where they probably perceive that the risk of traveling to the U.S. is preferable to remaining at home,” she said. “Poverty levels have gone down, but 45 percent of Salvadorans, 55 percent of Guatemalans and 67 percent of Hondurans are still poor. There is no magic bullet to address these problems, which have taken decades, if not centuries, to develop.”
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