Central America

Prosperity and Rising Crime in Latin America

Latin America has the world’s highest crime rate and in much of the region, crime is worsening, the opposite of the global trend. In 2015, Latin America accounted for one-third of the world’s homicides, though it is home to only one-tenth of the global population. Criminal gangs and organized crime plague Central America and Mexico; meanwhile, in relatively safe Uruguay and Argentina, crime is a growing public concern.

Building Better Gendarmeries in Mexico and the Northern Triangle

Facing record homicide rates and a public outcry to reduce violence and restore peace, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador proposed the formation of a “National Guard” as a possible solution. While controversial, it has garnered the support of large majorities in the Mexican Congress, and in two-thirds of the states, ensuring that the National Guard will be constitutionally recognized.

The U.S. Helped Cut Honduras’ Murder Rate in Half. Withdrawing Aid Right When the Good Guys are Gaining Ground Won’t Help Honduras or the U.S.

Not long ago, Honduras was the murder capital of the world. Top-ranking police officers colluded with drug traffickers. They even assassinated Honduras’ top anti-drug official. Many politicians essentially ignored these problems and focused instead on stuffing their pockets with public funds.

Violence, corruption, and lack of opportunity - these are the factors that motivate Hondurans to leave their country and seek asylum or attempt illegal entry into the U.S.

Trump Threatens to Cut Off Assistance to Central America: Does It Matter?

President Trump’s threat to cut off assistance to Central America is mistaken and, if carried out, will exacerbate the problems of irregular migration.  But the President also forces us to ask some tough questions about the real value of U.S. assistance and whether we are simply throwing good money after bad in Central America where, according to President Trump, “… the governments of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do nothing.”

Strengthening Counter-Narcotics Cooperation with Mexico and Central America: A Conversation with Senator John Cornyn

Transnational criminal organizations and cartels use corridors connecting Central and South America to the United States as an illicit sales route, dealing in anything that can turn a profit. Drug trafficking, human smuggling, illicit weapons, money laundering, and public corruption are the tools of their poisonous trade, and countries throughout the region suffer the devastating effects.

2018 Migration to and through Mexico Fact Sheet