The Northern Triangle in Central America

Less than two dozen border checkpoints between Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador can do little to stop flows of migrants and drugs
Drugs and migrants move freely across the uncontrolled borders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Official checkpoints are often unstaffed, while hundreds of miles of jungle and mountain terrain are completely unmonitored. (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • New government and U.S. backed investigators pressure drug cartels in Guatemala
  • El Salvador poised for boom if government can reach deal with gangs
  • Weak state in Honduras may resist outside pressure for reform

In the summer of 2014, nearly 50,000 unaccompanied children surreptitiously and illegally crossed the border into the United States. The size and humanitarian shock of this migration created a mood approaching panic in the U.S. The children had come from the Northern Triangle of Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – fleeing from violence that had turned poor neighborhoods into war zones and economic stagnation that doomed many school leavers to unemployment.

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