Opinion: Why they migrate
Discussions of migration from Central America into the United States tend to lump the principal countries of origin – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – into a single subregion, the Northern Triangle. While similarities between the three states make it convenient to treat them as a unit, the practice can also be misleading. Different push factors operate in each country, and without taking these distinctions into account, no amount of international aid is likely to reduce the migrant flow.
Opinion: The wrong response to the Caravan
United States President Donald Trump has insinuated the migrant caravan heading from Central America to the U.S. constitutes an invasion and has deployed some 5,000 troops at the border to stop it. Now, the president has threatened to rescind aid to the migrants’ countries of origin. American aid programs are built to address the region’s terrible crime and lack of employment opportunities – the very reasons so many people are leaving their homes and heading for the U.S. in the first place.
Joseph Kabila will not be moved
For long-serving presidents in sub-Saharan Africa, there are few incentives to step down. That applies to President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has managed to extend his term beyond the constitutional limits. The country has been in a deep crisis since 2015, and conditions are primed to deteriorate in 2018. Even if long-promised elections do take place, they will hardly mark the beginning of a new era.
Opinion: Honduras has it all – unfortunately
Honduras is a textbook example of why the one-size-fits-all U.S. policy toward Central American isn’t working. As the flow of drugs and migrants continues unabated, American law enforcement and aid programs have gotten in each other’s way. They would do better to find ways to strengthen the Hondurans who are still trying to take their state back from the narco cartels.
GIS Dossier: Sub-Saharan Africa
The list of challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa is long and daunting. Political instability and violence have led to immense migration flows that countries on three continents are struggling to contain. These problems have exacerbated weather-related catastrophes like famine, creating a vicious circle. Yet, the region has plenty of potential. Can it overcome its hurdles? This edition of GIS Dossier surveys the predictions from our experts on this troubled region.
Mexico: Pena Nieto papers over security crisis
In nearly four years, President Enrique Pena Nieto has been unable to tackle Mexico’s difficulties with organized and violent crime. His shift of focus to economic matters only papers over the problem, rather than addressing its root cause: institutional weakness. The country’s perpetual security crisis looks set to continue.
The Northern Triangle in Central America
Central America’s Northern Triangle states – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – have become a thoroughfare for illegal migration and drug smuggling to the United States. The U.S. is trying to stop this tide by funding police and judicial reform and setting up watchdog agencies. Progress in this diverse and poorly governed region has been mixed.
War on Drugs crippling Northern Triangle countries
The United States has been trying for decades to solve its drug problem with a failing War on Drugs. Washington has militarized its response in places like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The trouble is that these countries’ militaries are part of the problem: violence is not helping.
Sinai’s tangled web
The geopolitical significance of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders several strategic waterways and serves as a buffer between Egypt and Israel, can hardly be understated. Instability there is on the rise, as radical jihadi groups gain a stronger foothold. Egypt will have to overcome mistakes of the past and underwhelming support from its allies to bring law and order back to this critical portion of its territory.
Latin American drug trade requires varied approach
The U.S.-led “War on Drugs” is not working. The production, trafficking and consumption of illegal drugs has spread throughout the Western Hemisphere and Europe, while violence and corruption plague the countries where the “war” is being waged. New solutions will be necessary, tailored to the individual countries in Latin America.