Violence and crime are the main drivers of mass immigration from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador into the United States. These countries form a region known as the Northern Triangle, which ranks in the top 10 worldwide for homicide, corruption, drug trafficking and gang violence. Non-state actors perpetuate insecurity, forcibly recruit individuals into their ranks and use sexual violence as a tool of intimidation and control.
Central America became a key area of U.S. foreign policy in the late 1970s, when a number of conflicts and revolutions broke out across the region. U.S. development assistance spiked during this period and during the early 2000s as conflict began to increase again. A significant amount of these funds were allocated to the war on drugs, rather than for security, peace and development. As conflict continues to escalate in Central America, how can the U.S. mitigate the violence, support and strengthen rule of law, and curb immigration?
The U.S. Institute of Peace and the partners of the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum (CPRF) hosted a discussion on the issues facing Central America, and how the peacebuilding community can develop programming to prevent and mitigate violence, support community resilience and help stabilize the region.
Steve Olive, opening remarks
Acting Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America, USAID, Opening Remarks
Executive Director, Latin America Working Group
Senior Expert, Colombia, U.S. Institute of Peace
Director for Defense Oversight, WOLA
Director, Citizen Security Practice Area Creative Associates International
Since 1999, the CPRF has provided a monthly platform in Washington that highlights innovative and constructive methods of conflict resolution. CPRF’s goals are to (1) provide information from a wide variety of perspectives; (2) explore possible solutions to complex conflicts; and (3) provide a secure venue for stakeholders from various disciplines to engage in cross-sector and multi-track problem-solving. The CPRF is hosted at USIP and SAIS and organized by the Conflict Management Program in conjunction with Search for Common Ground. The CPRF is co-sponsored by a consortium of organizations that specialize in conflict resolution and/or public policy formulation.