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.

Speakers

Steve Olive, opening remarks
Acting Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America, USAID, Opening Remarks

Lisa Haugaard
Executive Director, Latin America Working Group

Steve Hege
Senior Expert, Colombia, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Adam Isacson
Director for Defense Oversight, WOLA

Enrique Roig
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. 

Related Publications

Mona Yacoubian on the State of Play in Syria

Mona Yacoubian on the State of Play in Syria

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

By: Mona Yacoubian

Mona Yacoubian discusses the state of play in Syria ahead of important withdrawal deadlines this week for removing heavy weapons from Idlib province. Yacoubian also discusses the waves of migration forced by the crisis, noting that 2018 has been the worst year to date for internally displaced Syrians; and the recent news that U.S. special operations forces are likely to remain in the country indefinitely to prevent a possible re-emergence of ISIS.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

South Sudan’s Civil War and Conflict Dynamics in the Red Sea

South Sudan’s Civil War and Conflict Dynamics in the Red Sea

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

By: Payton Knopf

The five-year-old civil war in South Sudan is an unparalleled humanitarian and security crisis, causing the largest exodus of refugees on the African continent since the Rwandan genocide and leaving over a third of the population displaced and two-thirds severely food insecure. Beyond the human toll on South Sudan’s long-suffering citizens, the country’s unraveling underscores the shifting political and security fault lines in the Horn of Africa. This Special Report surveys the region’s various interstate hostilities and intrastate conflicts and suggests ways the United States can reassert its influence to begin contributing meaningfully to the resolution of South Sudan’s civil war and conflicts in the greater Red Sea region.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

View All Publications