Latin American countries have made considerable strides to build more peaceful societies in recent decades—but are still struggling to consolidate democratic principles while residual armed conflict, high levels of inequality, and political polarization remain. In Colombia, USIP helped achieve and implement a peace agreement between the FARC and the Colombian government. In Venezuela, USIP has deepened its engagement with democratic actors to generate the conditions for a peaceful negotiated solution to the political crisis. In Bolivia and Nicaragua, USIP seeks to support diverse moderate actors working to restore democratic norms through inclusive dialogue processes.
In the face of rapidly expanding solar and wind energy technology, it’s easy to forget about hydropower. Hydropower was first harnessed to turn mills and grind grain, but today it generates more electricity than any other source of renewable energy. But while dams can spur development, help manage water resources and improve access to affordable electricity, their impacts on local communities and the environment can have a dark side.
El Salvador ha sufrido durante mucho tiempo ciclos de violencia extrema vinculados a poderosas pandillas criminales. Las autoridades nacionales han respondido tanto con una represión implacable como con un apaciguamiento secreto. En público, los gobiernos pueden promulgar políticas de “mano dura” que incluyen arrestos masivos de presuntos pandilleros. Pero en secreto, los líderes salvadoreños han negociado con los líderes de las pandillas en prisión, brindándoles beneficios a cambio de ordenar a sus pandilleros que reduzcan el derramamiento de sangre.
El Salvador has long suffered from cycles of extreme violence linked to powerful criminal gangs. National authorities have responded with both severe repression and secret appeasement. In public, governments may enact “mano dura” or “iron-fist” policies, which include mass arrests of suspected gang members. But in secret, Salvadoran leaders have negotiated with imprisoned gang leaders, providing them with benefits in return for ordering their members to dial back the bloodshed.