Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin America Program and Mexico Institute, 1/27/12
Central America has become the most violent region in the world and many countries are facing enormous challenges of crime and public insecurity due to urban violence, street gangs, and organized crime engaged in international drug trafficking.
Latin America Program and Mexico Institute Senior Associate, Eric L. Olson, spent last week in three Central American countries and provides his analysis of the security situation there, including the role of the private sector, pervasive corruption in law enforcement, and the risks and benefits of vetted units.
I have just returned from a quick trip to Central America (El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Honduras) where I was attending a conference and held meeting with various government officials and independent experts on the issues of crime and violence in Central America. Here are a few initial impressions from this trip.
Engaging the private sector in the public security debate: The main reason for my trip was to participate in a roundtable discussion in Costa Rica with private sector representatives, government officials, and researchers on the issue of public security in the “Southern Triangle” of Central America – Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. This is part of a several step process that will include roundtables in the “Northern Triangle” and Washington, DC.
Read the Eric Olson’s complete Central America report here.