Central America’s “Northern Triangle” Drug Challenge

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Monday, July 1, 2013
Scott B. MacDonald

Central America has the dubious distinction of having the world’s highest homicide rates.  Located between the Andean coca-producing fields and North America’s cocaine-consuming market, the location also serves well for other transnational criminal activities, such as weapons trafficking, the sex trade, and human smuggling (first through Mexico and then to the United States).  Central America, particularly the countries closest to Mexico – the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – are afflicted by the ongoing expansion of national and transnational gangs, which is eroding personal safety of local populations and creating hurdles to stronger and broader-gauged economic development.