As mentioned in the previous blog, Central America is a beautiful region, full of many good things to offer, unfortunately most of the region is suffering from major social problems, especially the Northern Triangle, formed by El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These last ones, Hondurans saw depart a caravan of migrants making their way across Guatemala and Mexico to the United States, something that is not surprising for those of us who know the way many families survive in those countries, in Mexico there is a lot of concern for this group of Central Americans because they must inevitably cross their borders and some will surely decide to stay there if the road to the United States is made impossible but there is even more concern for Americans that see a great danger in situations like this (if their president calls this migration an “invasion” the problem becomes even bigger). To understand this situation, we must understand the origins of the migration in these countries and in this way try to find a solution that is not supposed to be immediate, of course, it must be a slow process in which various sectors, institutions and even governments must be involved.
First of all, we need to remark that despite that Central America has a lot of amazing places as lakes, beaches, volcanos, mountains, rivers, etc. This region doesn’t have large resources of global demand (in an industrialized world) such as oil, coal and gas. With the exception of Panama, who has “Canal de Panama” thanks to its privileged location, the rest of Central America saw in the Agriculture its greatest opportunity for economic growth during 19th and 20th centuries. Therefore, the later years of the independence of Spain, with all the political and economic problems it was impossible to participate in the industrial revolution that occurred in those years, for these countries the best way to get a economic growth was taking advantage of the good climate of the region to produce, different fruits, cotton and coffee.
It’s not a secret that big countries try to control the resources of small countries, in this area it was not different, it happened with the “Canal de Panama” and with agriculture in the rest of the countries. When there is an interest to get benefit from the resources of a country (or countries) without using violence, the only way to do this is through corruption, propagation of poverty and political manipulation. If we add to this that Central America is a corridor where large amounts of drugs are transported from South America to North America, corruption and poverty are two necessary factors for those activities.
The great differences of social classes in Central America, the lack of education and very low salaries, inevitably lead to despair, despair leads to extreme measures, as extreme as start a civil war or less extreme as migration. In Central America both have passed, the wars that occurred in each nation of this region debased the economy and left more poverty and social issues such as insecurity and crime.
As we see the origins of the problems in Central America are much deeper than they seem, the solution will not be easy but it should be a joint work between local institutions, international institutions, governments and society itself.