HomeNewsBriefPresidents Call for US to Invest in CentAm Version of ‘Plan Colombia’
BRIEF

Presidents Call for US to Invest in CentAm Version of ‘Plan Colombia’

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 25 JUL 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

The presidents of Guatemala and Honduras have used the Central American child migrant crisis to call for regional security investment from the United States along the lines of “Plan Colombia,” but as yet there have been few signs of US interest in such a plan.

At a forum in Washington DC on July 24, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina stated that the United States is partly to blame for the current migration crisis, which has seen over 50,000 Central American children cross the US border illegally in recent months, and asked for a regional security initiative to combat organized crime, reported NPR.

Hernandez said Plan Colombia and Mexico’s Merida Initiative — billion-dollar US funded security programs to combat organized crime — have been successful in their target areas, but pushed drug trafficking groups into Central America, reported Prensa Libre. Both presidents called for a similar program to be implemented in Central America, adding that the impact of the US funded Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) has been minimal.  

Hernandez and Perez both stated that violence and poverty are behind the recent flood of unaccompanied child migrants across the US border, a problem they are scheduled to discuss with the US and El Salvadoran presidents today.

InSight Crime Analysis

While Hernandez and Perez are trying to use the child migrant crisis as leverage to gain an increase in foreign aid, the US government’s response has shown its priorities lie elsewhere.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama requested $3.7 billion from Congress in emergency funding to deal with the migration crisis, of which $1.5 billion was slated for the Department of Homeland Security — which oversees border security — compared to $300 million for programs in Central America and Mexico.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Plan Colombia

Meanwhile, CARSI has cost the US government only $642 million over the past six years, compared to an estimated $90 billion spent on border security between 2001 and 2011.

The US government has also invested billions in aid for Colombia, and more recently Mexico. However, the success of these plans within the countries is not as clear cut as their backers claim. In addition, it will take a lot more than increased investment to tackle deep rooted issues that have helped organized crime take hold in the region, such as poverty and lack of opportunities and official corruption.  

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 MAY 2015

The latest development in the corruption case that has toppled Guatemala's Vice President has brought the anti-impunity campaigners behind the…

GUATEMALA / 19 JUL 2012

Guatemala sentenced 36 members of the Mexican Zetas gang to a combined 1,250 years in prison, including seven people…

ELITES AND CRIME / 14 AUG 2020

Anti-impunity prosecutors in Guatemala have presented an investigation into one of the country’s most notorious customs fraud networks, showing that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…