Crime and violence in the Northern Triangle is a regional issue that requires a collective response to the structural factors driving it: weak state capacity, corruption within police forces and the judiciary, and insufficient data. Deporting refugees back to the region doesn’t help.
In short order the Guatemalan Congress passed a series of laws to protect criminals, including the president and his family. While some political leaders are having second thoughts, the U.S. is considering sanctions.
As President Morales and the political class join forces to undermine investigators and the judicial processes currently underway, the role of citizens will prove crucial in tilting the balance in favor of justice and the continued fight against impunity.
The recent launch of a customs union between Guatemala and Honduras marks a paradigm shift in region-building in the Americas. It may offer key lessons to other Latin American countries seeking to leverage their existing interdependence.