August 24, 2016, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
The Northern Triangle countries of Central America consisting of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have the highest homicide rates in the world and are characterized by corruption, drug trafficking, and impunity. It is likely the 50,000 unaccompanied alien children attempting to cross into the US in 2014 will increase in 2016. The US Congress appropriated $750 million for the region. Based upon past experience with the umbrella program for the region, the Central America Regional Security Initiative, it appears the perilous situation in the region is unlikely to improve. Approaching the problems of the region from a political perspective, this article draws upon the experience of Nicaragua, where the security sector is integrated, and recommends the consideration of the intelligence fusion center concept, proven by the 78 currently functioning in the US, to encourage the integration of the security sector under democratic control in the three countries.