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A storm with no name

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The storms that have flooded Central America in recent days are no an accidental phenomenon, much less a passing one. According to United Nations experts, they form part of a trend. Future storms are likely to be more frequent, and probably more severe, as a result of global warming.

But any negative trend can always be reversed, or at least contained. Accidents of geography cannot be helped. But errors of politics and economic development certainly can be remedied.

The president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, has commented that the current storms have no name, like hurricanes such as “Mitch”. In the absence of a name that can identify the phenomenon, “the international community has passed us by”.

Funes, as a former television reporter, knows about media management. But the international community can only help to an extent. Central America’s problems have to be resolved internally. Climate, like trade and justice, is one more problem that the region has to resolve in common.

“The major powers have always wanted to negotiate individually with each country, but what suits us in negotiating together as one,” said Francisco Darío Lobo, president of the Central American Court. Central America divided, he pointed out, has no power within the international community. Nor does it have the strength to face nature, he might have added.