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Is bad news good news

Thursday, May 21, 2015


 

Bad news in international media about the region may be good news for supporters of a bill currently being debated in the United States Congress, which would provide $1 billion in financial aid to the “Northern Triangle”: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The New York Times recently reported protests over political scandals in Guatemala, while the Washington Post focused on a resurgence of violence in El Salvador.

For its part, the Financial Times reported on the spread of crime and political corruption in Central America and Mexico.

An aid package of $1 billion a year is not a lot.

But at 1% of the combined GDP of the three countries, it would help alleviate extreme poverty and combat crime, while reducing the pressure on Guatemalans, Hondurans and El Salvadorans to emigrate.

Currently, a fifth of the population of El Salvador lives in the United States, in many cases illegally.

In each of Guatemala and Honduras, the emigration figure is lower but still shocking – one in every six people.