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Things are relatively good

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Poverty and violence are usually regarded as the twin problems of Central America. But it’s a mistake to generalize.

In terms of security, Costa Rica is not Honduras, nor is Panama Guatemala.

Meanwhile, two recent surveys show that, the regional economy is improving.

The most recent forecasts from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean show that Central America's economic growth is on line for 4.4 percent by the end of this year. This compares with 3.2 percent for the whole of Latin America as a whole, which in turn is a relatively bright spot for the world economy.

Nor is Central America’s reputation for violence entirely justified, says the Global Peace Index of the Australia-based NGO Vision of Humanity.

Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama are actually less violent than the United States.

For their part, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are rated by the index as less violent than Colombia and Mexico, where in each case various areas of the country are infected by political and criminal insurgencies, which have caused both massacres and forced migrations.