Current Events

Here are articles about key current events in Central America and about Central American immigration to the United States. The articles are not all from this year, however they provide detailed descriptions and analysis of current events. We also recommend Tim's El Salvador Blog and Democracy Now! news broadcasts on El SalvadorHonduras, GuatemalaNicaragua, and Panama

 

APRIL 9, 2019

Education Week

Teaching Migrant Children
By Kavitha Cardoza, Illustrations by Matt Huynh

Tens of thousands of children have fled chaos in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, surviving dangerous journeys and confinement in shelters in a quest to get to the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, many are living in communities and attending schools across the United States and face new risks and ominous questions about their futures. This series of articles includes How Schools Are Responding to Migrant Children, Brothers Who Fled Dangers in Honduras Face New Menaces in U.S., A Migrant Daughter’s Reunion With a Mother She Barely Knows, Longing for His School, Grandmother, and Friends in Guatemala, Working 50 Hours a Week and Trying to Understand What's Happening in School

April 1, 2019

Democracy Now!

Why the Real Migration Crisis Is in Central America, Not at the Southern U.S. Border
John Carlos Frey and Amy Goodman

President Trump has announced the United States will cut off funding to the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that are the primary source of a wave of migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, including caravans of families with children. He is also threatening to close the border with Mexico.
 This comes after Trump declared a national emergency to justify redirecting money earmarked for the military to pay for building a wall at the border. 
We speak with John Carlos Frey, award-winning investigative reporter and ”PBS NewsHour” special correspondent who has reported extensively on immigration and recently traveled with the first migrant caravan from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border.

April 1, 2019

NBC News

Slashing Central American aid could drive more migrants to the U.S.
By Suzanne Gamboa and Carmen Sesin

Cutting off assistance to Central America "would be counterproductive" and "will not in any way better the situation of migrants who are fleeing," a former Trump adviser says.

November, 26 2018

Antipode

Narco‐Cattle Ranching in Political Forests
By Jennifer A. Devine, David Wrathall, Nate Currit, Beth Tellman, Yunuen, Reygadas Langarica

In Central America, drug traffickers are deforesting the region's remaining forests and protected areas through a process known as narco‐ganadería, narco‐cattle ranching. Drawing on the case study of Laguna del Tigre National Park, this article argues that narco‐cattle ranching is a key driver of deforestation in Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve. Using ethnographic and remote‐sensing methods, we describe narco‐cattle ranching's money‐laundering practices, its territorial dynamics, and its environmental impacts. We draw on theorizations of “political forests” to explain how drug trafficking organizations transform land use in the reserve, and along the way, remake its ecology, territories and subjects. Our work illustrates that drug policy is inextricably linked to conservation policy in the Americas. More specifically, we argue that community‐based resource management improves forest and protected area residents’ abilities to resist drug‐trafficking related land use change by strengthening local governance and land tenure regimes.

July 5, 2018

NJ.com

The families we're caging at the border are fleeing disasters we helped create
By Anne Manuel

President Donald Trump recently vowed to cut off aid to Central American countries that "abuse us by sending their people up" to the United States to seek asylum. Trump is apparently unaware of, or impervious to, the irony behind the notion of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras abusing their neighbor to the north, but the rest of us might want to bear a little history in mind.

JUNE 21, 2018

The New Yorker

We Owe Central American Migrants Much More Than This
By Eric Levitz

There is now a broad, bipartisan consensus that ripping infants from their mothers — and then putting both in (separate) cages — is not a morally acceptable way of treating families who cross our southern border. After weeks of deliberation, our nation has concluded that Central American migrants do not deserve to have their children psychologically tortured by agents of the state. But what they do deserve remains in dispute.

 

June 14, 2018

Yes! Magazine

Farming as Resistance
By Trina Moyles

Threatened by a mining company, indigenous women in the remote highlands of Guatemala are marching, increasing productivity, and planting trees.

 

March 2, 2018

Latin America Working Group

¡BERTA VIVE! Act NOW to uphold her legacy!
By Andrea Fernández Aponte

Two years have passed since beloved environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres was murdered in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras. To this day, the intellectual authors of her killing have not been brought to justice. Unfortunately, the human rights situation in Honduras has only gotten worse since Berta’s passing. Help put a stop to the violence and repression.

 

March 2018

Latin America Working Group Education Fund

Between a Wall and a Dangerous Place: The intersection of Human Rights, Public Security, Corruption & Migration in Honduras and El Salvador
By Lisa Haugaard, Daniella Burgi-Palomino, and Andrea Fernández Aponte

This report is a series of blog posts written from October 2017 through March 2018 about the dangers and challenges faced by Honduran and Salvadoran citizens in their home countries, even as the Trump Administration moves to deport more Honduran- and Salvadoran-born people in the United States back to home countries they may no longer know and restrict protections to those fleeing.

 

June 21, 2017

LA School Report

Commentary: Central American and Salvadoran American literature is invisible in public schools
By Randy Jurado Ertll

When I was growing up in California, I never read a book in LAUSD schools by a Latino or Latina author. And until college, I never had a Latino or Latina teacher.

 

May 30, 2017

NPR

Former Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega Dies At 83
By Colin Dwyer


Military commander, drug trafficker, CIA informant, dictator, convicted murderer: The strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega wore many labels during his tortuous path to — and fall from — the heights of power in Panama. Announcing Noriega's death at age 83 Tuesday, Panama's president said it "closes a chapter in our history."

 

May 26, 2017

FAIR

Five Years Later, US Admits Lies About Deadly Honduran Shooting
By Janine Jackson


A Justice and State Department review reveals that top Drug Enforcement Administration officials lied repeatedly to Justice and to Congress about deadly shootings in Honduras in May 2012—including an incident off the Mosquito Coast in which a boat was fired on, killing four passengers, among them a 14-year-old boy. 

 

May 8, 2017

PRI's The World

A brother and sister flee gang violence in El Salvador and start over in the US
By Deepa Fernandes

Kevin Alvarez Mejia spent his tween years trying to avoid running into gang members up in the remote El Salvadoran mountain village where he was born and raised... But one day, they got him.

 

April 5, 2017

Institute for Policy Studies

How An International Grassroots Campaign Beat Metal Mining Corporations
By John Cavanagh, Robin Broad

Against overwhelming odds, El Salvador won its long battle for water.

 

February 16, 2017

The World Post

Drought And Climate Change Are Forcing Young Guatemalans To Flee To The U.S.
By Lauren Markham

What’s happening in Guatemala is, in many ways, a harbinger of what’s to come throughout the world.

 

2017

Latin America Working Group Education Fund

Central American Migration: Root Causes
An Infographic

2015 & 2016 statistics from the Northern Triangle

 

October 31, 2016

The Conversation

How US policy in Honduras set the stage for today’s mass migration
By Joseph Nevins

The mainstream narrative often reduces the causes of migration to factors unfolding in migrants’ home countries. In reality, migration is often a manifestation of a profoundly unequal and exploitative relationship between migrant-sending countries and countries of destination. Understanding this is vital to making immigration policy more effective and ethical.

 

August 2016

Latin America Working Group & Center for International Policy

El Salvador's Violence: No Easy Way Out
By Sara Kinosian, Angelika Albaledejo, and Lisa Haugaard

El Salvador closed out 2015 with 6,657 murders, replacing Honduras as the murder capital of the world. That averages out to over 18 murders a day, a 70 percent increase compared to the previous year, making it the highest murder rate for any country in the world in almost 20 years.

 

July 27, 2016

The Nation

Eat, Pray, Starve: What Tim Kaine Didn’t Learn During His Time in Honduras
by Greg Grandin

An overview of the political situation in Honduras at the time Tim Kaine volunteered with the Jesuits. 

 

April 20, 2016

Truth-Out

Berta Cáceres Lives On, and So Does Violence by Honduran Government and Dam Company
by Beverly Bell

The assassination of award-winning Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres.

 

March 2015

Latin America Working Group & Center for International Policy

Honduras: A Government Failing to Protect its People
By Lisa Haugaard and Sarah Kinosian

In December 2014 the Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF) and Center for International Policy (CIP) traveled to Honduras to investigate how the country is responding to the needs of its citizens.

 

July 8, 2014

In These Times

Debunking 8 Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating
By David Bacon

While politicians point to the need for stronger enforcement at the border, the push factors of U.S. trade and immigration policies bear the great responsibility. 

 

December 2014

Smithsonian Magazine

A New Canal Through Central America Could Have Devastating Consequences
By Matthew Shaer

The environmental ramifications of the proposed canal route through Nicaragua.

 

June 25, 2014

Foreign Policy in Focus

The Fight to Ban Gold Mining and Save El Salvador’s Water Supply
By Julia Paley

Gold-digging multinationals are fueling political violence and environmental devastation in El Salvador, but communities are fighting back.

 

June 19, 2013

Pew Research Center

Diverse Origins: The Nation’s 14 Largest Hispanic-Origin Groups
By Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, and Danielle Cuddington

This report examines the Hispanic population of the United States. 

 

March 31, 2011

Color Lines

Dispatch From El Salvador: Obama's Drug War Feels Eerily Familiar
By Roberto Lovato

Salvadorans watch uneasily as the government militarizes daily life under the guise of the drug wars.