From Mérida & CARSI to Obama's New Plan: Any Impact on the Gang Situation in Central America?
Matei, Florina Cristiana (Cris)
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Since the end of the Cold War, the United States (US) has been supporting Latin America’s democracy and security through a series of diplomatic, social and security-related initiatives and programs.1 Fighting gangs has been part of these endeavors since the early 1990s, when the U.S. government became aware of the challenges posed domestically by gangs and enacted numerous anti-gang initiatives. This article examines efforts by the US to counter the gang problem in Central America, including the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) and the Mérida Initiative, as well as recent endeavors pursued by the Obama administration. The article also reviews the changes in Central American government attitudes toward fighting gangs, and assesses the impact (if any) of U.S. policies on the region’s security.
This copy is the final, peer-reviewed manuscript.
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