Writing in "The American Interest," Professor of Political Science Russell Crandall says Central American gangs threaten our country in many of the same ways as Middle Eastern terrorists. He warns that our "no news is good news" opinion of Latin America is short-sighted and dangerous. The violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras–the Northern Triangle nations–is ugly and close.
El Salvador's recent homicide rate of 105 inhabitants per 100,000 was the world's highest, and Guatemala and Honduras ranked in the top five. The gangs control many cities, and conduct a virtual war on three fronts: against the state, civilians and one another. Crandall insists it's imperative that the United States respond to cries for help from the Northern Triangle, because their problem is our problem as well.
"Healing the region's social and political crisis will take patience, perseverance and a recognition that many of the factors driving the crisis, such as drugs and immigration policy, originate inside the United States," he concludes.