The U.S. Re-militarization of Central America and Mexico | North American Congress on Latin America -Some Perspective

Of course, some might say that the invasion of hordes of illegal Latina children, which seem about to be set loose upon an already polarized American society, is payback karma for the hordes of CIA trained torturers and masochistic Colonels that we let loose on their families and the generations before them. Perhaps, there is indeed a force at work here that transcends the treasonous actions of the Obama administration and the blatant surreal political nature of the whole scene? 

Whatever the initial state and catalyst, the flow of “refugee” children and all that it carries with it, both symbolically and literally, is overflowing upon a society that I believe is waiting for the final match of the inevitable economic implosion to be lit before we erupt in a conflagration that will make any of the tensions and civil unrest of the past 150 years look like the crowds doing the “divot-stomp” at the Palm Beach Polo Club at half-time.

Colombian soldiersDuring his brief visit to Costa Rica in May 2013, President Obama appeared eager to downplay the U.S. regional security agenda, emphasizing instead trade relations, energy cooperation, and youth programs. “So much of the focus ends up being on security,” he complained during a joint press conference with his Costa Rican counterpart Laura Chinchilla. “But we also have to recognize that problems like narco-trafficking arise in part when a country is vulnerable because of poverty, because of institutions that are not working for the people, because young people don’t see a brighter future ahead.” Asked by a journalist about the potential use of U.S. warships to counter drug-trafficking, Obama was adamant: “I’m not interested in militarizing the struggle against drug trafficking.”

Human rights organizations from Central America, Mexico, and the United States see the administration’s regional security policy very differently. In a letter sent to Obama and the region’s other presidents last year, over 145 civil society organizations called out U.S. policies that “promote militarization to address organized crime.” These policies, the letter states, have only resulted in a “dramatic surge in violent crime, often reportedly perpetrated by security forces themselves. Human rights abuses against our families and coimages (69)mmunities are, in many cases, directly attributable to failed and counterproductive security policies that have militarized our societies in the name of the ‘war on drugs.’”

The latest round in the ramping up of U.S. security assistance to Mexico and Central America began during President George W. Bush’s second term in office. Funding allocated to the region’s police and military forces climbed steadily upward to levels unseen since the U.S.-backed “dirty wars” of the 1980s. As narco-trafficking operations shifted increasingly from the Caribbean to the Central American corridor, the United States worked with regional governments to stage a heavily militarized war on drugs in an area that had yet to fully recover from nearly two decades of war.

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