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#1
Old 07-02-2018, 05:09 PM
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What would make the countries in Central America livable?

AUIU, many of the people asking for asylum at the US southern boarder are citing threats of violence from gangs in their native Central America countries; the rest, I imagine, are looking for work because the economies in many of those same countries sucks.

What could be done to make life in those countries tolerable, such that there would be far fewer people looking to leave? "Foreign Aid from the US" is an incomplete answer - besides which, the US already is giving substantial foreign aid to Central American countries. What should be done with that foreign aid? How do you spin up the economies in these countries so that people can get jobs? How do you push back on corruption, and replace the rule of gangs and drug cartels with the rule of law?
#2
Old 07-02-2018, 05:48 PM
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Maybe look at Central American countries where refugees are not coming from? I am not hearing about refugees from Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama (maybe I'm not paying close enough attention). What is different about those countries? Belize and Costa Rica have big tourist industries, Panama has the Canal. All three seem to have stable governments, although (relatively) sound economy vs. stable government could be a chicken and the egg situation.

Last edited by Marvin the Martian; 07-02-2018 at 05:50 PM.
#3
Old 07-02-2018, 06:04 PM
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End the US-led “War on Drugs”. From the Council on Foreign Relations report on “Central America’s Violent Northern Triangle”:
Drug trafficking adds to the violence. U.S.-led interdiction efforts in Colombia, Mexico, and the Caribbean have pushed trafficking routes into Central America, and U.S. officials report that 90 percent of documented cocaine flows into the United States now pass through the region. DTOs sometimes partner with maras to transport and distribute narcotics, sparking turf wars. In addition to the drug trade and extortion, criminal groups in the region also profit from kidnapping for ransom and human trafficking and smuggling.
Ending drug prohibition, and thus reducing the street value of drugs to a fraction of the current costs would take the piss out of organized gangs and organizations which perpetuate much of the violence. While there are more systemic issues with corruption in government and law enforcement as well as long-standing cultural prejudice and violence against women and minority ethnic groups, removing the primary funding makes corruption far less appealing, and undercutting illegal organizations behind the drug trade removes the constant pressure to find government actors to cover for their crimes.

Much of the US aid to Latin American nations is in the form of counternarcotics operations which have been of limited efficacy and actually encourage nations to do the minimum in order to sustain the threat that ensures future funding or overreport their effectiveness to increase aid, notwithstanding that for many people in these countries coca, opium, and marijuana are by far the most lucrative crops grown in what is often poor quality land for food agriculture. A comprehensive drug policy that paired decriminalization to reduce street value and this revenues combined with incentives and protections to grow alternative crops could serve to undermine violent organizations in the smuggling and sale of illegal drugs while managing the social problems of drug abuse, corruption, and violence stemming from the unregulated drug trade.

Although it has become popular to blame immigrants and asylum seekers for trying to run away from “their” problems, the United States is in fact largely responsible for the unrest and instability in Central America notwithstanding direct interventions and support for overthrowing democratically elected regimes with which the US disagreed philosophically (sometimes with justification, others with the plain venality of protecting powerful US business interests). And given how the US has asserted its leadership role in the Americas and opposed involvement by other nations since the time of the Monroe Doctrine, it is high time to take on the mantle and actually act responsibly in assisting nations in reestablishing lawful rule and reducing corruption even if it does cost “American tax dollars”.

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#4
Old 07-02-2018, 07:18 PM
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Umm -- Take away their guns? There, now I've started it.
#5
Old 07-02-2018, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
AUIU
Because I'm just a big jerk?

But seriously, good thread. No matter how badly the USA does immigration, it seems a lot of folks find it a better risk than staying home. I've wondered the same thing.
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#6
Old 07-02-2018, 08:57 PM
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I was just in Guatemala a few months ago with my girlfriend, who is from there. They have quite an economy of their own. It's a lot less regulated and more laissez-faire than anything in America, but it works for them. They really don't need your patronism.
#7
Old 07-02-2018, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
the United States is in fact largely responsible for the unrest and instability in Central America notwithstanding direct interventions and support for overthrowing democratically elected regimes with which the US disagreed philosophically (sometimes with justification, others with the plain venality of protecting powerful US business interests). And given how the US has asserted its leadership role in the Americas and opposed involvement by other nations since the time of the Monroe Doctrine, it is high time to take on the mantle and actually act responsibly in assisting nations in reestablishing lawful rule and reducing corruption even if it does cost “American tax dollars”.
Gotta love the liberal mentality of bending over backwards to find a way to blame US foreign policy for the world's ills. Somehow, a Colombian drug lord committing crimes in Colombia against Colombian people is not the fault of Colombia. Those foreigners can't possibly have personal agency, freedom of action, and any moral duty to the law. Nope, just Americans and their government, apparently. Unless of course that moral duty is to not buy drugs and thus fund narco-terrorism...then it's only "how could he possibly help himself?" and "Mind your own business, man. 420 blaze it!"

Iran has nuclear weapons? America made them do it. War with Israel? America's fault. Terrorist attacks at home? America had it coming. Salvadorans and Colombians murdering each other for drug money? Blood on America's hands.

#8
Old 07-02-2018, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
I was just in Guatemala a few months ago with my girlfriend, who is from there. They have quite an economy of their own. It's a lot less regulated and more laissez-faire than anything in America, but it works for them. They really don't need your patronism.
It works for them? I, and many economic professionals, beg to differ.
#9
Old 07-02-2018, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
Iran has nuclear weapons? America made them do it. War with Israel? America's fault. Terrorist attacks at home? America had it coming. Salvadorans and Colombians murdering each other for drug money? Blood on America's hands.

I said exactly none of the things you are attributing to me, you disingeneous fuckwit. You have, however, managed to completely avoid actually addressing any of the points I made in any manner whatsoever by invoking the non-sequitur argument of partisanship with no evidence whatsoever. So, great job with your completely fact-free rebuttal.

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#10
Old 07-02-2018, 11:49 PM
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The Central American nations have distinct problems.
Guatemala, the legacy of conflict between the large Maya population and mostly "Ladino" (i.e. Mestizo and European) population.

El Salvador, Criminal gangs and the legacy of the Civil War. El Salvador has a rapidly growing economy, but that can exacerbate inequality as this development is largely confined to the cities.

Honduras has a very high crime rate - among the highest murder rates in the world - from gangs and drug traffickers. Guatemala is safe by comparison. Honduras does have some economic development.

Nicaragua is beginning to experience upheaval, and may add to the region's woes. On a strictly monetary basis, it is the poorest nation in Central America, but also has far less inequality and crime.

Hardly any refugees or migrants come from Costa Rica and Panama, indeed those two countries are recipients of migrants.

Costa Rica is historically the most democratic, stable, and developed nation in the region - it has also experienced some division of its own over immigration.

Panama is rapidly becoming one of the wealthiest countries in the region - its per capita income is approaching the level of some of the "poorer" European Union states.
#11
Old 07-03-2018, 12:07 AM
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When people talk about ending the war on drugs that America runs do they mean making drugs legal or at least a thing that is not prosecuted here in America or is it something like not bothering with foreign aid or policies with regards to drug production in other countries while maintaining the illegal status in the U.S. or some other combination of things cause I could see different ways of carrying it out having different effects?
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#12
Old 07-03-2018, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
It works for them? I, and many economic professionals, beg to differ.
You're citing "poverty rates" (by comparing it with America/Europe, and looking at factors like whether they use a shared or private toilet, according to the cited report), but that really doesn't take into account the attitudes and way of life there. They have a different, more relaxed attitude toward life where it doesn't have to be a continual rat-race to the top. And I saw a lot of traditional Mayan women there (wearing the traditional dress and selling their handmade goods in the streets), who nonetheless had smartphones, and when we spoke to them seemed like happy and well-adjusted individuals. So who are you to judge them as lacking and deprived?

I don't disagree that they could benefit from technological and infrastructure improvements (plus the governmental corruption being a real issue, as with most of Latin America). But that doesn't mean they aren't getting along in a way that is acceptable to them.
#13
Old 07-03-2018, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
I said exactly none of the things you are attributing to me, you disingeneous fuckwit.
Warning issued for personal insults. This is not the forum for that.
#14
Old 07-03-2018, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
What would make the countries in Central America livable?
Not killing each other at appalling rates would probably go a long ways towards making their countries "livable":

Given that we haven't really figured out effective ways to curb our own above-average-for-our-Anglosphere-peers murder rate, I'm not sure we're the right ones to offer advice on how, precisely, to do that.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 07-03-2018 at 02:49 AM.
#15
Old 07-03-2018, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
You're citing "poverty rates" (by comparing it with America/Europe, and looking at factors like whether they use a shared or private toilet, according to the cited report)
You think half of children being so chronically malnourished that their growth is stunted (more than that in primarily indigenous areas)is OK with them? Apparently they don't.

The lack of health care resources is a huge problem, too. I'm not talking about first-world health care; I'm talking about how if you are in a village and you need basic medicine like antibiotics or any hands-on care at all, you may need to travel several hours on foot to get to a pharmacy, let alone see a doctor.

Last edited by Eva Luna; 07-03-2018 at 05:02 AM.
#16
Old 07-03-2018, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
...Costa Rica have big tourist industries...
Also more manufacturing industry that one might expect and one of the best technical universities in Latin America. It is in fact a country which receives immigrants, and has been since before Chiquita Banana was founded.
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#17
Old 07-03-2018, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
Maybe look at Central American countries where refugees are not coming from? I am not hearing about refugees from Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama (maybe I'm not paying close enough attention). What is different about those countries? Belize and Costa Rica have big tourist industries, Panama has the Canal. All three seem to have stable governments, although (relatively) sound economy vs. stable government could be a chicken and the egg situation.
Good points. Costa Rica spends little on a military. The main thing is to keep a leftist dictator out of power, and be hard on crime.
#18
Old 07-03-2018, 12:55 PM
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Where do you get that Costa Rica is "hard on crime"? It's not particularly soft, but also not particularly tough. Actually, where do you get the idea that being "hard on crime" does any good? No studies back that; the only thing that does is the pipe dreams of sadists.
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