En el Fuego Cruzado: El impacto de la violencia de maras y pandilla en el Triángulo Norte de Centroamérica

The Northern Triangle of Central America (TNCA) is considered one of the most violent and insecure areas in the world. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are among the 10 countries in the world with a higher rate of homicide deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, with levels even higher than those in countries affected by armed conflict.

Over the past decade, urban violence, criminal violence, and drug-related violence--also known as Other Situations of Violence (OSV)--have gained increasing visibility and impact and have become some of the most serious violence in Central America and Mexico. The conventional distinction between violence caused by a traditional armed conflict and criminal violence has lost relevance in terms of its humanitarian consequences for the civilian population.

In the report En el Fuego Cruzado: El impacto de la violencia de maras y pandilla en el Triámgulo Norte de Centroamérica, Save the Children denounced that the TNCA faces a humanitarian crisis in which the exercise of violence presents territorialized and organized forms, as well as consequences for the children themselves of armed conflict. This violence affects a multitude of fundamental rights, including the right to education.

The areas most affected by insecurity and violence are the peripheral, poor neighborhoods, with limited access to basic services and with a limited presence of the State. In these areas, the population lives in a situation of greater vulnerability, which is not guaranteed their rights and which in many cases has been traditionally excluded and discriminated against. Low levels of development, lack of opportunities, and low institutional presence have contributed to the emergence and expansion of violent groups. The actions of these groups further worsens the situation of the inhabitants of these neighborhoods and expose them to continuous rights violations. This structural situation of exclusion results in many children and adolescents facing a real lack of opportunities to develop an autonomous life project.

With this report, Save the Children seeks to investigate how violence in the TNCA has a particularly devastating impact on the lives of children and adolescents, affecting their right to education, essential for them to develop and prosper outside the vicious circle of violence.

Published 2019-08-01