Gang violence in Central America is a humanitarian crisis. Aid agencies and donors need to do more.

by Kristy Siegfried

Soldier standing guard while children sit in Honduran city. Photo: IRIN
Humanitarian agencies, more used to working in classic conflict settings or in the aftermath of natural disasters, are starting to wake up to the need to respond to the Northern Triangle’s epidemic of violence. Photo: IRIN    

Central America’s Northern Triangle – encompassing El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – is one of the most violent regions in the world outside of a warzone. Transnational gangs or maras have proliferated in the wake of decades of civil war and are largely responsible for a per capita death rate that rivals that in Syria.