The Economist | Central America’s woes: The drug war hits Central America
FOR most of the 20th century, the small countries of Central America were a backwater, a tropical playground for dictators and adventurers. In the 1970s and 1980s they turned briefly into a violent cockpit of the cold war as Marxist-inspired guerrillas battled US-backed tyrants. Places like El Salvador and Nicaragua generated daily headlines around the world and bitter partisan battles in Washington. When the cold war ended, peace and democracy prevailed and Central America slipped back into oblivion. But its underlying problems—which include poverty, torpid economies, weak states, youth gangs, corruption and natural disasters—never went away.
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