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The Broker magazine features expert contributions at the forefront of international development debates. Our stories go beyond mainstream discussions, putting new or different developments into perspective.

About the magazine & archive Experts and authors

Too big to succeed? – The dilemma of how to involve middle-income countries in the post-2015 discussion

Middle-Income Countries are threatened to be left out of the post-2015 agenda, as their group size and heterogeneity make it difficult to find a common advocacy strategy. Even though 75% of the global poor live in MICs, the heterogeneity and joint group size of these countries make it impossible to identify a clear set of common challenges. This hinders their ability to effectively position themselves on the international development agenda.

Corruption in the Northern Triangle: The siren song of crime

The end of the civil wars in the Northern Triangle countries have made way for stable democracies. Despite this development, however, the governments of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador remain infiltrated with corruption and malpractices.

Anti-gang policies and gang responses in the Northern Triangle

During the past decade, gangs have become a powerful and violent presence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the ‘Northern Triangle’ of Central America. The particular evolution of the gang phenomenon has been deeply shaped by a series of reactions and adaptations to ill-developed security policies that have been unable to tackle the underying causes of gang emergence and growth.

Drugs and violence in the Northern Triangle – Two sides of the same coin?

The upsurge in violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle is often named in one breath with the drugs market. Although apparently obvious describing an illegal trade that has met with exclusively repressive state responses, assumptions on cause and effect are frequently flawed or blurred. While 2014 may present new opportunities in the growing global debate on alternatives for the failed War on Drugs – for example, Guatemala’s initiative to discuss the outcome of an OAS-led study, which considers a series of options for drug policy reform, at a meeting in Guatemala in September 2014, and the ongoing preparations for a Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS) on drugs in 2016 (insisted upon by several Latin American countries) – a serious policy debate on what role drug policies can play in stemming the violence in Central America is pending. Nowadays, national governments – and the US in particular – and the international community still apply old recipes, in spite of evidence showing that these interventions are predominantly counterproductive and trends suggest that criminal violence will continue to escalate.

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