There has been little to no action from the UNSC or any other organization regarding the Northern Triangle and the organized crime groups i.e.
MS-13 and Barrio 18, the migrants of the Northern Triangle. Resolutions the UNSC has passed regarding the Northern triangle are Resolutions 530 (1983), 562 (1985), 637 (1989), 644 (1989), from 1990-1991 Resolutions 650, 653, 654, 656, 675, 691, for the most part extend the United Nations Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA) as a result of Resolution 644 which was approved and established unanimously heeding with the Secretary-General’s report on the matter(UNSCR.com).
Resolution 637 regards the UNSC support of the Esquipulas Peace Agreement and called for neighboring countries in support of the peace talks halt all support to insurrectionist groups with the exception of humanitarian aid. This resolution marks an important change in the history of Central America, this leads back to Resolutions 530 and 562, 530 illustrates a need for a stable Central America, which the UNSC emphasizes through the charters clause of self determination of nations and more specifically the Contadora Group, an initiative of several countries whose aim it was to stabilize Central America. Resolution 562 reaffirms the UNSC position regarding how each nation should act diplomatically to one another. Yet despite all of these resolutions the UNSC made no concrete action towards nations in Central America, the United States, however was and had been taking several actions in Central America as cause for its “War of Drugs” and efforts to stop Communist led governments from arising. The context of the resolutions, aforementioned, passed by the UNSC, is that during the time these resolutions were passed during when all three countries in the Northern Triangle were engaged in civil wars beginning in the 1970’s. UNSC involvement has always been that of a observer in the affairs of Central America and the Northern Triangle. As a side note one resolution that has been passed several times over the years is in its current form, Resolution 2344, in which the UNSC details the efforts it will go to halt the growing and trafficking of narcotics specifically, opium, which is being used by groups to fund violence, i.
e. the Taliban. The United States and its involvement on the other hand has been extensive.
U.S. intervention in the Northern Triangle is best understood from starting with the Roosevelt Corollary which stated “the United States would intervene as a last resort to ensure that other nations in the Western Hemisphere fulfilled their obligations to international creditors, and did not violate the rights of the United States or invite “foreign aggression to the detriment of the entire body of American nations”(history.state.gov). The U.S.
didn’t hesitate to employ this policy specifically the Banana wars and the issue of the Panama Canal. Decades later the U.S. intervened in the civil wars of Central America, more importantly the Northern Triangle, the CIA was involved in the regime change of Guatemala in the 1950’s and installed the dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas, there were several U.S.
backed dictators afterwards, the point to be made about U.S. interventions in the Northern Triangle is that most of the issues involved, fleeing migrants, the crime organizations of MS-13 and Barrio 18, and all this connects back to U.S. foreign and immigration policy. With the fleeing migrants, the first group was fleeing the civil wars in the Northern Triangle and a majority settled in the Los Angeles area which led to the formation of the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs which started merely as groups who were protecting their neighborhoods, but as the U.
S. was waging it’s war on drugs they started deporting gang members back to their mother countries which whether after the civil war in their country had ended or not the result was the same as in both scenarios a gang member had little choice in occupation as years of civil war and dictatorship had left the economy in disarray as the dictatorship forced monocropping on the farmers and built little industry and mainly focused on the exportation of fruit, with these actions these nations formed the nickname of “Banana Republic”. These gang members with little alternative prospects reverted back to crime and with this, MS-13 and Barrio 18 grew into international crime organizations. The UNHCR is one of the few organizations recognizing the need for action on behalf of the refugees and in a report in 2015 they gave the objectives of UNHCR interventions under a strategy which will include: “supporting the establishment of regional and national legal frameworks and policies in line with applicable international standards, and that promote opportunities for solutions; Ensuring access to basic reception standards and fair and efficient asylum systems for persons of concern; identifying and addressing the basic protection needs of children and others of concern with specific needs and vulnerabilities; increasing awareness of protection risks in the region; facilitating durable solutions for refugees and other persons of concern in the region”(UNHCR.org).
The UNHCR also included within this report the funds they required which was the relatively small amount of 23,507,070, of which the United States was not asked to contribute much.II. Country’s Position The Netherlands position on drugs, sex trafficking, crime, prisons, corruption. In the Netherlands, the national drug policy has four major objectives: To prevent drug use and to treat and rehabilitate drug users, reduce harm to users, diminish public nuisance by drug users (the disturbance of public order and safety in the neighbourhood), and combat the production and trafficking of drugs(EMCDDA). Furthermore, the Netherlands apply a reasoned approach based on accepted philosophical fundamentals., as the Dutch drug policy: “is directed by an idea that every human being may decide about the matters of its own health. The Dutch consider this rule as fundamental, accepting for example the possibility of controlled suicide (euthanasia), for terminally ill patients.
Although this is also possible in Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and some parts of the US. Another idea which guides Dutch laws in their drug policy is a conviction that hiding social negative phenomena does not make them to disappear -on the contrary makes them worse, because when concealed, they become far more difficult to influence and control. Applying these ideas to their drug laws the Dutch try as much as possible to decriminalize the use of drugs, making it a private matter of each individual, and not a matter for the enforcement apparatus. Production, trading and stocking drugs remain a criminal offence. The Dutch see the use of drugs as a health matter, similar to the use of tobacco and alcohol. They also point to the fact that prohibition of alcohol in the US in the years 1919-1933 brought more negative effects of increased criminality, than the positive social changes and had to be withdrawn.
The Dutch have divided drugs into two groups, depending on their influence on human health – soft drugs and hard drugs. Hard drugs as cocaine, LSD, morphine, heroin are forbidden in the Netherlands as in any other country. Soft drugs as cannabis in all its forms and hallucinogenic mushrooms are legal under condition of so called “personal use”. As a result smoking of cannabis even in public, is not prosecuted as well as selling it although technically illegal under still valid Opium Act (dating from 1919, cannabis added as drug in 1950), is widely tolerated provided that it happens in a limited, controlled way”(Amsterdam.info).Another part the Dutch penal code that is important is Article 273f regarding human trafficking has complied with the minimum requirements for the elimination of human trafficking, the Netherlands have increased the penalties for trafficking and also has programs and housing for the victims of trafficking regardless of their circumstances, the Dutch has even given financial compensation to victims for participation in the prosecution of traffickers(state.gov). The Netherlands record with corruption is negligible to the workings of business and the government is transparent and efficient(Netherlands Corruption Report).
This is not indication that there is no corruption, merely the risk is low to moderate in different sectors yet reports have found very little and there have been few cases. Another fact is the that due a decrease in crime and also prison populations the Dutch have resorted to closing prisons, the total prison population capacity of all Dutch prisons is a little over fifteen-thousand(PrisonStudies.org), likely due to the Dutch having a policy of rehabilitation of those it imprisons. III. Proposed Solutions To began the whole discussion of the Northern Triangle it must be asked of the United States as a sign of good faith that they promise not to use their veto power in the following proceedings regarding the Northern Triangle as the United States has had a long history of negative intervention in Central America. Yet the first solution requires both the United States specifically and international support, the solution is the institution of new and reformed version Nansen passport, this passport would entail that any holder would be able to travel to any country that honours the passport and the holder would be guaranteed the right to reside and work in that country.
The catch is that country would be allowed to do all their immigration they want, but the holder would inevitably be allowed entry, also if the United States federal government chooses to accept holders of the passport that they leave it to their state governments to decide whether or not the holders are allowed in their states. Also with this passport a separate independent organization would be formed to issue and regulate the passports, the organization would be funded by the U.N. this would all be for the benefit of refugees, stateless peoples, and fleeing migrants. A solution that was attempted before in March of 2012 was a gang truce in El Salvador between the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs, the immediate effect of which was a drop in homicides, yet the peace did not last, after a little more than a year, El Salvador faced the most violent month in years after the truce broke down with 16 deaths a day, part of this new proposed solution is attempting to replicate the same results but with more cooperation from both sides and to also be brokered by the UN this time. How this can be done is through compromise for instance a slow decriminalization of the gangs and certain narcotics in return for a de-escalation of violence on both sides. Also, if the countries agree to a decriminalization of certain narcotics, there is the possibility of an agreement of the three nations to instead focusing on criminalizing the use and selling of narcotics within their borders, they form a coalition to prevent the trafficking of narcotics, arms, and the trafficking of humans for sex or otherwise.
There should be the creation of “safe” zones where there will be no gang related or state related violence which can be enforced through a policy of relinquishing weapons at checkpoints of gang members and the country’s law enforcement, UN peacekeepers can act as the middlemen in this situation. The main purpose behind these safe zones would be to allow civilians to work and live without the fear of gang or state violence, the establishment of educational centers, rehabilitation centers, and programs for at risk youth. A compromise in favor of the gangs would be prison reform and the rehabilitation of prisoners to integrate them in each nations society, a favor th UN can offer to each nation’s government in economic investment in the forms of monetary infusion to develop new areas of employment and industry in an effort to move the nations from a solely agriculture and services based economy. Yet with this funding there is the condition that it will also be allocated to funding the build-up of infrastructure in the forms of building better roads and highways, sanitation, housing, and programs that will elevate the population above poverty levels. Lastly, it would be beneficial to establish way points throughout central america to aid and assist fleeing migrants the UN can use UN peacekeepers to assist and aid. The Netherlands itself, if allowed, can assist in investigations and enforcement of narcotic related crimes as one the Netherland’s largest crime squads is that of organized in relation to drugs of which the squad’s goal is “to reduce cooperative ties between criminals and prevent interaction between the legitimate and criminals worlds”(Policing in the Netherlands). IV. Questions to Consider 2.
Why do people join street gangs like MS-13 and Barrio 18? If these gangs are so violent and feared, why is it that they continue to gain international membership? The gangs are acting highly similar to insurgent and terrorist groups. First they either act magnanimously or individuals join for other reasons, which will be addressed later, (however kidnapping a potential member is not an improbable idea). Specifically, the gangs offer very strong ties which replace family, this happens on account of the fact that these gangs developed originally from the refugees from the countries of the Northern Triangle. They developed the traditions of indoctrination because as they expanded they were taking in members who didn’t always share the same background, so these traditions, the act of jumping the fledgling members and beating them, act as a sign on commitment, respect, etc. These methods of indoctrination develop a strong sense of loyalty among members, they have, for lack of better phrasing, developed a nationalistic or patriotic culture within their organization. But a factor which is critical in individuals joining is it provides a sense of belonging which members are likely not to have, given civil wars and the violence created from the gangs themselves, hypothetically an individual will lose family to one of the gangs and thus join the rival gang or a chance the state is responsible for killing family members it could lead that individual to joining a gang. Violence begets violence, the gangs despite being violent and feared provide a way out of poverty and offer family, because of years of unstable governments and in some cases violent governments, corruption does not help either. 6.
How should the international community be dealing with those seeking refuge from the Northern Triangle? Should these migrants be considered refugees? The international community at best can support the refugees in their own, supply aid to NGOs, the best the international community can actually do is offer to relocate refugees to their countries and make the path out of the Northern Triangle safer. The migrants should be considered refugees and the gangs at this point should be recognized internationally as they have in Honduras, as terrorist organizations as they employ the similar tactics to insurgent and terrorist groups. The definition of a refugee according to the UN is “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence”(USA for UNHCR).