Over the past decade, Honduras has become one of the most dangerous places in the world. In 2013 the country recorded the highest global murder rate, with 79 homicides per 100,000 residents. Honduras has one of the most unequal income distributions and some of the highest under-employment and dropout rates in Latin America, all contributing factors to the rise of street gangs and the recent surge in emigration to the United States. The violence, concentrated in cities and along its border with Guatemala, can largely be attributed to three factors: the international drug trade, gangs and weak security and justice institutions.
Given the unstable political and security climate, U.S. support for Yemen’s security sector remains a top priority. From Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 to 2014, the U.S. government allocated a total of $343 million in U.S. security assistance to Yemen aimed primarily at strengthening the security forces’ capacity to combat terrorism. As the Obama Administration seeks more funding for U.S. security
assistance to Yemen, there are several serious challenges ranging from concern about the use of U.S. drone attacks, Houthi support for the new agreement and high levels of security force corruption and abuse of power.
This report finds that U.S. assistance has dropped near the lowest levels in more than a decade—about US$2.2 billion foreseen for 2014. But dollar amounts are deceptive. While U.S. diplomatic efforts are flagging, other less transparent forms of military-to-military cooperation are on the rise. For example, the report finds that Special Operations Forces, whose budgets are not being cut as they re-deploy from Iraq and Afghanistan, are visiting Latin America more frequently for joint training in war-fighting skills, intelligence gathering, and other military missions.
Colombia, the world’s largest producer of cocaine, and humanitarian emergency since the mid-1960s, and since 2000 has been by far the number-one recipient of U.S. military and police assistance beyond the Middle East. About four years ago, faced of governing territory under illegal armed groups’ underwent an important shift in strategy.
Over the course of 2011, we traveled to three of Colombia's Consolidation zones: the Pacific coast port of Tumaco, the La Macarena zone in south-central Colombia, and the Montes de María zone near the Caribbean. In each zone, we interviewed leaders, community members, military and civilian Consolidation officials, human rights defenders, analysts and others. This publication lays out our organizations' principal findings, concerns and recommendations following our research visits to the three zones.
Colombia is the only country in the Americas to have significantly reduced insecurity measures in the past 10 years, but Colombia offers no model for Mexico. Some tactics may apply, but the strategy does not. The experience of "Plan Colombia" since 2000 is more of a cautionary tale.