Conflict and Fragility

Reports and papers

Humanitarian frontiers: violence in Mexico & Central America

26 Oct 2015 - 14:47
Source: Photo: IOM, April 2014.

Parts of Central America and Mexico are suffering a humanitarian crisis which stems directly from expanding criminal violence. In vulnerable communities in the region there are mass casualties on a par with conflicts elsewhere in the world – rape, kidnapping, human trafficking, extortion, forced displacement (both internally and across borders), migration of unaccompanied minors from crime-ravaged communities and exploitation and murder.

The report pinpoints three structural challenges to a stronger humanitarian agenda in response to criminal violence in the region: the features and characteristics of criminal violence, the presence of self-sustaining regional mixed migration and the flow of narcotics and the extremely fragile nature of Central American states.

The case for a reinvigorated humanitarian approach to criminal violence is stronger than ever. There are notable opportunities. This report argues that the existing strengths of humanitarian organisations in addressing criminal violence could be responsibly enhanced.