If we fail them, “their hell will increasingly become our own”

Child from Honduras“. . . [T]wo superpowers — the United States and the Soviet Union — chose our region [Central America] as a place to work out their disputes. They were eager to help Central America transform students into soldiers,” Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, wrote in the July 18 Washington Post. “They were eager to provide the weapons while we provided the dead.”

“When Central America’s leaders found a way to end those conflicts, I thought that our achievement would be rewarded with aid and with support to help us make the transition from war to peace, to get our young people back in school, to retrain soldiers and to rebuild families,” Arias wrote. “However, once the bullets stopped flying, the two superpowers lost interest.”

“All of us — the United States and its neighbors to the south — are paying the price for this lost opportunity. In Central America’s Northern Triangle, soldiers and guerrillas have been replaced by gang members. Civil wars have been replaced by street wars. Mothers no longer cry because their children are marching off to battle. They cry because their children are falling victim to another kind of violence or because they have to send them in search of a better life.”

Read more of the opinion article written by  Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica (1986-1990 and 2006-2010) and 1987 Noble Peace Prize recipient: http://wapo.st/1k2s7Mu


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