Multiple Sources on Crime in Central America


“Transnational Organized Crime: Let’s Put Them out of Business” is a United Nation’s study on Central American crime and what methods might help to lower crime rates. This study is hopeful that crime rates might lower with some new programs and legislation. “Transnational Organized Crime: Let’s Put Them out of Business” holds an official tone because of its publishing source. The article implicates gun control and economic social programs would help Central Americans realize there are other methods of survival besides organized crime. On the other hand, articles “Honduras, Central America Still Lead the World in Murder Rates” and “Central America Drug Gang Violence at ‘alarming Levels’ – BBC News” simply relay statistics. Some of the statistics are very severe; they insinuate that Central America may never rid itself of high crime rates. “Why Are the World’s Most Violent Cities in Latin America?” by Kyra Gurney takes an interesting spin on the issue of crime in Central America. Gurney includes many facts that point blame at The United States for the situations that start gangs; she includes facts about exportation and economic situations that have later led people to create gangs. “Roberto Escobar on Colombia’s Cocaine History” by Anthony Wile shows a different side to Columbia’s cocaine trade; Pablo Escobar’s drug revenue was so great that he gave back to the community. Escobar funded playgrounds, rebuilt homes, and put money into poor neighborhoods. Escobar’s brother, Roberto, tells firsthand how Escobar tried to help better Columbia, but just through corrupt means. But no matter what the writing, it is very obvious crime rates are high and something must be enacted for them to drop.

Words are very powerful, but so are pictures. Sometimes photos are the best primary source. David Sim’s photostory articulates the true nature of El Salvador’s crime. “El Salvador: Graphic images of drug-fueled gang violence in Central America” has twenty plus pictures following homicides, gang arrests, and other criminal activity. Sim’s piece distinctly begs for people’s understanding of the issue. He includes many pictures of youth to show how the problem of crime starts young. The most troubling picture is not the dead bodies on the streets, but the toddler looking into the camera with his nose down the barrel of a nerf gun.

Human trafficking is the crime many choose not to talk about. To fully understand the issues one must hear the stories and know what really goes on. One article, “Angela’s Story: Survivor of Human Trafficking.” tells how Angela worked for 30 cents an hour doing menial tasks and was never allowed outside. But Angela was able to get out through the help of the Homeland Security’s tip line. Angela now has her GED and a part time job, but she will forever deal with the psychological impact of living in fear for so long. is a website that tells of other human trafficking stories. “Dark Alleys and Bright Office Lights” speaks, Lima, Peru citizen, Lucy’s story of realizing a local brothel masqueraded itself as a salon in which young boys worked. When Lucy prompted the boys to quit they were held by their employers and began causing trouble. The “salon owners” called the police; later Lucy went to tell the officers that the salon was an undercover brothel, but the police did not listen. It turns out there were government agencies across from the salon, and some of the government employees were salon regulars. Lucy found out that not all of Central America’s crime happens in dark allies, bright office lights are the setting for crime along with dark allies

Rory 10th Grade



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