Migration and corruption are two of the biggest issues confronting Latin America today, challenging politics and societies and, in the case of the latter, engulfing governments themselves.
The administration of President Donald Trump has come out on the wrong side of both. It has also been disturbingly slow to appoint high-ranking officials focused on Latin America. By abdicating regional leadership, the U.S. risks potentially disastrous consequences not just for the effort to meet these hemispheric challenges, but also for U.S.-Latin America relations far beyond Trump’s tenure.
Latin Americans are increasingly on the move, as millions flee violence, repression, drought, and abject poverty and seek a better life for themselves and their families. Since the start of the decade, more than a half-million Central Americans, most from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, have fled. Nicaraguans are now joining the exodus, driven by the increasingly repressive regime of President Daniel Ortega.