Belen Fernandez, Aljazeera: Despite Donald Trump’s claims, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are everything but safe. Last year, US President and xenophobe-in-chief Donald Trump finagled “safe third country agreements” with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, allowing the United States to deport aspiring asylum seekers to the very region many of them are fleeing in the first place. Even Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele – the possessor of the enlightened opinion that “President Trump is very nice and cool, and I’m nice and cool, too … we both use Twitter a lot” – recently admitted that his country needs to be “safer” and that its asylum capacities are currently nonexistent.
Indeed, the fact that the homicide rates in the three allegedly “safe third countries” are consistently among the highest in the world should be an easy indicator that they are anything but safe. Femicides abound.
Drowning in guns: The US’s own role in fuelling violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle has been well known for decades – from its habit of backing right-wing dictators and death squads to its continuing support for homicidal state security forces. In the aftermath of the US-facilitated coup in Honduras in 2009, that nation became more unsafe than ever. And across the region, the US-exported model of neoliberal oppression has constituted a form of violence in its own right – perpetuating extreme inequality and condemning the masses to often existence-imperilling economic misery.