Crisis in Central America
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Started by metmike - April 7, 2019, 8:06 p.m.

In reading many articles and studies about the crisis in Central America and the dynamics at the US southern border, it's very difficult to get authentic, unbiased and accurate information from the media............. which often loads up articles with manufactured facts and dynamics that don't exist because they want to create a story that causes us to believe what they want us to believe.

Granted, there is a huge crisis and extreme violence that continues in, especially Guatamala, El Salvador and Honduras, the region known as the Northern Triangle. I will present some information here and try to continue to better understand what's going on but must start with busting, all these sources continually listing "climate change" as a top reason for people fleeing these countries. This is complete bull. The effect of the increase in CO2 on climate and crops has been almost entirely beneficial as we are experiencing the best weather/climate in the last 1,000 years. Higher CO2 levels makes plants/crops more water efficient during droughts.........but can't save crops in a severe drought...................and this region is located in a location that is vulnerable to droughts(and excessive rain events), which happen on a regular basis but often with long periods of favorable weather in between. 

Could there be a severe (natural), long lived drought down there from extreme weather that affects the economy?  You bet and that's been happening since people have recorded the weather in that region but human caused climate change is not causing it. 

Chronology of the Dry Corridor: The impetus for resilience in Central America

The purpose of this article is to analyze the Dry Corridor, the main organizations supporting the region in its resilience-building strategy, and some of the key moments in the history of this phenomenon to the present day.

What is the Dry Corridor?

"As a strictly ecological concept, the Central American Dry Corridor (CADC) is a tropical dry forest region on the Pacific side of Central America that stretches from the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, Mexico, to the western part of Costa Rica and western provinces of Panama. For practical purposes, the most vulnerable countries that are the most prone to drought or extreme precipitation are Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

The Dry Corridor is known for its irregular rainfall, and has become one of the most susceptible regions in the world to climate change and variability. During years of El Niño-ENOS(1), for example, precipitation drops by 30% - 40%, with long periods of heatwaves during which there is hardly any rainfall. This window of time with no precipitation, which is increasing over time, has disastrous consequences on the cultivation of basic grain crops, such as corn, which are part of the region’s subsistence agriculture. In contrast, during years of more intense rains, there are tropical storms that often have devastating effects."

metmike: The extreme weather noted in this region recently is nothing that has not occurred before. Reporting of  extreme weather, however has been unprecedented everywhere and also the blaming it on man made climate change.

In fact, some of the worst weather occurring in Central America during the last 15 years or so did not coincide with an increase in migration to the US. It looks like the last 6 months have featured favorable, near to even above average rainfall in that region, which is also the time frame we've seen the sudden surge in migration.

By metmike - April 7, 2019, 10:36 p.m.
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Violence in  Central America is off the charts. This is actually nothing new as it's been going on for well over a decade.

The Obama administration increased humanitarian aid to these countries several years ago to help manage these problems and help these people but it appears to not have had much effect. Would things have been even worse without this financial assistance?  Hard for me to get a handle on it at the moment.

 Something has suddenly changed in the last 6 months though with the incredibly massive uptick in these people coming to the US. What is the reason??

Fleeing for Our Lives: Central American Migrant Crisis

Horrific Levels of Violence Against Women

Women and children are the most vulnerable in this crisis as they can easily become victims of rape, kidnapping, torture, or murder. Within the NTCA, gender-based violence is used as a means of intimidation or coercion. We should note that these stats are basically from a decade ago.


Source: Global Burden of Armed Violence 2015: Every Body Counts

By metmike - April 7, 2019, 11:18 p.m.
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From a personal standpoint, I got to know a young refugee from El Salvador this school year......... A 10th grader from one of the schools that I coach chess at. 

He just came to this country in the last year. 

Actually, after I met this young man, I shared it with everybody here back in December:

                Re: Re: Re: One illegal alien            


                By metmike - Dec. 13, 2018, 9:59 p.m.            


"Yesterday at our high school chess practice we had a new 10th grader sign up. Turns out that he just recently moved here from El Salvador.

For those of you weak on world geography, I have a map of Central America below. The situation there is very similar to Honduras, possibly even worse. 

After I found out that Josue was from El Savador, it was a great time to ask him about his life there.

Gangs control society and they give you a choice as a teenager. You can join one of the gangs or risk getting beat up frequently and robbed.  Crime is rampant as well as many kidnappings done for ransom, if your family has any money at all.

He was on a waiting list to immigrate to the United States based on political assylum but after 4 years, it was not looking so good. Then he got shot in the leg and they elevated him to a priority based on the risk to his life. 

Apparently the bullet was not even intended for him but it was a gun shot at somebody else from somebody with poor aim. 

So he is one of the nicest, most respectful and friendliest kids I've had in our chess program. 

Of course he entered our country thru legal channels. It will take 4 years before he can become a permanent resident. One can usually ask kids this age what their plans are after high school and many will tell you, at least in the groups that are part of our chess club that they are going to college. Some will even have a couple of colleges picked out.

When I asked Josue what his plans were after high school and if he was going to college, he had no idea. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but its likely, in the place that he came from, not too many kids dream about going to college. He just seemed thrilled about being in this country.

He told me about the scar on his leg from the bullet several times. I assumed that this was his "proof" of having a legit reason to be here. He also told me that not too many people ask him questions like I did, so he rarely talks about it but was very open. 

I told him that all of his classmates take all these really nice things around them that they grew up with for granted and for sure he appreciates all of it. You can actually tell that he does because he had this special enthusiasm as if he was enjoying every moment during the 2 hours. Very positive and gregarious., loving to have interaction with people that were previously complete strangers. 

Knowing the tropical climate of his home country, I couldn't help but ask him how he reacted to the recent cold..............and his first time being in snow.

He doesn't like the cold at all and did not like the snow, which in this case, was more of a mess, with a bit of snow, a bunch of sleet and freezing rain on top. 

This is just one person but clearly he is the type of guy that would make this a better country. 

This is not advocating for increased legal immigration but everybody knows that there are good people and bad people from every country. There are good stories and bad stories about them from the media............some that distort the dynamic to spin it in a way which favors their agenda.

The US doesn't have room for the billions of people on the planet that would be better off here, some of whom would make the US better too. However, when you meet a real person, that tells a real story and see the positive impact on him and know he is also contributing positives to our country, it helps you to connect with the reality of the successes of an immigration program done correctly."

Map of Central America

By metmike - April 7, 2019, 11:19 p.m.
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I also have a nephew, Luke Maguire Armstrong that has devoted his life to helping people down there. Luke is in his early 30's and lives in Guatemala. 

Luke is part of this organization:

Education is the heart of our work. Our school is  currently home to 80 children with 6 learning programs,  a Teacher-Training Program and serves 1,500 meals and snacks every month. Since 2011, our programs have delivered classes and support to                               over 1,200 students and their families in Guatemala.

   We have also provided over 2,500 food baskets to    our 40 sponsored families.

Together, our Critical-Thinking/Advanced   Functioning Skills and Education Sponsorship     Programs have reached an additional 2,800 students and are creating                  sustainable community  leaders. 
By metmike - April 8, 2019, 12:13 a.m.
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For most people in the US, they place a higher priority or greater weighting  in importance for the safety and best interest of themselves and other US citizens living here than they do in the safety and best interest in the billions of other people in the world............many of which, who are living in squalor and life threatening conditions.

The US does not have room for all the less fortunate............but it does have room for x millions of them, who immigrate legally based on following the rules and being approved using basic immigration standards. 

At the same time, this means the vast, vast majority will not and should not get in because there must be limits to avoid it causing serious negative consequences to our society. 

What those limits are and who gets in should be decided using compassion for those experiencing extreme hardship and an objective to help the maximum amount of people possible without over taxing our system designed to take them in or damaging our society. 

But an even better situation would be to help those people in their own country............if this is possible.

Always much easier said than done. Wouldn't it be great if the US could just send some of these countries more money and it would fix many of the problems that exist right these people/citizens would have something to stay home for? Better job opportunities. Better nourishment and education opportunities for their children!!

These people obviously would prefer to stay home to get what they are seeking by coming here. This is especially important for the children, who are the most vulnerable and are all born with massive potential, which can be wasted away in 15 years while living in a horrible environment..............or maximized by them living in an environment that brings mind and body developing dynamics into their lives. 

Sending  money to a foreign country to help people like this is not always the solution. It can certainly help a great deal and the US should absolutely be contributing humanitarian aid to these countries.  However, governments, politicians, graft, corruption, waste and  a host of other things can mean much of that money via the governmental route is wasted or not used for the intended purpose.  

It takes human beings on the receiving end, using that money and those resources, applying it to maximize the benefits in the best way possible for the intended recipients. Human beings that care enough about others that they are willing to make enormous sacrifices.............give up their wonderful lives in the material world to live with the less fortunate in order to lift them up. 

My nephew Luke is actually doing this. He and the adults working with Integral Heart Family are bringing all those mind and body enriching elements, that boost the quality of life and education to many dozens of children every year in Guatemala.  No need for these kids in Central America to  immigrate and be one of those that we read about crossing our southern border who are trying to get their piece of the pie here in the United States. 

Luke is sort of bringing them their American baked piece of the pie at home in Guatemala. 

I'll have more information about this as the month goes on and how we can actually help Luke with his very productive and noble mission............saving  young lives that would otherwise be wasted.

By metmike - April 8, 2019, 2:14 a.m.
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Trump Wants to Cut Aid to Central America. Here Are Some of the Dozens of U.S.-Funded Programs.

"President Trump, in his most recent rebuke of Central American nations for what he says is their failure to address the issue of migration, announced plans to cut off aid to three nations — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — known as the Northern Triangle. 

Critics of the cuts say they will target programs aimed at preventing violence, curbing extreme poverty and hunger, and strengthening the justice system — the very problems residents of those countries give for leaving home and pursuing a more stable future elsewhere. 

Though the administration has offered little in the way of details about what precisely could be cut, the State Department notified Congress on Friday night that it would divert about $450 million in aid from the region>"

Counterproductive, making the problem worse?

Or will it force actions in order to keep the aid coming?

By wglassfo - April 8, 2019, 3:19 a.m.
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Americans think enough money can solve the worlds problems

IMHO: That simply doesn't solve anything

Self sufficiency is the way to go

Before oil came to the M.E the Bedu lived for centuries in the desert sand dunes

Now to me, that is a rather hard life with nothing growing in any direction and won't ever grow

But these people adapted to their environment and survived

They knew what animals would thrive in harsh conditions and what places to find water

Money is temporary but self sufficiency is much better, long term

Not all crops have to be corn

Corn is a very thirsty plant, with environment needing to meet conditions for the crop to survive

Other crops will grow when conditions merit growth and go dormant in times of stress

Find those crops and I think this would be a much better way to go

I know we all need food and water

If Portugal can find a crop that will grow on pieces of shale rock that literally covers the ground solid, 6-12 inches deep, but has roots that go 20 feet into the ground in search of water then I would look for a crop that would survive in those conditions. Portugal has trees that are 2000 yrs old and have commercial values each yr.

This is just an example of what can be done to match environment and food supply

I have been in 6 countries in the E U and every one is different depending mostly on climate and plants that adapt to climate

Just because we grow corn does not mean others can do the same

We all know the story about feeding a man a fish but teaching a man to fish worlks much better

As a side note

We can't continue to print pieces of paper [bonds[ which are in fact an I.O. U for payment later, then honour that payment by selling more debt. This ring around the May pole can't last forever.

Most of our consumer spending is a promise to pay later so it isn't just the gov't that is in the game of promises to pay later.

Some day that I.O U will end badly if we don't do something different, now.

Having said that Canada leads all G-7 nations as a % of promises to pay later as a % of GDP so I can't say we are any better. In fact Canada is the worst debtor of all G-7 countries

In fact we are seling bonds backed by mortgages so how silly can we get, or how silly can the buyers of these bonds be?? Hudonson Bay Co. lost money in 6 of the last 7 quarters so they sell a few hundred million in bonds. Who would buy those bonds I don't know but they are selling and fast. Crazy crazy people

But back to your post

Me thinks self sufficiency is the long term solution

Money disappears quickly and then what do you do???

We can't put lots of money or any money in the pockets of the entire worlds down trodden folks, including our own.

So: What do we say??

 A few get a small pocket of money but sorry you other folks, over there, are out of luck

When the corn crop has problems,  more money is needed next yr

And just think

How many 1000's starved because we could not or did not help them.

What kind of a solution did we find???