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Central America Facing the Bicentennial Crisis: Political Uncertainty, Economic Hardship and Climate Challenges

Journal: Vestnik RUDN. International Relations (Vol.22, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 495-505

Keywords : Central America; political crisis; climate crisis; authoritarianism; violence;

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Central America meets the bicentenary of its independence in the midst of a threefold crisis: a political crisis marked by democratic regression; an economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 maelstrom and the subsequent collapse of international trade and tourism; finally, a humanitarian crisis generated by the pandemic and climate change. In this article we will focus our attention on how this triple crisis has hit five Central American republics - the three that make up the so called Northern Triangle, as well as Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This article will look at the political level by country and jointly address the problems created by the pandemic and the challenges and costs posed by the climate crisis. Based on the complex nature of the crisis the defended theses are threefold. The first is that the democracy of the prevailing political regimes has been eroded in the 21st century. In some cases, as a result of the collapse of the traditional party systems, in other cases due to a lack of public confidence, and in some cases due to the increase of power in the hands of presidents. The second thesis relates to unexpected natural phenomena, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, for instance, hurricanes. These phenomena increased the demands on weakened institutions and highlighted the precariousness in which the majority of the population lives. The third thesis points out that in order to cope with the political and humanitarian crisis many of the region’s citizens opted to migrate northwards. Central Americans’ individual preference for emigration implies the dismissal of the possibility of seeking social improvements through collective commitments and struggles in their own country.

Last modified: 2022-10-05 22:59:12