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A Honduran soldier patrols El Conejo Island by boat in the Gulf of Fonseca, 150 km south of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Oct. 16, 2006 (AP photo by Edgard Garrido).

Border Disputes, Political Tensions Threaten Needed Cooperation in Central America

Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

In the first week of September, the Honduran military raised the Honduran flag over the disputed Conejo Island, quickly raising the ire of El Salvador’s government. The incident as well as other recent border disputes highlighted tensions within the region at a time when cooperation and collaboration are more important than ever.

The timing of the flap was illustrative on a symbolic level as well: On Sept. 15, five Central American states—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua—will jointly celebrate 193 years of independence. Once united in a short-lived federation, the domestic and international politics of these five countries remain deeply intertwined. Since independence, the region has suffered from its share of domestic turmoil and foreign intervention, at times both uniting and dividing countries in the isthmus. ...

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