The heated debate in America over migrants and asylum-seekers seeking to cross into the country from Mexico has often overshadowed the origins of the problem: the push factors that drive so many to flee from the so-called Northern Triangle states of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Download your FREE copy of Central America’s Migration Crisis to learn more today. Crime and insecurity coupled with corruption and lack of accountability make life precarious for many of the region’s most vulnerable populations, who are preyed on by criminal gangs and at times the state. U.S. policy has in the past contributed to […]

A demonstrator wearing a gas mask and carrying a shield calls for others to join him in confronting Venezuelan National Guardsmen blocking the entry of U.S.-supplied humanitarian aid, La Parada, Colombia, Feb. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

It wasn’t very long ago that Venezuela anchored one side of a left-right divide in Latin America, with the late President Hugo Chavez inspiring a wave of leftist electoral victories across the hemisphere. More recently, the region’s leftward drift has stopped, even reversed, but Venezuela is again the catalyst in the new political alignments. The current crisis in Venezuela has forced governments everywhere, but especially in Latin America, to clarify where they stand on the future of Nicolas Maduro’s presidency. It is no longer possible for Latin American leaders to issue fuzzy statements now that the Venezuelan opposition has declared […]

Female protesters flash the No. 1 sign as part of the “One Billion Rising” global movement to end violence against women and children, Manila, Philippines, Feb. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).

There is evidence that gender inequality around the world is in decline, yet significant obstacles remain to overcoming patriarchal systems in many parts of the world. Find out more about gender inequality and related issues when you subscribe to World Politics Review. Despite progress in reducing gender inequality around the world, great challenges remain, perhaps none more alarming than the persistence of violence against women. When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asserted that “the subjugation of women is a threat to the common security of our world and to the national security of our country,” she was not just spouting […]

Demonstrators participate in a rally against terrorism in Bolivar Square, Bogota, Colombia, Jan. 20, 2019 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Last month, a man linked to the National Liberation Army, or ELN, rammed a truck laden with explosives into a school in Bogota where cadets were training for the Colombian National Police. The blast, which killed at least 21 people and injured 68 more, jolted Colombian society and brought back memories of similar attacks in the early 1990s. Hundreds of thousands of Colombians took to the streets to condemn terrorism. After the ELN claimed responsibility for the attack, President Ivan Duque suspended peace talks with the guerilla group indefinitely. Many observers worried about the prospect of a return to widespread […]

Peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in Bentiu, South Sudan, June 18, 2017 (AP photo by Sam Mednick).

Did the U.N. Security Council squander a chance to strengthen peacekeeping in December? 2018 was meant to be a big year for intergovernmental talks on how to improve U.N. operations. Yet Russia and the U.S. joined forces to torpedo a council resolution on potential reforms as the year ended. Why? Technical issues like reforming peace operations might already appear less pressing, given the council’s torrid start in 2019. Its permanent members are split over how to respond to the escalating crisis in Venezuela. Headaches from Iran to North Korea are likely to dominate the agenda this year. Nonetheless, a new […]

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki stands during a military parade after being welcomed by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed upon his arrival at the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, Dec. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Farah Abdi Warsameh).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the signs of a fraying trans-Atlantic partnership that emerged from the Munich Security Conference. For the Report, Tanja Müller talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about what a peace deal with Ethiopia means for life on the ground in Eritrea, and whether the initial economic dividends of thawed relations will be followed by a political opening for Eritreans. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get […]

A man reads a copy of a newspaper leading with the news that the general election was postponed, Kano, northern Nigeria, Feb. 16, 2019 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. The delay came at the last possible moment. On the night of Feb. 15, after many Nigerians had already traveled in order to vote in a general election planned for the following day, officials announced it would be pushed back to Feb. 23 because of logistical problems. Specifically, the election commission cited fires at three of its offices and said it had been unable to transport voting materials to their destinations. While the extra time may help the commission […]

United Nations peacekeepers from Senegal attend the ceremony marking the end of operations in Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Oct. 5, 2017 (AP photo by Dieu Nalio Chery).

With U.N. peacekeeping open to attacks by those who call it “unproductive” and push for further cuts to its already diminished budget, peacekeeping must make a case for its own utility, using data already at its fingertips. Does international peacekeeping protect civilians caught up in civil wars? Do the 16,000 United Nations peacekeepers deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo actually save lives, and if so how many? Did the 9,000 patrols conducted by the U.N. Mission in South Sudan in the past three months protect civilians there? [marketing]blockbuster[/marketing] The answer is a dissatisfying “maybe.” Without a convincing story […]

Members of the Muslim community demonstrate, calling for the disarmament of Anti Balaka factions and for peace in the PK5 district of Bangui, Central African Republic, May 31, 2014 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

After seven years of war, the Central African Republic has taken a shaky step toward peace. The United Nations announced in early February that the Central African government and 14 armed groups had agreed to a draft peace accord after 10 days of negotiations in Khartoum. The deal is a promising first step, but the drivers of conflict in CAR need to be addressed for a lasting peace to take hold, as competition for natural resources, ongoing ethnic disputes and, to some extent, religious cleavages, have all complicated past peace efforts. The agreement, provisionally signed on Feb. 6, calls for […]

Pro-Hamas protesters during a demonstration against a speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that threatened more financial pressure on Gaza, in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Gaza City, March 21, 2018 (AP photo by Adel Hana).

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah resigned last month along with his unity government, dealing a setback to reconciliation efforts between rival Palestinian factions. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, denounced the move as an attempt by Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, and his West Bank-based political party, Fatah, to further marginalize Hamas. A round of intra-Palestinian talks in Moscow ended last week without any further progress to bridge the divide. In an interview with WPR, Ghaith al-Omari, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discusses the deepening Fatah-Hamas split and the internal politicking that […]

Protesters try to stick photos of missing booksellers, one of which shows Gui Minhai, during a protest outside the Liaison of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, Jan. 3, 2016 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. Sweden’s ambassador to China was recalled to Stockholm last Thursday and is under investigation for allegedly brokering a meeting between two mysterious businessmen and Angela Gui, the daughter of a Hong Kong-based Swedish bookseller who has been in Chinese custody for three years. It is the latest in a string of puzzling episodes involving foreign diplomats in China. The story can be traced back to 2015, when Gui’s father, who published politically sensitive books about top Communist Party leaders, […]

A man walks past a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Aleppo, Syria, Dec. 24, 2018 (Photo by Mikhail Voskresenskiy for Sputnik via AP).

As the Syrian civil war grinds to an end, the government in Damascus, propped up by Iran and Russia, is regaining its footing, with important implications for the balance of power in the Middle East. Syria’s neighbors and powers outside the region are now attempting to determine the appropriate level of engagement, if any, to have with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. While Assad’s main foreign patrons will no doubt continue to deepen their military, political and economic ties, it is countries that stood against him over the past seven years that now have the most difficult decisions to make. If […]

Eritreans shout slogans during a protest in Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 28, 2018 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).

Much has been written about the significance of the peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea for the Horn of Africa. Less attention has been paid to what it means for ordinary Eritreans. So far peace has sparked hope that the Eritrean economy will improve, but there are few signs of the political opening that many citizens dearly hope for. Back in July 2016, I was invited to a gathering late one night at a popular bar in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. The gathering was a traditional and quite elaborate coffee ceremony, the kind typically held in the afternoon in […]

Uighurs living in Turkey protest against China’s oppression of Muslim Uighurs in far-western Xinjiang province, in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Earlier this month, Turkey broke a long period of silence on China’s policy of forcibly incarcerating over 1 million Uighur Muslims, calling it a “great shame for humanity.” The statement, which prompted an indignant response from Beijing, represented a shift for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pursued deeper economic ties with China but has also come under increasing political pressure to speak out against repressive Chinese policies toward its Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, in western China. In an interview with WPR, Selçuk Çolakoglu, director of the Turkish Center for Asia-Pacific Studies in Ankara, discusses what led Erdogan’s government […]

Police guard the scene of a murder after a man was shot to death in Acapulco, Mexico, Jan. 2, 2019 (AP photo by Bernardino Hernandez).

Murders in Mexico rose by 33 percent in 2018, shattering the previous record for the second year in a row, according to an official tally released last month. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO as he is known in Mexico, campaigned on a new approach to the country’s spiraling security crisis, promising to de-militarize law enforcement efforts and address the social issues that he says are the root causes of violence. But in an interview with WPR, Eric Olson, a global fellow and security expert with the Mexico Institute at The Wilson Center in Washington, says a closer look […]

El Salvador’s president-elect, Nayib Bukele, at a press conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, Feb. 3, 2019 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

Is there any chance that President Donald Trump would see the recent election in tiny El Salvador as an opportunity to take a different, more humane approach to his campaign against the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers from Central America? That seems like a very long shot, but Trump would do well to consider the possibility. In the presidential election earlier this month, Salvadorans sent a powerful message to their own leaders—one that may also just hold a key to reversing the stream of desperate families pouring out of their country toward the United States. At the very least, El […]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, Al-Hajj Murad, chair of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, left, and other leaders at a ceremony at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, July 17, 2017 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).

In the fragile west of the Philippines’ war-ravaged southern island of Mindanao, voters in recent weeks overwhelmingly approved an historic peace accord aimed at ending five decades of bloody separatist conflict. The vote ratified a new law on expanded autonomy, known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, paving the way for a new Muslim-majority self-governing region to replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which has been in place since 1989. The public stamp of approval, in a high-turnout, two-stage referendum on Jan. 21 and Feb. 6, marks the culmination of a lengthy peace process between the Philippine government and […]

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