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Obama to visit El Salvador

photo courtesy of whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama will visit El Salvador on March 22 and 23 to discuss immigration and the spread of Mexico’s drug violence  with President Mauricio Funes.

While El Salvador is Central America’s smallest country, U.S. policy makers need to consider the rise of violence and drug trafficking to El Salvador’s neighbors Honduras and Guatemala. With one of the highest murder rates in Central America, El Salvador has pleaded with the U.S. for aid.

El Salvador’s economy currently relies on remittances sent from the millions of Salvadoreans working in the United States. According to a Washington Post article, El Salvador’s foreign minister Hugo Martinez stated that investing in the local communities of migrants would offer alternatives to out-migration.

El Salvador: Healing wounds, new and old

Earlier this month, El Salvador suffered heavy rains and landslides resulting from Hurricane Ida. According to the National Police, the death toll is almost 200, many more are without homes. Most of the damage occurred in the eastern San Vicente region where many crops were destroyed. President Mauricio Funes declared a national emergency and seeks to deliver aid as fast as possible. According to Funes, lack of risk prevention and disregard for the deteriorating environment are partly to blame for the crisis.

In other news, Nov. 16 marked the 20th anniversary of the murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter while they slept, a brutal attack by members of the army during the height of the country’s civil war. President Funes presented the victims’ families with the country’s highest honor attempting to atone for past governments who historically downplayed or denied its suspected connections to the killings.

For more information on El Salvador’s current weather crisis, see the link below:

http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/World/Story/A1Story20091116-180190.html

For more information on the anniversary of those murdered on Nov. 16, 1989 see the link below:

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=347484&CategoryId=23558