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The ultraviolent Mara Salvatrucha street gang, a k a MS-13 — whose 10,000 members sow murder and mayhem in dozens of American cities — has been secretly backing El Salvador’s ruling party for several years, according to evidence that has emerged in recent weeks.
Recent revelations about secret dealings by El Salvador’s ruling party with street gangsters and international narcotraffickers have many in that country worried that they may be drifting toward the lawlessness that has spawned chaos in Venezuela.
El Salvador will choose a new president in a runoff election on March 9. The nation’s decision may prove critical to Salvadoran democracy and regional security, in light of substantial evidence linking the ruling party candidate to narcotraffickers, terrorist groups, and violent street gangs.
With elections approaching in Honduras, El Salvador, and elsewhere in Latin America, self-interested candidates from the left and the right — some with well-known ties to criminals — seek to wield power at their countries’ expense. AEI has convened a panel to expose this problem and to propose remedies.
Drug cartels operating out of Colombia and Mexico are relocating to Central America in search of weaker law enforcement and corrupt politicians, and Honduras is a prime target. To prevent the drug cartels from assuming more power, US policymakers must resist left-wing activists’ attempts to block US aid and vigorously support democracy and antidrug laws and programs in Honduras.
Resource nationalism and popular gasoline subsidies are limiting Latin America's biggest energy companies from evolving into more efficient, competitive, and profitable enterprises. Brazil's Petrobras, Mexico's Pemex, and Venezuela's PDVSA are prime examples of energy giants that are being consumed by mismanagement, corruption, and political agendas.
In this conference, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, mental health and disability experts, and an economist will discuss current hurdles to rehabilitation, and suggest alternatives that could more effectively expedite the reintegration of veterans into their families, communities, and workplaces.
Please join Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA), AEI, the Heritage Foundation, and the Foreign Policy Initiative for a timely discussion on the 2014 QDR and the future of American defense strategy in an era of constrained budgets.
This event is livestream only.
AEI’s Philanthropic Freedom Project welcomes Bill Gates for an exclusive event at AEI.