This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Nicaragua's Vulnerability

On 1 February, Mexico's El Universal published a piece on the Sinaloa drug trafficking organization's presence on Nicaragua's Pacific coast.

According to the piece, the Sinaloa DTO has been present in Nicaragua since 2003. I'm not surprised to see this news: we've long known that DTOs are crawling around Central America.

What makes this news more interesting, however, is Nicaragua's demographical distribution. Most of the country's population is concentrated on the Pacific side. Truth be told, only a small amount of the country is actually patrolled and controlled by the government, seated in Managua.

There is a thin strip of population on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, but if you've ever been to Bluefields, you'd note that most people there identify themselves more with Jamaica than with Managua.

And to the north, where Indian tribes rule, there is little to no connection with Managua, other than the occasional armed altercation between Nicaraguan police and the coastal Indians, armed to the teeth.

The vast expanse between Managua and the country's easter coast is a no man's land, especially to the north, where Nicaragua borders with Honduras.

The news in Mexico claims that DTOs are once again focused on Nicaragua's Pacific coast, but I agree with others, who claim the middle of the country is much more vulnerable.

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