chapter  7
21 Pages

Central America: NGO Coordination in El Salvador and Guatemala, 1980-94

At the end of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s the countries of Central America experienced severe internal conflicts. These conflicts were rooted in 'social injustice, political intolerance, repression, authoritarian practices and the exhaustion of the economic mode!...' (Homero Mendez Angel, 1992). Central America became one of the regions in the world that suffered most from forced migrations as a result of scorched earth, low intensity and counter insurgency warfare. All eight countries between Panama and Mexico were affected, though each in a different way. Approximately 1.5 million people became internally displaced and a further 1.3 million became refugees, only about 100,000 of whom were officially recognised as such (Homero Mendez Angel, 1992). Most of the officially recognised refugees left en masse in relatively short periods and were concentrated in camps (Sergio Aguayo Quezada,Jorthcoming).