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In recent years, Central America has seen a rise in violence linked to drug trafficking and organized crime. Its strategic location between the world’s largest drug-producing nations in the south and the largest drug-consuming markets in the north has turned the region’s countries into vast drug smuggling routes. Homicide rates continue to surge throughout the region, particularly in the Northern Triangle nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Because justice sector institutions throughout the region are often ill-equipped to properly investigate, prosecute and process criminal cases, a significant number of these crimes go unsolved. Law enforcement officials’ general inability to manage forensic evidence exacerbates this grave problem.

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