The Federal Republic of Central America was a country that existed from 1823 until its collapse in 1840. In 1840, The Federal Republic was formally divided into the sovereign nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. These countries have tried several times over the course of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries to integrate. Historically, every attempt at integration leading up to the 21st century has failed. Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, the region has been plagued with conflict, unstable governance, and foreign intervention. The processes of integration have failed in the past because of a lack of democracy, Costa Rica’s unwillingness to participate, foreign intervention and underdevelopment traps.
At present, Central American countries are trying to integrate through international systems such as Central American Integration System (SICA), Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), and the Central America-4 (CA-4). These integration systems were started with the Arias Plan and the ceasefire peace accords to end the Civil Wars in the region. After a decade with these systems in place, other countries such as Panama, Belize and the Dominican Republic are trying to join the Central American block.
This symposium will explain why Central American integration has failed every time before the 21st century, and why the new current attempt at integration will likely work and benefit Central America.
Steven Robnak, ’14
St. Louis, MO
Majors: Individualized: Geo Politics, Latin American Studies, Spanish
Sponsor: David Yamanishi