Drug trafficking and extortion are expected to increase in Colombia as the government and FARC continue peace talks, and relationships between Guatemalan and Mexican drug gangs could strengthen.
A full 80 percent of farmers in the worst-hit areas of El Salvador have reported losing all of their crops, while 75 percent of corn and bean crops in Honduras and Guatemala have failed.
In recent weeks, citizens in El Salvador and Guatemala have protested efforts by foreign countries and companies to require the nations to abide by international treaties, despite local objections.
A former army captain convicted of killing Bishop Juan Gerardi ran a massive bribery ring from prison, according to Guatemala's anti-impunity commission.
For many minors from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, making a dangerous journey north outweighs the risks of staying behind.
Crime and the economy are motivating many Central Americans to leave the region, however, the link isn't straightforward. Murder rates, for example, improved slightly in El Salvador and Guatemala in recent years.
US and Central American campaigns are deploying ominous cartoon characters and catchy tunes – not to mention some grandmotherly advice – to deter children from migrating north.
Both successful and unsuccessful migration to the US cause problems back in Central America, from inflation to broken families.