Central American Integration System

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Central American Integration System
  • Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana  (Spanish)
  • (SICA)
Flag of the Central American Integration System.svg
Logo of the Central American Integration System.svg
Motto: "God, Union and Liberty"
Anthem:  La Granadera
The Song of the Grenadier


States in the Central American Integration System.
Administrative center Flag of El Salvador.svg San Salvador, El Salvador
Official languages Spanish
Type Supranational union
Membership 8 states
8 regional observers
10 extraregional observers
 President pro tempore
Juan Carlos Varela
 General Secretary
Vinicio Cerezo
20 December 1907
14 October 1951
13 December 1960
13 December 1991
572,510 km2 (221,050 sq mi)
 2009 estimate
89.34/km2 (231.4/sq mi)
GDP  (PPP) 2010 estimate
$ 506.258 billion
 Per capita
GDP  (nominal) 2010 estimate
$ 266.213 billion
 Per capita

The Central American Integration System (Spanish : Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana, or SICA) has been the economic and political organization of Central American states since February 1, 1993. On December 13, 1991, the ODECA countries (Spanish: Organización de Estados Centroamericanos) signed the Protocol of Tegucigalpa, extending earlier cooperation for regional peace, political freedom, democracy and economic development. SICA's General Secretariat is in El Salvador.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Central America central geographic region of the Americas

Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.

Peace state of harmony characterized by lack of violent conflict and freedom from fear of violence

Peace is the concept of harmonious well-being and freedom from hostile aggression. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or heterogeneous groups.


In 1991, SICA's institutional framework included Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Belize joined in 1998 as a full member, while the Dominican Republic became an associated state in 2004 and a full member in 2013. Mexico, Chile and Brazil became part of the organization as regional observers, and the Republic of China, Spain, Germany and Japan became extra-regional observers. SICA has a standing invitation to participate as observers in sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, [1] and maintains offices at UN Headquarters. [2]

Guatemala republic in Central America

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

El Salvador country in Central America

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million.

Honduras republic in Central America

Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. In the past, it was sometimes referred to as "Spanish Honduras" to differentiate it from British Honduras, which later became modern-day Belize. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.

Four countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua) experiencing political, cultural and migratory integration have formed a group, the Central America Four or CA-4, which has introduced common internal borders and the same type of passport. Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic join the CA-4 for economic integration.

Nicaragua Country in Central America

Nicaragua, officially the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Managua is the country's capital and largest city and is also the third-largest city in Central America, behind Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City. The multi-ethnic population of six million includes people of indigenous, European, African, and Asian heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak their own languages and English.

The Central America-4 passport is a common-design passport issued by the Central America-4 Border Control Agreement member states. Although the design had been in use by Nicaragua and El Salvador since the mid-1990s, it became the norm for the CA-4 in January 2006. The main features are the navy blue cover with the words "America Central" or "Centroamerica" and a map of Central America, with the territory of the issuing country highlighted in gold. This substitutes one map for four national symbols.


SICA was supported by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/48L of December 10, 1993. Under the Tegucigalpa Protocol, SICA is affiliated with the UN.


First Central American Court of Justice

Between November 14 and December 20, 1907, after a proposal by Mexico and the United States, five Central American nations (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) took part in the Central American Peace Conference in Washington, D.C. sponsored by United States Secretary of State Elihu Root. The five nations, all former Spanish colonies, had previously tried to form a political alliance. Their first attempt was the Federal Republic of Central America, and the most recent effort was the founding of the Republic of Central America 11 years earlier.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Costa Rica country in Central America

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.

United States Secretary of State U.S. cabinet member and head of the U.S. State Department

The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America, and as head of the United States Department of State, is principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The participants concluded the conference with an agreement creating the Central American Court of Justice (Corte de Justicia Centroamericana). The court would remain in effect for ten years from the final ratification, and communication would be through the government of Costa Rica. It was composed of five judges, one from each member state. The court heard ten cases, five of which were brought by private individuals (and declared inadmissible) and three begun by the court. The court operated until April 1918 from its headquarters in Costa Rica; despite efforts beginning in March 1917 (when Nicaragua submitted a notice of termination of the agreement), it then dissolved.

Reasons for the agreement's failure include:

Exclusive Economic Zones of the member states of the Central American Integration System. Considering them, the total area reaches 2 351 224 km2. Aguas territoriales SICA.svg
Exclusive Economic Zones of the member states of the Central American Integration System. Considering them, the total area reaches 2 351 224 km².

Organization of Central American States

Banco Centroamericano de Integracion Economica logo BCIE logo.png
Banco Centroamericano de Integración Economica logo

At the end of World War II, interest in integrating the Central American governments began. On October 14, 1951 (33 years after the CACJ was dissolved) the governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua signed a treaty creating the Organization of Central American States (Organización de Estados Centroamericanos, or ODECA) to promote regional cooperation and unity. The following year (December 12, 1952), ODECA's charter was amended to create a new Central American Court of Justice (Corte Centroamericana de Justicia, or CCJ) without the time limit of its previous incarnation.

The Charter of San Salvador was ratified by all Central American governments, and on August 18, 1955 their foreign ministers attended its first meeting in Antigua Guatemala. The Declaration of Antigua Guatemala authorized subordinate organizations of ODECA to facilitate economic cooperation, better sanitation and progress in the "integral union" of the Central American nations. [3]

The Central American Common Market, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) and the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA) were established by the five Central American nations on December 13, 1960 at a conference in Managua. [4] All nations ratified the membership treaties the following year. Costa Rica joined the CACM in 1963, but Panama has not yet joined. The organization froze during the 1969 war between Honduras and El Salvador; in 1973 ODECA was suspended, and progress toward regional integration ground to a halt.


In 1991 the integration agenda advanced with the creation of the SICA, which provided a legal framework to resolve disputes between member states. SICA includes seven Central America nations and the Dominican Republic, which is part of the Caribbean. Central America has several supranational institutions, such as the Central American Parliament, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Central American Common Market. The Central America trade bloc is governed by the General Treaty for Economical Integration (the Guatemala Protocol), which was signed on October 29, 1993. The CACM has removed duties on most products throughout the member countries, and has unified external tariffs and increased trade within its members. The bank has five non-regional members: Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, the Republic of China and Spain.

All SICA members are also part of the Mesoamerica Project, which includes Mexico and Colombia. Haiti joined SICA in 2013 as an associate member,[ citation needed ] and the Dominican Republic became a full member on 27 June 2013. [5]

Economic integration

Unified Central American currency

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration has not introduced its own common currency, and dollarization is possible. However, for formal purposes the US Dollar is sometimes referred to as "Central American Peso" pegged 1:1 to the Dollar. There are no coins or notes in this currency and it is little known outside of legal circles. Central America is increasing its regional economic development, accelerating its social, political and economic integration. The region has diversified output and price and wage flexibility; however, there is a lack of business-cycle synchronization, dissimilar levels of public-sector debt, diverging inflation rates and low levels of intra-regional trade. [6]

Policy integration

In the parliamentary body are proposals to consider regional air travel as domestic travel, to eliminate roaming fees on telephone calls and to create a regional penitentiary (affiliated with the Central American Court of Justice) to address regional trafficking and international crimes. [7]


Central American Parliament

Parlacen was born as a parliamentary body emulating the Federal Republic of Central America, with Costa Rica an observer. It evolved from the Contadora Group, a project launched during the 1980s to deal with civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Although the Contadora Group was dissolved in 1986, the concept of Central American integration is implicitly referenced in several countries' constitutions. The Esquipulas Peace Agreement (among other acts) agreed to the creation of a Central American Parliament composed of 20–22 directly-elected deputies from each country. Costa Rica has not ratified the agreement, and is not represented in the Parlacen. Parlacen is seen by some (including former President of Honduras Ricardo Maduro) as a white elephant. [8]

Central American Court of Justice

The CCJ's mission is to promote peace in the region and the unity of its member states. The Court [9] has jurisdiction to hear cases:

The court may offer consultation to the region's supreme courts. In 2005, it ruled that Nicaraguan congressional reforms (which removed control of water, energy and telecommunications from President Enrique Bolaños) were "legally inapplicable".[ citation needed ] As of July 2005, the CCJ had made 70 resolutions since hearing its first case in 1994.


ChileParaguayArgentinaUruguayPeruBrazilBarbadosTrinidad and TobagoColombiaGuyanaSurinameJamaicaBoliviaEcuadorVenezuelaCubaDominicaAntigua and BarbudaMontserratSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSaint LuciaNicaraguaBelizeGrenadaSaint Kitts and NevisCanadaMexicoPanamaUnited StatesHondurasEl SalvadorBahamasHaitiGuatemalaCosta RicaDominican RepublicInter-American Treaty of Reciprocal AssistanceCommunity of Latin American and Caribbean StatesLatin American Economic SystemUnion of South American NationsAmazon Cooperation Treaty OrganizationAndean CommunityMercosurCaribbean CommunityPacific AllianceALBACentral American Integration SystemCentral American ParliamentOrganisation of Eastern Caribbean StatesLatin American Integration AssociationCentral America-4 Border Control AgreementNorth American Free Trade AgreementAssociation of Caribbean StatesOrganization of American StatesPetrocaribeCARICOM Single Market and EconomyCentral American Integration System
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational organisations in the Americas. vde

See also

Related Research Articles

Foreign relations of Honduras

Honduras is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), the Central American Integration System (SICA), and the Central American Security Commission (CASQ). During 1995-96, Honduras, a founding member of the United Nations, for the first time served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Honduras is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military.

History of Central America aspect of history

The history of Central America is the study of the region known as Central America.

Federal Republic of Central America former nation in Central America

The Federal Republic of Central America, also called the United Provinces of Central America in its first year of creation, was a sovereign state in Central America consisting of the territories of the former Captaincy General of Guatemala of New Spain. It existed from 1823 to 1841, and was a republican democracy.

Francisco Morazán Honduras general and politician

Francisco Morazán was a Central American politician who was president of the Federal Republic of Central America from 1830 to 1839. Before he was president of Central America he was the head of state of Honduras. He rose to prominence at the battle of La Trinidad on November 11, 1827. Morazán then dominated the political and military scene of Central America until his execution in 1842.

Central American Parliament international parliament

The Central American Parliament, also known as PARLACEN, is the political institution and parliamentary body of the Central American Integration System (SICA). Its headquarters are in Guatemala City.

The Central American Defense Council was an alliance of Central American countries. It was created by a treaty signed on December 14, 1963 in Guatemala City, for the common purpose of quelling the various left-wing guerrilla movements that threatened stability in the region during the Cold War. Costa Rica, which had no standing armed forces, participated as a member. It is now defunct.

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration - CABEI was founded in 1960. Is an international multilateral development financial institution. Its resources are invested in projects that foster development to reduce poverty and inequality; strengthen regional integration and the competitive insertion of its member countries in the global economy; providing special attention to environmental sustainability. Its headquarters are in Tegucigalpa(Honduras) and has regional offices in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Central American Football Union sports governing body

The Unión Centroamericana de Fútbol, more commonly known by the acronym UNCAF, represents the national football teams of Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Its member associations are part of CONCACAF.

Central American Spanish Spanish dialect family

Central American Spanish is the general name of the Spanish language dialects spoken in Central America. More precisely, the term refers to the Spanish language as spoken in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Although Panama is part of Central America, Panamanian Spanish is classified as a variety of Caribbean Spanish.

Index of Central America-related articles

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The Men's Association football competition at the 2001 Central American Games took place from 22 November to 2 December at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. This was the seventh Football edition since 1973.

2010 Central American Games

The IX Central American Games was a multi-sport event that took place between 9 and 19 April 2010. The competition featured 23 sports which were contested at various venues, with Panama acting as the primary host country and El Salvador playing a supporting role.

2013 Copa Centroamericana

The 2013 Copa Centroamericana was the 12th Copa Centroamericana, the regional championship for men's national association football teams in Central America. It was organized by the Unión Centroamericana de Fútbol or UNCAF, and took place in Costa Rica from 18 January to 27 January 2013. The top five teams go on to participate in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The VIII Central American Games was a multi-sport event that took place between 3 and 12 March 2006.

1994 Central American Games

The V Central American Sports Games was a multi-sport event held in San Salvador, El Salvador between January 10 and January 23, 1994.

2008 Central American Junior and Youth Championships in Athletics

The 2008 Central American Junior and Youth Championships in Athletics were held at the Estadio Nacional Flor Blanca "Magico Gonzalez" in San Salvador, El Salvador, between July 19–20, 2008. Organized by the Central American Isthmus Athletic Confederation (CADICA), it was the 21st edition of the Junior (U-20) and the 16th edition of the Youth (U-18) competition. A total of 77 events were contested, 41 by boys and 36 by girls. Overall winner on points was  El Salvador.

This is a list of the Honduras national football team results from 2010 to 2019.

The football tournament at the 2017 Central American Games is scheduled to take place in December 2017.

Northern Triangle of Central America three-country region

The Northern Triangle of Central America refers to the three Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, especially in regard to their economic integration. They have signed trade agreements with Colombia, the United States, and Mexico. The agreement with Mexico began in 2001, later involved the Mesoamerica Project, and expanded to Costa Rica and Nicaragua in 2011.


  1. "United Nations list of observing international organizations". un.org. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  2. "El Sistema De La Integracion Centroamericana - New York". www.sgsica-ny.org. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. "Central American Defense Council - Some Problems and Achievements". Lieutenant Colonel Laun C. Smith, JR. Retrieved 2006-05-22.
  4. General Treaty on Central American Economic Integration between Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua signed at Managua, on 13 December 1960 Archived March 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine .
  5. Sistema de Integración Centroamericano News (in Spanish)
  6. Bulmer-Thomas, Victor and A. Douglas Kincaid. Central America 2020: Towards a New Regional Development Model. USAID. EU Commission. 2000
  7. Digital, El 19. "El 19 Digital - Portal de Noticias de Nicaragua". El 19 Digital. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  8. "América Central" (PDF). europa.eu. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  9. Iustel (1 January 2018). "Revista General de Derecho Europeo - Sumario N.º 44 ENERO 2018". www.iustel.com. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  10. "Central American Bank for Economic Integration". bcie.org. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  11. Official website of the CCJ (Spanish language)
  12. "History of the CACJ from WorldCourts". worldcourts.com. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  13. CACJ history page from PICT
  14. "The EU's relations with Central America". The EU's Official Website. Archived from the original on 2006-06-22. Retrieved 2006-06-19.