La Pobreza y el Terror

Últimamente se han hecho innumerables afirmaciones acerca de que la pobreza engendra el terrorismo. Claro, no se puede definir una ecuación simple entre la pobreza y las raíces del terrorismo. Pero esas declaraciones sí contienen algo de verdad. Quizá la pobreza no sea la causa del terrorismo islámico, pero los terroristas islámicos sí manipulan la pobreza a su favor. Entonces, cualquier estrategia viable para prevenir el terrorismo debe enfrentar temas centrales de desarrollo económico.

El primer problema que debe ser reconocido es que el desarrollo dió una vuelta equivocada hace unos 30 años, cuando la Organizaión de Países Exportadores de Petróleo (OPEP) le impuso dos severos golpes petroleros a la economía global. Los países desarrollados pasaron de promover el crecimiento a luchar contra la inflación. El crecimiento mundial se frenó dramáticamente (excepto en Asia del Este) y el crecimiento del comercio mundial bajó a la mitad.

Los países de la OPEP se volvieron ricos, mientras que el resto del mundo en desarrollo tuvo que vérselas con déficits de comercio y niveles de deuda insostenibles. La mayoría experimentaron un crecimiento negativo. Durante los años 1980 y 1990, la mitad de los países en desarrollo que eran miembros del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) sufrieron severas crisis financieras y se vieron forzados a reducir la escala de su gasto social de forma que la pobreza, la inequidad y el potencial de tener conflictos civiles se incrementaron substancialmente.

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