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Peace Corps Pulling Back in Central America

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The Peace Corps will pull 158 volunteers out of Honduras in January, citing concerns over rising violence in that country, and has canceled its next class to train volunteers until a review of the security situation is completed, MSNBC reported.

“The safety and security of all Peace Corps volunteers is the agency’s highest priority,” Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams said in a posting on the Peace Corps website.

All 158 volunteers currently in Honduras were “safe and accounted for,” the web posting said.

“During this time, we are going to conduct a full review of the program. We thank the people of Honduras for their strong support of Peace Corps over the years,” he added.

The Peace Corps also said it had canceled training classes for El Salvador and Guatemala, MSNBC reported.

According to The Associated Press, training classes for volunteers to those two countries scheduled for January will not take place, but those already serving there were “safe and accounted for.”

Peace Corps spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson told the AP that the agency will try to place volunteers for Guatemala and El Salvador in other countries.

Both countries have suffered waves of violent crime and drug-related violence, the AP said.

“Due to ongoing security concerns, the agency is enhancing operational support to currently serving volunteers in these countries,” the Peace Corps said in another posting on its website.

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