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Central American Government

"Central America" may mean different things to different people in the world according to the context:

In English, Central America is considered a region of the North American continent. Geopolitically, it usually comprises seven countries – Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Mexico, in whole or in part, is sometimes included. Some geographers include the five states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán, together representing 12.1% of the country's total area.

In Latin America, Iberia, and some other parts of Europe, the Americas are considered to be a single continent, and Central America is considered a region of this continent. In Ibero-America, the region is defined as seven nations – Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama – and may occasionally include Mexico's southernmost region. Geopolitically, Mexico is considered part of North America.

Occasionally, the term Central America is used synonymously with Middle America. Among some German geographers, Mittelamerika may be used to refer to the territories on the Central American isthmus.

The UN geoscheme defines the region as all states of mainland North America south of the United States; conversely, the European Union excludes Belize and Mexico from its definition of the region.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Central American Parliament, also know by the abbreviation Parlacen (from the Spanish Parlamento Centroamericano) is a political institution devoted to the integration of the Central American countries.

The Parlacen has its origins on the Contadora Group, a project launched in the 1980s to help deal with civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Although the Contadora was dissolved in 1986, the idea for Central American Integration remained, and its works were taken by the Esquipulas Peace Agreement, which, among other acts, decided on the creation of the Central American Parliament.

The following countries each return 20 directly-elected deputies to the Parliament:

    * El Salvador
    * Guatemala
    * Honduras
    * Nicaragua
    * Panama
    * Dominican Republic (acceded 26 February 2004)

In spite of its efforts to promote the Esquipulas Agreement, Costa Rica has not yet ratified and is consequently not represented in the Parlacen.

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