Analysis & Commentary

Venezuela’s Other Crisis: A Justice System Dismantled From Within

WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde argues that Venezuela's judicial system has become increasingly politicized, reflecting a society in which “rule by law” is taking precedence over “rule of law.”

Latest Border Stats Point to Heavy Child, Family Migration in 2015

WOLA Senior Associate for Regional Security Adam Isacson takes a look at the latest official figures from Border Patrol, which suggest that while the numbers have fallen since 2014, 2015 is still on track to see a major wave of child and family migration from Mexico and Central America.

Latin America Drug Policy Dialogue 2014: Santa Marta

At the 11th Informal Drug Policy Dialogue, civil society experts and government officials came together to discuss preparations for the UNGASS in 2016.

WOLA Program Director Geoff Thale Testifies at House Hearing on Cuba

In his February 5 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Thale provided policymakers with a look at the concrete benefits that increased engagement with Cuba will bring to the island's people.

Letter to U.S. policymakers highlights violence against Colombia labor, human rights defenders

U.S. government must take action to protect the lives of prominent Colombian defenders
In a letter to U.S. policymakers, WOLA describes recent threats and attacks against human and labor rights defenders, and outlines key steps that must be taken to protect their safety.

5 Questions Ahead of Uribe's Possible Washington Visit

Colombian media have reported that former president and peace process critic Alvaro Uribe may be coming to Washington. Here are five questions for the occasion:
Colombia's former president is the most vocal critic of peace talks with guerrillas, and he plans to bring that message to Washington. Should he do so, now-Senator Uribe should be prepared to answer some tough questions about his positions and his tactics. Here are some suggestions.

Mexico: it's Too Early to Close the Ayotzinapa Case

The Mexican Government’s Actions Undermine the Rule of Law
While Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto clearly wants to put the Ayotzinapa case behind him, there are far too many unanswered questions to declare the investigation over.

What’s in the Billion-Dollar Aid Request for Central America?

The proposed aid package would mostly benefit civilian institutions over "drug war" priorities. Here's how it breaks down:
On February 2 the State Department asked Congress for US$1 billion in new aid to Central America for 2016. While we await more details, the aid proposal seems to recognize the need to address the full range of root causes driving violence and lack of opportunity—and thus forced migration—in Central America's "Northern Triangle."