Analysis & Commentary

The MCC Announcement in El Salvador

What It Says about U.S. Assistance to El Salvador and the Region
The signing of a long-stalled Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact between the United States and El Salvador sends a political signal that the Obama Administration is prepared to work with the newly installed FMLN President Salvador Sanchez Cerén.

U.S. Organizations Support Broad Inclusion of Victims’ Voices into Colombian Peace Process and Urge Protection for Victims and Defenders

Eight human rights organizations issued a statement expressing concern over recent threats against human rights defenders in Colombia.

Colombian Human Rights Defenders Receive Barrage of Threats, attacks as Protection Funds Dwindle

Over the past month, over 100 Colombian human rights defenders have received threats and attacks for their work.

With Enemies Like Cuba, Who Needs Friends?

Obama designates Cuba a U.S. enemy; meanwhile, our militaries cooperate
On September 5, the White House announced that the Obama administration had renewed Cuba's designation as an enemy of the United States. Ironically, at the same time that the announcement was made, our military was closely cooperating with the Cuban military to monitor an unresponsive aircraft that cruised into Cuban airspace.

Report: Washington's Marijuana Legalization Grows Knowledge, Not Just Pot

New WOLA/Brookings report analyzes legal marijuana program in Washington state
In this analysis of the legal and regulated marijuana program in Washington state, Philip Wallach finds that the state's most bold innovation is not the sale of marijuana, but rather its meticulous study of the historic experiment.

Five Questions about Mexico's New Southern Border Program

There is little clarity about the budget, scope, or operational strategy of Mexico’s new Southern Border Program. In the meantime, as Mexico moves forward with its plans to secure the southern border, here are five key questions.

Prison Reform in Latin America: The Costa Rican Experience

In June of 2014, WOLA's Citizen Security team invited a delegation of prison experts to Costa Rica to discuss strategies for prison reform and visit Costa Rica's penitentiary system as a case study.

Reforms and Contradictions in Ecuador’s Drug Policy

On August 11, 2014 a sweeping new penal code went into effect in Ecuador, which includes significant revisions to the country’s previous drug law. What do the changes mean, and how did they come about?