All Content: Costa Rica

Women Behind Bars: Photo Essays Show The Human Cost of Current Drug Policies in the Americas

Analysis & Commentary
Across Latin America, the effects of disproportionate punishment for low-level, non-violent drug offenses are particularly severe for women. The following women were convicted and imprisoned for drug offenses in Colombia and Costa Rica. These are their stories.

World Leaders Convene in New York for Landmark UN Drug Summit as Opposition to Drug War Mounts

WOLA Experts will be in Attendance, Presenting at the UN
News
This week, world leaders are gathering at the United Nations in New York for the highest-level meeting on drug policy in nearly two decades.

Women are Bearing the Brunt of our Most Punitive Drug Policies

Analysis & Commentary
From Colombia to Thailand, drug policy reforms are urgently needed to end the mass incarceration of women for drug offences. Here’s what we can do about it.

Women, Drug Policies and Incarceration

Video
In this presentation at the OAS, human rights and legal experts present a new guide for policymakers designed to reduce the mass incarceration of women in Latin America.

Women, Drug Policies, and Incarceration in the Americas

A Joint Project to Promote More Humane and Effective Policies
Analysis & Commentary
In collaboration with gender and human rights organizations from throughout the world, IDPC, Dejusticia and WOLA have convened a group of leading experts to address the harmful effects of incarceration on women in the Americas.

The Societal Cost of Locking Up Women for Low-Level Drug Offenses

News
A working group of human rights experts, legal specialists, and government officials throughout Latin America has published a policy roadmap for the region to reduce the unjust levels of women’s incarceration for drug offenses.

New Studies Reveal Increase in Incarceration for Drug Offenses in the Americas

News
Despite the current debate in Latin America on the need to rethink drug policy, mass incarceration for nonviolent drug offenses has increased across the region.

The Impact of Drug Policy on Human Rights in the Americas

Video
Drug policy reformers from throughout the hemisphere present on how drug policies have violated human rights.

The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Women in the Americas: Opportunities for Sentencing Reform

Video
As part of a Congressional briefing sponsored by WOLA and the Open Society Policy Center, advocates for reform highlight the injustice and inefficacy of current drug law and sentencing reform.

The Impact of Drug Policy on Human Rights

The Experience in the Americas
Publication
This joint report analyzes the effects of drug policy in the Americas, including the militarization of law enforcement, the criminalization of consumption, the weakening of due process guarantees, mass incarceration, disproportionate penalties, and restrictions on access to health care.

Portraits from Prison Tell Stories of Women in the Drug War

Portraits from Prison Tell Stories of Women in the Drug War
Analysis & Commentary
Across the Americas, repressive drug policies make easy targets of small-scale dealers and people who use drugs, while doing little to thwart large-scale traffickers or organized crime.

Women Across the Americas Incarcerated for Minor, Non-Violent, Drug-Related Crimes at an Alarming Rate

Photo Essay and Website Shed New Light on the Societal Cost of Failed Policies
News
Today, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), and the Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) announce the launch of a new investigative website and photo essay to shed light on the human and societal cost of current drug policies in the Americas.

The Study of Safe and Inclusive Cities in Latin America

Video
On May 14, WOLA and AU hosted a panel discussion on conceptual and methodological advances in research addressing pressing urban issues in Latin America.

Obama Administration’s Budget Request for Central America a Welcome Step

Smart Investments Must Target Corruption, Endemic Violence, and Poverty
News
On Monday, the Obama Administration will release its FY2016 budget request, including a $1 billion fund for Central America, aimed at assisting the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador in addressing the root causes of migration from the region.

Advocating for Drug Policy Reform at the United Nations

UNGASS in 2016 will offer the highest-level debate on drug policy in recent history
Analysis & Commentary
In April 2016, the United Nations will convene a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) specifically related to drugs. Click here to learn more about what WOLA is hoping the historic event will achieve, and what we're doing to make our goals a reality.

Advocating for Drug Policy Reform at the United Nations

Analysis & Commentary
Learn more about what kind of drug policy reform WOLA is advocating for at the UNGASS in 2016

WOLA Guantanamo Fact Sheet

Analysis & Commentary
On December 7, 2014, six detainees were transferred from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo to Uruguay. The detainees had been cleared for transfer by the special Guantanamo Periodic Review Board, which determined that their release would not represent a security threat.

WOLA Endorses Uruguayan Candidate for Next OAS Secretary General

Foreign Minister Luis Almagro is a Great Candidate to Ensure Human Rights in the Hemisphere
News
WOLA is pleased to announce its endorsement of Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro in his candidacy to be the next Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). WOLA believes that Minister Almagro is a great candidate to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law in the region.

Violence in Central America and Community-Based Responses

Video
In this taped event, José Miguel Cruz, Louis-Alexandre Berg, and WOLA's Adriana Beltrán discuss gang violence in Central America and the role of international donors, governments, and civil society in reducing violence and insecurity in Central America.

Prison Reform in Latin America: The Costa Rican Experience

Analysis & Commentary
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.