All Content: Crime & Violence

Digging for the Truth: Access to Information about Forced Disappearances in Wartime El Salvador

Video
A discussion with Salvadoran-American children survivors of forced disappearances and human rights advocates from the United States and El Salvador on the situation of forced disappearances during the civil war in El Salvador and the state of impunity permeating the judicial system today.

Citizen Security Strategies, Hardline Policing, and Human Rights Issues in El Salvador

Video
In this panel discussion, experts discuss the current security dynamic in El Salvador, the policies and measures being implemented by the Sanchéz Ceren administration, and the role of the Attorney General.

What Can be Learned from Brazil’s “Pacification” Police Model?

Analysis & Commentary
The successes and failures of Rio de Janeiro's Police Pacification Units offers important lessons learned for other countries in the region looking to move away from "mano dura" security policies.

WOLA Condemns the Assassination of Berta Cáceres, Honduran Human Rights Defender

News
WOLA condemns the assassination this morning of Berta Cáceres, renowned environmental activist and human rights defender.

Citizen Security in Central America: Root Causes and New Approaches

The evolving U.S. response to violence in the Northern Triangle
Publication
A look at some of the concerns in Congress and elsewhere about political will, corruption, and human rights, and discuss strategies that can help Central Americans feel safer where they live—without repeating the ineffective and military-heavy approaches of the past

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.

U.S. Increases Central America Aid, But It’s No Blank Check

Analysis & Commentary
New conditions on U.S. aid to Central America show that the fight against corruption, the protection of human rights, and the strengthening of public institutions are high on Congress' agenda. Now it is up to the governments of Central America to demonstrate a similar commitment.

What's Next for Venezuela?

Video
Now that the Venezuelan opposition has won a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, major changes are on the horizon. Will the opposition push for a recall referendum of President Nicolas Maduro? How might the government try to work around the opposition? Can both sides come together to address the country's biggest issues?

Using Militaries as Police in Latin America: A Discussion on Citizen Security and the Way Forward

Video
Why have governments in Central America turned to their troops to provide domestic security? A WOLA-Center for International Policy (CIP) forum assesses how this trend affects populations, overall security, and civil-military relations.

Ending Coca Fumigation in Colombia is the Right Call

Can Colombia Now Seize the Opportunity to Create a More Humane and Sustainable Approach to Reducing Coca Cultivation?
Analysis & Commentary
As the decades-long program of spraying coca crops with herbicides comes to an end, WOLA reflects on the history of flawed policy and what should replace it.

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.

Even if Glyphosate Were Safe, Fumigation in Colombia Would Be a Bad Policy. Here's Why.

Analysis & Commentary
On April 27, Colombia's Health Ministry called on the government to end aerial spraying of coca crops over concerns that it could cause cancer. But even if it was safe, spraying is an absolutely ineffective policy.

Extending the CICIG: A Blow to Impunity in Guatemala

News
The extension of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) is an excellent opportunity for Guatemala to continue the fight against organized crime and strengthen the rule of law.

UNASUR Mission to Venezuela Must Call for Respect for Human Rights, Promote Dialogue

WOLA joins 32 regional organizations in highlighting recommendations for the upcoming visit by UNASUR ministers
News
In a letter to the foreign ministers of Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador, WOLA joins 32 other NGOs in calling on the upcoming UNASUR delegation to promote inclusive dialogue and call for the respect of human rights.

After Decades of Neglect, a Promising New U.S. Strategy for Central America?

Analysis & Commentary
In this post to The Hill's Congress Blog, WOLA Senior Associates Adriana Beltrán and Marc Hanson argue that Central American aid should go to groups and governments with real political will to tackle inequality, corruption, and violence.

The Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico: Challenges and Opportunities

New WOLA and PBI Report
News
While recognizing the importance of the Mechanism and the valuable work its staff carries out, this report identifies several areas for improvement, drawing on a series of case studies to illustrate these weaknesses.

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:
Analysis & Commentary
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."

Explosion Negra: Promoting Peace in Colombia Through Hip-Hop

Video
In this taped interview, renowned Colombian hip-hop group Explosión Negra (Black Explosion) share how, through music, they are contributing to the creation of a Colombia at peace.

WOLA/LAWG Statement on Meeting with Colombian National Protection Unit Director

Analysis & Commentary
Following their meeting with Colombia's National Protection Unit, WOLA and the Latin America Working Group issued the following statement on the challenges facing the state entity.

Calls for Justice Continue on 10th Anniversary of Soto Murder in El Salvador

News
This year marks 10th anniversary of the assassination of Gilberto Soto, a representative of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters who was killed while visiting El Salvador. WOLA joins the Teamsters and human rights groups in decrying the lack of action by the Salvadoran government on the case.