All Content: Crime & Violence

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

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.

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.

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

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

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
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
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

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

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.

Creating Peace on the Ground in Two of Colombia’s Conflict Hot Spots: Chocó and Buenaventura

In this taped event on human rights in Colombia, leading human rights defenders share on-the-ground information on the Colombian conflict and identify ways the international community can support peace.

Marijuana Legalization is an Opportunity to Modernize International Drug Treaties

In a this report published jointly by WOLA and the Brookings Institution, John Walsh and Wells Bennett analyze the new legal, regulated marijuana markets in the context of existing international drug treaties.

Wave of Threats Hit Colombian Human Rights Defenders

Month dubbed "Black September" for spike in death threats
Analysis & Commentary
In what has been dubbed “Black September,” over 150 death threats have been issued in the month of September against Colombian human rights defenders, journalists, and labor leaders.

New Developments along Mexico’s Southern Border

Mexico’s Government Deploys Additional Forces and Requests Funds for Southern Border Program
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA and Fundar provide an analysis of Mexico's stepped-up migration enforcement strategy at its southern border.

Mexico's New Southern Border Security Plan and New Police Force

An In-Depth Podcast with WOLA's Adam Isacson and Experts on the Ground
Over 3 days in August, Mexico's government announced a big new southern border security plan, and inaugurated a big new police force, the Gendarmería. Adam talks to six experts about both strategies and their likely effects.

Violence in Central America and Community-Based Responses

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.

WOLA's Adriana Beltrán's Testimony Before the Congressional Progressive Caucus

Analysis & Commentary
What drives a child or teenager to leave his or her home community in San Salvador or San Pedro Sula, and risk everything to make the extremely dangerous journey north? For many of these children, it is knowing how terrifying and potentially life threatening not going could be.