All Content: gangs

Jim DeMint’s Fear-Mongering About El Salvador

WOLA responds to the Heritage Foundation's scare tactics
Analysis & Commentary
DeMint and the Heritage Foundation substitute mud-slinging for serious analysis of El Salvador's upcoming presidential elections.

Mexico: One of the Most Dangerous Places to Practice Journalism

State of Veracruz Leads in Number of Killings Nationwide
Analysis & Commentary
Something sinister is happening in the Mexican state of Veracruz. This week, another journalist was murdered there, the tenth killed in Veracruz since current governor Javier Duarte took office in December 2010. Mexico continues to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

Obama-Santos Meeting Should Highlight Human, Labor Rights Issues in Colombia

Human Rights Groups Call on White House to Pressure Colombian President on Continued Rights Violations, Express Support for Peace
Analysis & Commentary
On December 3, 2013, President Obama will meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Obama should emphasize U.S. support for the peace process and press for more progress on human rights.

Public Security in El Salvador: Civilian Leadership and the Challenges Ahead

The Constitutional Court’s Dismissal of Generals Munguía Payés and Salinas
Analysis & Commentary
On Friday, May 17, the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador’s Supreme Court affirmed that the appointment of former General David Munguía Payés as Minister of Justice and Public Security and former General Francisco Salinas as director of the National Civilian Police violated the constitutional requirement that these posts be held by civilians.

One Year into the Gang Truce in El Salvador

Can the Funes Administration Turn the Fragile Truce into Sustainable Public Policy?
Analysis & Commentary
In March 2012, authorities in El Salvador facilitated a truce between the country’s two largest street gangs, MS-13 and the 18th Street gang. Homicide rates began to drop quickly after the truce was announced, going from around 14 murders a day to about five, and to many observers’ surprise, the truce has now lasted over a year.

Tracking International Anti-Crime and Violence Prevention Efforts in Central America

The Mapping of Internationally-Funded Citizen Security Projects in Central America is a joint initiative of WOLA and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to monitor international assistance from multilateral institutions, donor governments, and private foundations to support anti-crime and violence reduction programs in Central America.

WOLA's Human Rights Awards Highlight Strategies to Reduce Violence in Latin America

Today, September 19, 2012, WOLA honors Helen Mack, El Faro, and PASSOS Education and Training Center for their work at the front lines of citizen security in Central America.

WOLA's 2012 Human Rights Awards Ceremony & Benefit Gala

On September 19, WOLA presented its 2012 Human Rights Awards. This year, the theme of the award was Overcoming Violence: The New Human Rights Agenda. Watch the Awards Ceremony here.

WOLA Announces Recipients of its 2012 Human Rights Awards

Theme of Awards Addresses High Levels of Violence in Latin America
Today, WOLA announces the recipients of its 2012 Human Rights Awards. This year, the theme of the award is Overcoming Violence: The New Human Rights Agenda. WOLA’s Human Rights Awards will highlight inspiring efforts to confront the most pervasive challenge in Latin America today: the startlingly high levels of violence.

El Salvador's Gang Truce: In Spite of Uncertainty, an Opportunity to Strengthen Prevention Efforts

Analysis & Commentary
On March 10, imprisoned leaders of the two largest street gangs in El Salvador announced a truce, suspending violent conflicts between the two gangs. While many questions remain unanswered, the lull in violence and the dialogue between the gangs presents an opportunity to develop more comprehensive strategies.

WOLA Announces Winners of 2012 Human Rights Awards

This year's awards highlight courageous leaders working to overcome crime and violence in Latin America
The theme of this year’s award ceremony is “Overcoming Violence: The New Human Rights Agenda.” WOLA will honor three courageous and innovative leaders.

Public Security Challenges in El Salvador Today

Comments by Rep. James McGovern
Analysis & Commentary
In remarks at a recent forum on El Salvador sponsored by WOLA and the Moakley Institute at Suffolk University, Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) spoke about the public security crisis in El Salvador today, and what needs to be done to address the institutional challenges.

WOLA Laments Honduran Prison Tragedy, Calls for Reforms

This is a tragedy that could have been avoided. The Honduran government has long been on notice for the need for prison reforms.

Appointment of Former General as Head of El Salvador's Police Violates the Spirit of the Peace Accords

Does this represent a change in focus for the country's security policy?
For the second time during Funes' administration, a retired military officer has been put in charge of one of the country’s public security institutions.

WOLA: Promoting Human Rights, Democracy, and Social Justice

As the year winds to a close, we hope you will enjoy this video about how WOLA works with partners in the region to advance human rights in Latin America. If you have not done so, we hope you will consider making a donation to WOLA to support our continued efforts. Your support makes a difference.

Report Back from Central America's Security Conference

A conversation with Geoff Thale and Adriana Beltrán
WOLA Program Director Geoff Thale and Senior Associate Adriana Beltran were recently in Guatemala City, where Central America's presidents and international donors were discussing responses to Central America's severe citizen security challenges.

WOLA and IDB Release Most Comprehensive Study To Date on International Aid for Citizen Security in Central America

WOLA urges Central American governments and International Donors to use study as a tool for coordinating efforts
Details the international community's support for citizen security in Central America.

Civil Society Declaration to Central American Governments, SICA, and International Donor Community

The recommendations are the result of a day-long civil society forum on citizen security in Central America that achieved broad-based consensus.

Regional Leaders Meet in Guatemala to Discuss Central American Security Strategy

WOLA will be in attendance and urges leaders to consider a comprehensive approach to insecurity
Adriana Beltrán and Geoff Thale are coordinating with civil society experts from Central America to ensure that the viewpoints and experiences of those working on the ground in violence prevention and citizen security are taken into account in the new regional plan.

The Crisis of Crime and Violence in Central America: More than just Drugs and Gangs

Commentary by Program Director Geoff Thale
Analysis & Commentary
This week the "International Conference in Support of the Central American Security Strategy" will bring together Central American presidents and officials from multi-lateral banks and donor governments, including Hilary Clinton for the U.S. Attendees will debate a security strategy for the region, but how will leaders frame the issue?