All Content: security policy

This Report on Colombia's Lessons Has a Lot of Problems

A U.S. military school's report draws dangerous conclusions from inaccurate facts
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA finds numerous inaccuracies in a report from the Joint Special Operations University about the U.S. experience in Colombia. An attached PDF highlights problems with the report, which attacks human rights defenders and issues dangerous recommendations for U.S. military engagement worldwide.

Human Rights in Mexico: Recent Abuses Highlight Persistent Challenges

Video
Recent cases in Iguala, Guerrero and Tlatlaya, State of Mexico raise serious concerns about the actions of Mexico's security forces and the government's commitment to respect human rights, end impunity, and combat corruption.

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

Video
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.

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
Publication
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.

Is the International Community Ready for Post-Conflict Colombia?

Report-back on a research visit to Bogotá: the answer is "no, not yet"
Analysis & Commentary
In perhaps a year, donor countries, UN agencies, and multilateral bodies will be compelled to shift gears, increasing and reorienting their aid packages for Colombia. Are they ready to do that? Is the Colombian government helping them to prepare? What will the most urgent needs be?

Will More Funds for Border Security Address the Crisis of Central American Children at the Border?

Spending even more on border security, or sending the National Guard, will not resolve the unaccompanied minors crisis
Analysis & Commentary
There are already enough Border Patrol resources at the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress does not need to add more: Customs and Border Protection needs to distribute them to respond to the current situation. We *absolutely* do not need to take the drastic step of a new National Guard deployment.

May Afro-Colombian Update

In Letter to Policymakers, WOLA Highlights Continued Abuses
Analysis & Commentary
Despite the promise of a peace accord, the current situation for Afro-Colombians remains dire, as WOLA outlines in a May 2014 letter to policymakers.

Ending 50 Years of Conflict in Colombia: A New Report from WOLA

The Challenges Ahead and the U.S. Role
Publication
As the likelihood of an accord increases, the United States--which provided billions for Colombia's war effort--must prepare to help consolidate peace.

WOLA Experts Visited Chocó, Colombia: Blogs from the Field

Adam Isacson's posts about conflict, displacement, illegal mining, U.S. policy - and the region's vibrant civil society
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA Senior Associate Adam Isacson's posts and photos from the road during a March 2014 trip to Chocó, in northwestern Colombia. Topics include the conflict's impact on Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, forced displacement, illegal mining, U.S. policy – and the need to defend and work with the region's vibrant civil society.

Bullets from Brazil: Growing Military Industrialism in Latin America

Analysis & Commentary
Latin America has developed a substantial indigenous defense industry able to market its products beyond the Western Hemisphere and across the globe. This has raised a number of issues about who the end users of the weapons are, the impact of the weapons on regional stability, and their potential for abuse.

Colombia, the United States, and Security Cooperation by Proxy

An emerging security cooperation model: Colombia is training third countries with U.S. funds
Publication
Colombia is increasingly training third countries' militaries and police forces, often with U.S. funds. This trend raises concerns about transparency, human rights, civilian control, and replication of a highly questioned "drug war model." This report presents new information about this growing practice.

Border Security and Migration: A Report from Arizona

Publication
In one of the busiest areas of the U.S.-Mexico border, WOLA heard of increased migration, unsafe deportation practices, stubbornly high levels of migrant deaths, and increasing drug trafficking.

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.

Open letter to Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas

Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA IV)
Analysis & Commentary
In this letter, human rights organizations from throughout the hemisphere call for drug law reform on the eve of the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security (MISPA).

Colombia Peace Process Update

A progress report on the dialogues
Analysis & Commentary
A progress report on the dialogues taking place in Havana between Colombia's government and the FARC guerrillas. Main issues: an agreement on political participation, concerns about transitional justice, the upcoming political campaign, drug policy, U.S. policy, and victims.

Promoting Peace, Labor Rights, and Social Inclusion in Colombia

WOLA November Colombia Update
Analysis & Commentary
Over the past several months, WOLA has worked with policymakers in DC and grassroots organizations in Colombia to ensure U.S. and Colombian laws protect human rights and promote social justice.

Bolivia is not a Narco-state

Analysis & Commentary
While it continues to struggle with drug trafficking, Bolivia has made large steps reducing coca cultivation and cocaine production in recent years.

The Human Rights Landscape in Colombia: Adam Isacson's testimony before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Testimony of Adam Isacson before the House of Representatives' Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Analysis & Commentary
Colombia is negotiating to end a conflict that has killed 220,000 people in the past 55 years. Adam Isacson, WOLA senior associate for regional security policy, gives a 360-degree overview of the conflict, the negotiations, security challenges, and human rights, in testimony before the House of Representatives' Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Time to Abandon Coca Fumigation in Colombia

Peace talks with guerrillas may make possible a long-overdue end to a bad policy
Analysis & Commentary
Fumigation has contributed only modestly to reduced coca growing: while the coca plots were disappearing since 2007, the use of fumigation was also dropping. The program, meanwhile, has proved costly to other conflict stabilization and governance goals.

Challenges to Land Restitution in Colombia

A conversation with Winifred Tate
Publication
The Colombian government's peace and land restitution efforts are meeting stiff resistance from elites in much of the country. Adam talks to Winifred Tate of Colby College about this dynamic.