All Content: U.S. Assistance

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.

Which Central American Military and Police Units Get the Most U.S. Aid?

Analysis & Commentary
In 2016, Central American military and police forces will receive more U.S. assistance than they have in over a decade. Here's what we know.

What’s in the Administration’s 2017 Central America Aid Request?

Analysis & Commentary
The Obama administration's fiscal year 2017 foreign aid budget request again includes substantial assistance for Central America to help address the violence, weak governance, and lack of economic opportunity driving migration from the region.

WOLA Launches Central America Aid Monitor

New initiative will evaluate efforts against corruption, violence, and impunity in the Northern Triangle
News
WOLA's Central America Aid Monitor will track and evaluate how U.S. aid is being used to address the problems of corruption, violence, and impunity that have plagued the region in recent years.

"Peace Colombia": What's New About It?

A walk-through of the 2017 aid request, and the likely congressional debate
Analysis & Commentary
While an important and necessary improvement over past U.S. aid, "Peace Colombia" is a smaller, and more military-focused, program than it should be. The new package is different than what came before, but not radically different.

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

A First Glance at the 2017 Foreign Aid Request for Latin America

Aid would go up modestly, with most increases for Colombia
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA identifies US$1,784,379,000 in assistance specified for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017, based on the preliminary budget documents. This is a 9.5 percent increase over 2015 levels.

President Obama’s Executive Actions Limit Gun Trafficking Loopholes

Actions Will Help Keep Guns out of the Wrong Hands at Home and Abroad
News
President Barack Obama has signed new executive actions that will boost enforcement of existing gun laws and make it harder for illegal traffickers to avoid background checks by obtaining guns online or at gun shows.

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.

Colombian Activists Face Alarming Security Crisis

United States Must Act to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Activists
News
An alarming number of human rights defenders have been killed this year in Colombia. WOLA urges U.S. policymakers to use the human rights conditions on military aid to Colombia to protect their lives.

Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats: A Discussion of the Policy Debate that Led to Plan Colombia

Video
Join us for a conversation with Professor Winifred Tate as she examines the U.S. policymaking process in the design, implementation, and assessment of the Plan Colombia aid package in her newly released book "Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats."

Obama’s Billion Dollar Aid Request to Central America: How has it changed?

Analysis & Commentary
The latest bills from Congress cut back on President Obama’s aid request while increasing military assistance. Here is an update of current funding proposals for Central America.

WOLA Announces Recipients of its 2015 Human Rights Awards

Honors to be given at 10th Annual Gala on October 28 in Washington, D.C.
News
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) is proud to announce the recipients of its prestigious Human Rights Awards for 2015 on the 10th anniversary of the awards.

The House Defense Bill Would Give Central America US$50 Million In New Military Aid

The proposed aid, not part of the "Alliance for Prosperity," follows the old drug-war model
Analysis & Commentary
The House Armed Services Committee threw an extra US$50 million in drug war aid for Central America into the 2016 Defense bill.

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.

A Historic Summit of the Americas

Cuba Participation and New Prospects for U.S. Engagement with the Region
News
The upcoming Summit of the Americas will be the first such gathering attended by the government of Cuba, and presents new opportunities for the future of U.S.-Latin American relations.

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.

New Threats against Afro-Colombian Communities, Human and Labor Rights Groups Raise Concern

In a note to policymakers, WOLA documents new human and labor rights violations
Analysis & Commentary
U.S. officials must take action in the wake of continued threats against human and labor rights defenders in Colombia.

WOLA Monitoring the Administration's Central America Aid Request

Smart Investment Means Effectively Targeting Corruption, Violence, and Poverty
Analysis & Commentary
As it makes its way through Congress, WOLA is closely following the Obama administration's historic billion-dollar aid request to Central America for FY2016, a proposal which—if invested wisely—could address the underlying factors that have fueled record migration from the region in recent years.

Álvaro Uribe Addresses WOLA’s 5 Questions on the Colombian Peace Process

In his recent Washington visit, former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe addressed —but failed to fully respond to— WOLA’s five questions about his opposition to the Colombian peace process.
Analysis & Commentary