Adriana Beltrán leads WOLA’s Citizen Security Program, focusing on violence prevention, and police and judicial reform in Central America. In addition to her work on citizen security, Ms. Beltrán has worked extensively on human rights and organized crime, particularly in Guatemala.
She is the co-author of the ground-breaking study Hidden Powers, which documents the rise and impact of clandestine criminal organizations in Guatemala following the 1996 Peace Accords.
Ms. Beltrán was a long-time advocate for the establishment of a UN-sponsored commission to investigate and prosecute organized criminal networks -- an effort that culminated in the creation of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in January 2008. She continues to be actively engaged in ensuring local and international support for the CICIG’s fight against organized crime and institutional corruption.
Protect and Serve? The Status of Police Reform, authored by Ms. Beltrán, compares efforts to establish professional, rights-respecting police forces in Central America. She continues to be involved in the police reform process in El Salvador and Guatemala.
In an effort to address the ongoing surge of crime and violence in Central America, Ms. Beltran is managing a project to facilitate greater coordination of citizen security programs that are funded by the international community. This work, conducted in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is the first of its kind in Central America.
She also monitors U.S. security assistance to Central America through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI).
Before joining WOLA in 1998, she interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Ms. Beltrán was born and raised in Colombia.
- B.A. Loras College, International Studies and Political Science
- Battling Organized Crime in Guatemala (co-author), Americas Quarterly Fall 2010
- Protect and Serve? The Status of Police Reform in Central America
- The Captive State: Organized Crime and Human Rights in Latin America
- Advocates against Impunity: A Case Study on Human Rights Organizing in Guatemala (Contributing editor)
- Hidden Powers in Post-conflict Guatemala: Illegal Armed Groups and the Forces Behind Them (co-author).
- New York Times Letter to the Editor - February 25, 2015 - Aid to Central America
- The Hill Blog - February 6, 2015 - (co-author) After decades of neglect, a promising new US strategy for Central America?
- Vox - December 9, 2014 - This stunning map shows tens of thousands of people have disappeared in Mexico since 2007
- Associated Press - November 19, 2014 - Police: Miss Honduras, sister slain in jealous fit
Vox - August 30, 2014 - Has the drug war contributed to violence around the world?
Inter Press Service - August 18, 2014 - Despite Current Debate, Police Militarization Goes Beyond U.S. Borders
Inter Press Service - August 15, 2014 - U.S. Urged to Put Development Aid Over Border Security
The Washington Post - July 25, 2014 - Could kids fleeing Central America be sent back to face more gang violence?
Vox - July 23, 2014 - How the war on drugs drives the child migrant crisis
The Latino Post - July 23, 2014 - What's really driving the influx of children from Central America?
Forbes - March 31, 2014 - What Should Investors Know About Security Issues On Mexico's OTHER Border?
- Huffington Post - February 5, 2014 - Guatemala: Calling on the International Community
- Fox News Latino - January 27, 2014 - With Drug Cartels Encroaching, Life Has Hardened on the Mexico-Guatemala Border
- Latin Pulse - December 5, 2013 - Elections in Honduras
- WLRN - November 22, 2013 - Haunted Hondurans: Fleeing the Most Violent Place on Earth
- Financial Times - November 22, 2013 - Presidential poll on knife edge in Honduran 'narcostate'
- KGOU World Views - November 15, 2013 - Guatemala's Judicial System
- The Wall Street Journal - March 10, 2013 - Cocaine Traffickers Target Costa Rica
- Inter Press Service - May 3, 2012 - U.S. Should Double Aid to Curb Violence in Central America: Report
- AFP - January 27, 2012 - Militar al frente de policía en El Salvador viola acuerdos de paz
- El Mundo (El Salvador) - January 27, 2012 - EE.UU. cuestiona llegada de militar a a Policía
- Univisión - January 23, 2012 - Guatemala: New president Perez Molina deploys army against drug cartels
- BBC Mundo - January 14, 2012 - Tres retos del nuevo presidente de Guatemala
- The Kojo Nnamdi Show (WAMU) - November 14, 2011 - Cold War Redux? Politics and Crime in Central America
- Reuters - November 7, 2011 - Retired general sweeps to power in Guatemala election
- The New York Times - November 6, 2011 - Former General Elected President of Guatemala
- The Washington Post - November 5, 2011 - Guatemala, Nicaragua go to the polls
- The Christian Science Monitor - June 24, 2011 - US boosts funds to fight Central American drug crime
- AFP - June 9, 2011 - Centroamérica busca fondos para ganar guerra a crimen organizado
- Americas Quarterly - November 4, 2010 - Battling Organized Crime in Guatemala
- EFE - April 10, 2007 - WOLA critica 'la incapacidad' de México y Guatemala para combatir la violencia contra la mujer
- Los Angeles Times - March 11, 2007 - In Central America, crime is king
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