Central America

The brutal civil war conflicts of the 1980s are over but violence is rising from other sources in Central America.  Democratic institutions remain 
fragile and governments have been unable (and sometimes unwilling) to
 spur equitable development, curtail corruption, or combat 
increasing criminal activity.



WOLA works with colleagues in Central America and the international community to prevent violence, support police reform and combat organized crime.  We monitor the impact of assistance and trade agreements on labor rights and 
sustainable economic development.  We support on-going efforts to establish the conditions for free and fair elections and to bring justice for human rights violations.

Key Program Themes:

Violence, Insecurity and Corruption

We work with regional partners for comprehensive reform that addresses the root causes of violence and ensure effective, accountable police and judicial systems that protect both the rights and the security of citizens.

U.S. and International Aid to Central America

As it makes its way through Congress, WOLA is closely following a historic aid request to the countries of Central America, a proposal which—if invested wisely—could address the underlying factors that have fueled record migration from the region in recent years.

Youth and Job Creation

Targeted efforts to generate employment opportunities among youth in the region can pay off in a big way, and can help reduce the crime and violence that compel minors to make the dangerous decision to migrate to the United States.

Human Rights in Central America

Human rights violations in the region, especially by the police and armed forces, have risen dramatically in recent years. See our work to promote human rights in Central America.

 

Central America News & Analysis

Historic Breakthrough in the Case of Jesuits Murdered in El Salvador in 1989

What a U.S court’s decision to extradite a high-ranking military officer could mean for justice and human rights in El Salvador
Analysis & Commentary
After almost thirty years of impunity, there may finally be some measure of justice for the six Jesuit priests and two women murdered by the Salvadoran military in San Salvador in 1989.

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 Future at Home: Investing in Youth Opportunity in Central America

Analysis & Commentary
Today, WOLA is releasing a report that focuses on the lack of opportunity for youth in the Northern Triangle of Central America. As the U.S. begins discussions on its FY2017 budget, the report sheds light on what needs to be done to provide opportunities for youth.

Historic Extradition in Emblematic Case of Murdered Jesuit Priests in El Salvador

News
Salvadoran Colonel Orlando Montano will be extradited to Spain, where he will stand trial for his role in planning the murders of six Jesuit priests and two women in San Salvador in 1989.