Citizen Security

...pioneering new approaches to prevent and combat crime and violence

Latin American countries face some of the highest rates of crime and violence in the world. WOLA works for comprehensive reform that addresses the root causes of violence and ensures effective, accountable police and judicial systems. With partners in the region, we advocate reforms that protect both the rights and the security of citizens.

Key Program Themes:

• Monitoring U.S. Aid

WOLA is closely following a record billion-dollar U.S. aid request for the countries of Central America, which—if invested wisely—could address the insecurity that has fueled migration from the region in recent years.

• The International Commision Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)

WOLA closely follows the work of the CICIG, and believes that it has proven itself to be a model for strengthening the domestic, regional and international rule of law.

• Police, Justice and Prison Reform

Rampant corruption, inadequate accountability mechanisms, and weak police and judicial systems contribute to the insecurity in the region. WOLA promotes comprehensive reforms that both protect citizen security and respect human rights.

• Violence Prevention

WOLA supports responses to violent crime that include prevention programs that help young people in difficult situations meet their own needs, intervention programs that offer alternatives for those most attracted to gang life, rehabilitation for those who wish to leave gangs, and law enforcement that deters crime and reduces violence. 

Citizen Security News & Analysis

Is the Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S. Border Still Ongoing?

Massive Migration Will Continue Until Root Causes Are Addressed
Analysis & Commentary
In the July 1 issue of the Inter-American Dialogue's Latin America Advisor, WOLA Senior Associate for Citizen Security Adriana Beltrán asked if the humanitarian crisis that began along the border in 2014 had ended. According to her, however, it is still raging.

Security, Transparency, and Accountability in El Salvador and Honduras

Video
On June 30, guests from El Salvador and Honduras will discuss challenges to security, transparency, and accountability in the Northern Triangle.

Youth Violence and Resilience in Honduras and Northeast Africa

Video
On June 22, WOLA and partner organizations discussed youth violence and resilience in Honduras and Northeast Kenya.

Guatemala Corruption Scandals Signal End of Era of Impunity

Analysis & Commentary
The uncovering of a series of massive corruption scandals in Guatemala has sparked a succession of widespread public protests. This could be an opportunity to push for political and institutional reforms to root out corruption and strengthen Guatemalan institutions.