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 Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)

WOLA closely follows the work of the CICIG, and believes that it has proven itself to be an innovative model for strengthening the 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

Five Facts about Migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle

Migration is Driven by Violence and Insecurity; Deportations are Inhumane and Put Returnees at Risk
Analysis & Commentary
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's recent raids targeting Central American families fail to address the violence and insecurity causing these populations to flee in record numbers. WOLA provides five facts about migration from Central America's Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras since 2014.

Ghosts of Past Violence Haunt Guatemala’s New President

Analysis & Commentary
As Jimmy Morales assumes the presidency in Guatemala, the recent arrest of 18 high-ranking retired military officers for war crimes highlights the need to continue tackling corruption and impunity in the country and region.

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.

Statement by Representative Jim McGovern on Ending Corruption and Impunity in Honduras

News
In a recent statement on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) spoke about the need for Honduras to end corruption and impunity.