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. and International Aid to Central America

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.

Fighting Corruption & Exposing Impunity

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.

Enhancing Accountability: Police and Justice 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.

Preventing Violence and Tackling Insecurity

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

Guatemala Must Guarantee Safety of Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez and Defend Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law

WOLA expresses its deep concern over the threats and intimidation made against Guatemalan judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, who is currently hearing the landmark "La Linea" corruption case.

Arrests in Berta Cáceres Case: A Positive Step, but Justice and Truth Must Be Guaranteed

WOLA calls on the government of Honduras to accept the participation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the case of Berta Cáceres.

Legal Attacks on Salvadoran Journalist Héctor Silva Have a Chilling Effect on Freedom of Expression

The defamation lawsuit against Silva appears to be an effort to intimidate and discourage Silva from continuing his investigative reporting.

Digging for the Truth: Access to Information about Forced Disappearances in Wartime El Salvador

A discussion with Salvadoran-American children survivors of forced disappearances and human rights advocates from the United States and El Salvador on the situation of forced disappearances during the civil war in El Salvador and the state of impunity permeating the judicial system today.