WOLA’s work on Mexico looks behind today’s headline stories of drug violence and immigration.  Our years of experience with in-country partners gives us unique expertise to address the way the historic weakness of Mexico’s democratic institutions contribute to today’s problems. 

WOLA works to expose the causes of violence on the border and elsewhere, and to address the lack of development that fuels migration. We monitor U.S. security assistance to Mexico, seeking to steer funding priorities toward reform for an effective legal system, police that citizens can trust, and security officers who are held responsible for their actions.  WOLA provides support to Mexican organizations seeking justice for victims who have faced human rights violations.

Key Program Themes:

Migration and Border Security

Click here to see WOLA’s work on dangers that migrants face in transit in Mexico and while attempting to cross the border, as well as analysis of U.S. border security policy.

Justice and Police Reform in Mexico

Reducing violence in Mexico requires addressing widespread corruption and institutional weakness in Mexico’s judicial system and police. Click here to see WOLA’s work on these issues. 

Human Rights in Mexico

Human rights violations by Mexico’s security forces, especially police and armed forces, have risen dramatically in recent years. Click here to see WOLA’s work to promote human rights. 

U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation

Since 2008, the United States has provided Mexico almost two billion dollars in aid through the State Department’s Merida Initiative, as well as hundreds of millions dollars of military assistance through the Department of Defense. Click here to see WOLA’s analysis on security cooperation between the two nations. 

Mexico News & Analysis

Migrant Shelters and Human Rights Organizations Seek Protection and Justice for Migrants and Refugees in Mexico in New Report

New report explains how the Southern Border Program has significantly increased migration enforcement operations, apprehensions, and deportations of migrants, which has led to an increase in human rights violations against migrants.

Joint Report: Justice for Crimes and Human Rights Violations against Migrants and Refugees in Mexico

The report is based on a series of visits to migrant shelters and organizations, interviews with staff and migrants, interviews with local authorities, and a thorough review of the migrant shelters’ case documentation.

Mexico's Migration Crackdown Creates Spike in Apprehensions, Dangerous Shifts in Migrant Routes

New WOLA Report Reveals that Increased Enforcement Leaves Migrants More Vulnerable in Southern Mexico
Far from deterring migrants from making the journey north, the most notable effects of Mexico’s Southern Border Program have been a significant uptick in apprehensions and changes in where and how migrants are traveling.

New Report: Increased Enforcement at Mexico’s Southern Border

An Update on Security, Migration, and U.S. Assistance
Analysis & Commentary
Far from deterring migrants from making the journey north, the most notable effect of Mexico’s migration crackdown has been changes in how migrants are traveling.