Regional Security Policy

...holding the military accountable to democracy

Latin America’s transition to democracy began thirty years ago, but overwhelming military influence continues to undermine progress. Too often, U.S. aid and engagement make matters worse, encouraging the region’s armed forces to take on domestic missions – from the drug war to development programs – that threaten democracy and human rights.

WOLA challenges the expanding role of the military in foreign and domestic policy making. We support accountable civilian control of defense forces, a clear separation between police and military functions, and peaceful collaboration to reduce threats and resolve conflicts.

Regional Security Policy News & Analysis

Citizen Security in Central America: Root Causes and New Approaches

The evolving U.S. response to violence in the Northern Triangle
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 First Glance at the 2017 Foreign Aid Request for Latin America

Aid would go up modestly, with most increases for Colombia
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA identifies US$1,784,379,000 in assistance specified for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017, based on the preliminary budget documents. This is a 9.5 percent increase over 2015 levels.

Migration through Mexico: A Humanitarian Emergency

Interactive Map Shows Impact of Mexico's Southern Border Program
Analysis & Commentary
Increased enforcement along Mexico’s southern border has raised concerns about potentially severe humanitarian consequences for thousands of Central Americans fleeing violence, poverty, and lack of opportunity. This map uses data, photos, and first-person accounts to show what’s happening at Mexico’s southern border.

Pope Francis to Address Migration during Upcoming Mexico Trip

WOLA Resources on Migration Issues along Mexico’s Southern and Northern Borders
In light of Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Mexico in which he will highlight migration through the country, WOLA is publishing an interactive map of Mexico’s southern border zone, an area that has become the site of a major U.S.-backed migration crackdown, raising serious humanitarian concerns.