WOLA hosted a conference on Feb. 23rd with three D.C. organizations on local initiatives and new research on gang violence.
Voices From the Field: Local Initiatives and New Research on Central American
Youth Gang Violence
Voces de la experiencia: Iniciativas locales y estudios nuevos sobre la violencia juvenil en las maras centroamericanas
(Traducción de la conferencia en español será disponible)
February 2, 2005
We write to invite you to attend a conference on the problem of Central American youth gang violence to be held in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, February 23, 2005. Entitled “Voices from the Field: Local Initiatives and New Research on Youth Gang Violence in Central America” the conference will feature diverse speakers that work on prevention and rehabilitation initiatives with young people in Central America and other parts of the Americas, as well as present research both from Latin America and from the United States on ways to address the problem of youth gang violence. Professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights Rapporteur on Children’s Rights, will deliver a keynote address as will Dr. Malcolm Klein, of the University of Southern California.
The conference is organized by a coalition of organizations interested in the problem of Central American youth gang violence and in developing appropriate responses to it. The sponsoring organizations are the Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence and the host of its Secretariat the Pan American Health Organization, the Due Process of Law Foundation, and the Washington Office on Latin America.
A tentative agenda is below. The conference will be held on Wednesday, February 23rd, from 8:45 AM to 5:30 PM at the Pan American Health Organization, 525 23rd St, NW in Washington D.C (Metro: Foggy Bottom). In order to facilitate entry to the conference, you will need to confirm your attendance with Ms. Maria Kegel, (email: [email protected] telephone: 1-202-974-3575).
This is an important and timely conference. Youth gangs present a challenge to public health, security, and development throughout the Americas. Central American countries face particular challenges in fashioning responses that deal with these issues while maintaining respect for human rights and the rule of law. Youth gangs have emerged in response to the social and economic situation of young people in the region and programs of prevention and rehabilitation need to be crafted taking into account these realities. This is the first of a series of activities we are currently developing on this critical issue.
We look forward to seeing you on February 23rd.
Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence
 The Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence is a group of development agencies including the Inter-American Development Bank, Organization of American States, Pan American Health Organization, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, United States Agency for International Development, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Bank.
VOICES FROM THE FIELD:
Local Initiatives and New Research on Central American
Youth Gang Violence
February 23, 2005 – PAHO Conference Room A
9:00am Welcome: PAHO Representative
9:15am Opening Remarks: Lainie Reisman, Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence
9:30am Keynote Address: Prof Malcolm Klein, Emeritus Professor University of Southern California
10:15am Panel 1 – Promising Local Initiatives in Central America (20 minutes/speaker):
• El Salvador – Alex Sanchez and Eduardo Linares, Homies Unidos
• Guatemala – Emilio Goubaud, Alliance for the Prevention of Crime
• Honduras – Ernesto Bardales, Jovenes Hondureños Adelante, Juntos Avancemos
• Nicaragua – Comisionado Mayor Hamyn Gurdian, National Police Youth Unit
11:45am Comments and Discussion on Promising Initiatives
12:15pm Panel 2 – International Initiatives (5 minutes/speaker):
• Due Process of Law Foundation – Margaret Popkin
• Inter-American Development Bank – Juana Salazar
• Pan American Health Organization – Alberto Concha-Eastman/ Matilde Maddaleno
• Washington Office on Latin America – Geoff Thale
• Other Organizations – To be determined
2:00pm Keynote Address: Prof Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Inter-American Commission
for Human Rights
2:30pm Remarks, Questions and Answers
2:45pm Panel 3 – Emerging Sectoral Approaches (20 minutes/speaker):
• Law Enforcement – Chief Joseph Price, Northern VA Joint Task Force
• Public Health – Joan Serra Hoffman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Sociology of Gangs – Jose Miguel Cruz, Central American Univ. – UCA
• Employment/Private Sector – Manuel Jimenez, Suspect Entertainment LA
• Community Mobilization – Rubem Cesar Fernandes, VIVARIO (virtual)
4:30pm Comments and Discussion on Promising Practices – Panel 3
5:00pm Conclusions & Next Steps Discussion: Moderated by Rodrigo Guerrero, Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence