Washington, D.C.—The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading organization promoting human rights, democracy, and social justice in Latin America, announced today the recipients of its 2012 Human Rights Awards. The theme of this year’s award ceremony is “Overcoming Violence: The New Human Rights Agenda.” WOLA will honor three courageous and innovative leaders:
- Helen Mack for her persistent commitment to reforming and professionalizing the police and judicial systems in Guatemala.
- El Faro for investigative journalism that shines a spotlight on corruption and organized crime.
- PASSOS Education and Training Center for pioneering community programs with at-risk youth in El Salvador to stop crime before it starts.
“Our honorees this year inspire us with their courage to confront some of the most difficult challenges in Latin America today. These individuals and organizations are working on the frontlines—often at great risk—to prevent violence, expose corruption, and build effective police forces and systems of justice in Central America,” said WOLA’s Executive Director, Joy Olson. “The right to live a life free from violence is fundamental. Our honorees this year are pioneering new approaches that reduce crime and violence in Latin America.”
The WOLA 2012 Human Rights Awards recipients represent three key components of a comprehensive citizen security strategy: prevention, exposure of criminal networks, and effective institutions that can guarantee both justice and security.
The awards will be given on September 19, 2012 in Washington, D.C. at WOLA’s Annual Human Rights Awards Ceremony and Gala.
About WOLA and its award:
Since 1974, WOLA promotes human rights, democracy, and social justice by working with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to shape policies in the United States and abroad.
WOLA’s human rights award was created in 2006 with the hope of inspiring future generations to work toward the advancement of human rights and social justice in Latin America. The award is offered annually to honor organizations and/or individuals whose unique contributions are making a difference in Latin America today. Past award winners include actor Gael García Bernal, Former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, the Association of Internally Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES), the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center from Mexico, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, among others.
Kristel Mucino, WOLA Communications Director
+1 (202) 797-2171, [email protected]