Matthew Bocanumenth is the Program Associate for the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), where he conducts research, carries out joint advocacy initiatives with partners throughout the region, and coordinates outreach with U.S. policymakers and diplomats.
His work on the Colombia program helps WOLA’s Director for the Andes monitor the country’s peace process, with a specialized focus on Afro-descendant, Indigenous, women’s, and LGBT+ rights. He also supports WOLA’s Director for Defense Oversight, who closely tracks U.S. security assistance to Colombia.
Bocanumenth previously served as WOLA’s Colombia and Border & Migration Program Assistant. In 2021, he spent six months in El Paso, Texas, where he volunteered with Annunciation House and the Hope Border Institute to support their efforts in providing a safe, orderly, and humane welcome to thousands of asylum seekers enrolled in the Remain in Mexico program. He also helped design and launch WOLA’s Con Líderes Hay Paz campaign about the urgent need to protect social leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia.
Prior to joining WOLA in 2020, Bocanumenth worked with Freedom House as their International Programs Associate and also interned with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in Bogotá. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida, with a double major in International and Area Studies and Political Science and a minor in Spanish. He also spent a semester studying at Universidad de los Andes to conduct research for his undergraduate thesis, which tackled an urgent question for the peace process in Colombia and for post-conflict stabilization in general—collectively reintegrating former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) into civil society.