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News and analysis of politics, security, development and U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the Washington Office on Latin America.

News and analysis of politics, security, development and U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the Washington Office on Latin America.
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News and analysis of politics, security, development and U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the Washington Office on Latin America.




June 25, 2018: What We Saw at the Border

WOLA's Adam Isacson, Maureen Meyer, and Adeline Hite were at the Arizona-Mexico border last week amid the furor over the Trump administration's zero-tolerance and family separation policies. They discuss what they saw and what asylum-seekers are facing.


May 11, 2018: The Venezuelan Forced Migration Crisis

Following travel to Venezuela's border regions, Assistant Director for Venezuela Geoff Ramsey and Director for the Andes Gimena Sánchez discuss the ongoing crisis of forced migration of Venezuelans, what is being done about it, and what needs to happen.


March 30, 2018: Latin America in the 2018 budget bill

The U.S. government finally has a budget for 2018. Congress almost completely rejected President Trump’s border wall proposal, and reversed his deep cuts in aid to Latin America. Adam Isacson, Maureen Meyer, and Geoff Thale discuss what happened.


September 19, 2017: Death Squads in El Salvador's Police

El Salvador's National Civilian Police, especially a 1,000-man military-police hybrid unit, has killed hundreds of alleged gang members this year. Many appear to be extrajudicial executions. Demands to do something about the country's brutal gangs has created a climate in which top officials have green-lighted a culture of human rights abuse. Two Salvadoran journalists, Hector Silva of Fáctum and José Luis Sanz of El Faro, have broken the most important stories about police death-squad...


August 4, 2017: How to Work With Congress

We've worked with Congress for 43 years, but we're still figuring it out. WOLA Associate Ana Sorrentino has worked both as an advocate and a congressional staffer. She has lots of advice about developing relationships and not wasting busy staffers' time.


July 21, 2017: Trump's Border Buildup Moves Through Congress

The House Appropriations Committee just passed a budget bill that gives the Trump administration much of what it is asking for: more border wall, more agents, and more deportations. Get an update from senior Associates Adam Isacson and Maureen Meyer.


June 21, 2017: Colombia's FARC demobilizes, but new challenges await

On June 20, 2017 the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ceased to be an armed group. But as WOLA's Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli makes clear, the hard part awaits. In a wide-ranging discussion about the current moment, we discuss next steps in the FARC demobilization, the ominous appearance of armed groups in zones of previous guerrilla influence, recent social protests on the Pacific Coast, Colombia's ability to implement its accord commitments, civil society's role in making it...


June 8, 2017: An Update on Venezuela

Over 65 Venezuelans have died in over two months of protests against the Maduro government's authoritarian turn. WOLA Senior Fellow David Smilde, the Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Human Relations at Tulane University and moderator of the WOLA Venezuela Politics and Human Rights blog, discusses Venezuela's political crisis. This fast-moving interview covers the risk to democracy posed by Maduro's proposed constitutional assembly; the opposition's strategic opportunities,...


May 24, 2017: The Trump Administration Wants to Slash U.S. Aid

The Trump White House just sent its first budget to Congress. It calls for a huge 35 percent across-the-board cut in U.S. assistance to Latin America. It also calls for construction of new border wall with Mexico. WOLA Program Director Geoff Thale discusses the devastating implications such a cut might have on U.S. relations with the region. This aid cut is far from guaranteed to pass: we explain what the next steps are in Congress.


May 12, 2017: The Central America Monitor

With the goal of addressing the violence and economic hardship driving migration from the region, Congress approved $750 million in aid for Central America for 2016, and $655 million more for 2017. What is in these aid packages? Which countries are getting what? What do U.S.-funded programs propose to do? Are they achieving their goals? On May 17 WOLA, together with partners from the region, will launch the Central America Monitor, a data-rich effort to answer these questions. WOLA...


May 3, 2017: Looking for Glimmers of Hope in Honduras

WOLA Program Officer Sarah Kinosian is just back from a weeklong research visit to Honduras. We discuss arms trafficking, police reform, gangs, drug trafficking, migration, U.S. assistance, and Honduras's own reform efforts, looking for evidence that anything is "working."


April 18, 2017: Human Rights Trials in Guatemala

WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt closely monitors Guatemala's judicial effort to hold military personnel accountable for crimes committed during the country's civil war. Despite pushback, prosecutors, investigators, and civil society are making progress. Jo-Marie posts frequent updates about Guatemala's human rights trials to the Open Society Justice Initiative's International Justice Monitor website at www.ijmonitor.org/category/guatemala-trials/


March 28, 2017: A "Trump Effect?"

U.S. statistics showed a sharp drop in migration from Mexico, and especially from Central America, in February. WOLA's Adam Isacson, Maureen Meyer, and Hannah Smith talk about what is happening and what now awaits migrants who seek asylum or refuge.


The 25th anniversary of the Esquipulas II accords: Bill Goodfellow on Centr

25 years ago August 7, Central America's presidents signed an agreement that brought an eventual end to the country's civil wars. Adam talks to William Goodfellow, director of the Center for International Policy, who accompanied the Esquipulas process.