Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) (WOLA)

WOLA is a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas. We envision a future where public policies protect human rights and recognize human dignity, and where justice overcomes violence. WOLA tackles problems that transcend borders and demand cross-border solutions. We create strategic partnerships with courageous people making social change—advocacy organizations, academics, religious and business leaders, artists, and government officials. Together, we advocate for more just societies in the Americas.

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Children Who Flee Violence in Central America Face Dangers in Mexico

To raise awareness, especially in Mexico, about the vulnerability of Central American migrants and the threats that they are fleeing, WOLA has released a series of videos featuring Central American youth who escaped north. The young women describe the dangers they left behind, the risks of traveling through Mexico, the crimes they were victims of in Mexico, and their experiences being deported from Mexico.

For details and full access to the video Children Who Flee Violence in Central America Face Dangers in Mexico, kindly follow the link.


Policy and Research Papers

Addressing Mexico’s Human Rights and Security Situation - 2016 Review

The past decade in Mexico—marked by the start of the “war on drugs”—has been fraught with alarming levels of violence and crime and a dramatic increase in human rights violations by Mexican security forces. As 2016 comes to a close, it’s clear that this year has been no different: homicide numbers are on the rise and the government has been unwilling or unable to curtail the impunity that prevails for human rights violations, enabling abuses to continue largely unabated.

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto began his six-year term in December 2012 and promised a new security strategy and a fundamental focus on “transforming into reality the human rights enshrined in the Constitution.” By 2014, high-profile scandals such as Casa Blanca and the case of the 43 forcibly disappeared students in Guerrero shifted attention back to the government’s failure to effectively address insecurity, corruption, and human rights abuses.

According to the most recent government survey on public perceptions of victimization and public security conducted by Mexico’s National Institute for Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI), 59 percent of Mexicans believe insecurity is the most important issue facing the country. That same survey revealed that 72 percent of Mexicans believe the state in which they live is dangerous due to crime. 

For full access to the report Addressing Mexico’s Human Rights and Security Situation - 2016 Review, kindly follow the link.


Mexico’s New Criminal Justice System

The Mexican government has called its transition to the new adversarial, oral-based criminal justice system a “mission accomplished.” However, according to a new WOLA report, much remains to be done for Mexico to enjoy a system that holds perpetrators accountable for crimes while ensuring respect for human rights.

For full access to the report Mexico’s New Criminal Justice System, kindly follow the link.