Latin America Today

Latin America Today

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

Episodes

April 9, 2024 53 mins

On March 14-22, 2024, the UN Commission on Narcotic ...

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El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele just won re-election by a broad margin as a massive security crackdown has reduced gangs’ role in everyday life. But the increasingly authoritarian “Bukele model” has a big long-term downside, Douglas Farah explains.

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It has been almost a month since Nayib Bukele was reelected as President of El Salvador by a very wide margin, despite a constitutional prohibition on re-election. While securit...

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A January outbreak of criminal violence in Ecuador made headlines worldwide. Now, a new government is cracking down in ways that recall other countries' "mano dura" policies, and the U.S. government stands ready to help. Is this the right way forward?

 

While this isn’t the first time Ecuador’s government has declared a state of exception, the prominence of organized crime and the consequential rise in insecurity is a new reality f...

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After relentless attempts to block his inauguration and a nine-hour delay, Bernardo Arévalo, who ran for Guatemala’s presidency on an anti-corruption platform, was sworn into office minutes after midnight on January 14.

In this highly educational episode, WOLA Director for Central America Ana María Méndez Dardón is joined by WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt. Both were in Guatemala witnessing the high-tension event that was Arévalo’...

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As congressional negotiations place asylum and other legal protection pathways at risk, and as we approach a 2024 election year with migration becoming a higher priority for voters in the United States, we found it important to discuss the current moment's complexities.

WOLA’s vice president for Programs, Maureen Meyer, former director for WOLA’s Mexico Program and co-founder of WOLA’s migration and border work, is joined by Mexico...

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A conversation with WOLA's President, Carolina Jiménez Sandoval, about the year ahead. She discusses current challenges in the Americas within four areas that are orienting WOLA's current work: democracy, migration, climate, and gender and racial justice.

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Maria Belén Garrido, a research lecturer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, and Jeffrey Pugh, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, lead the Regional Institute for the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action in the Americas.

The institute provides training, capacity building, and networking opportunities for nonviolent social change activists in Latin America. It teaches that th...

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A new report from WOLA dives deeply into the growing power and roles of Mexico’s military, and what that means for human rights, democracy, and U.S.-Mexico relations.

WOLA’s Mexico Program published Militarized Transformation: Human Rights and Democratic Controls in a Context of Increasing Militarization in Mexico on September 6. The report voices alarm about the Mexican armed forces’ growing list of civilian tasks, and civilians’...

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Venezuela is to hold presidential elections sometime in 2024. Whether they will be at least somewhat free and fair, moving the country away from authoritarianism and toward democracy, is unlikely but far from impossible. It is a goal that must guide the international community and Venezuelan civil society.

That is one of the central messages of Laura Cristina Dib, WOLA’s director for Venezuela, who explains the daunting current pol...

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Gretchen Kuhner directs the Mexico City-based Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI). She explains the challenges and complexities—and occasional advocacy successes—of the current moment of record migration and changing policies, viewed from Mexico.

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Joining WOLA with partners in three countries, the Central America Monitor has tracked governance indicators during a very difficult nine years. WOLA's Elizabeth Kennedy and Lisette Vásquez of the Myrna Mack Foundation explain this important work.

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From a traditional drug policy perspective, fentanyl would appear to be an intractable problem. It also threatens a rift in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. WOLA's John Walsh and Stephanie Brewer point to better ways to respond to this challenge.

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WOLA staff report from Honduras after a visit to the border with Nicaragua, where we witnessed a historic migration flow. As government and service providers struggle to manage this result of a series of policy failures, it's not clear what lies ahead.

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A conversation about the political and humanitarian moment in Venezuela, efforts to resolve the country's crisis, and the U.S. role, with Geoff Ramsey, who recently departed WOLA's Venezuela Program and is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

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Guatemala's deteriorating democracy is approaching June elections with disqualified candidates, imprisoned or exiled judicial workers and journalists, and a U.S. policy that's hard to pin down. Analysis from WOLA Central America Program Director Ana María Méndez and Council on Foreign Relations Latin America Fellow Will Freeman.

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December 2022 in Peru has seen a president's failed attempt to dissolve Congress and subsequent jailing, and now large-scale protests met with a military crackdown. Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt explains what's at stake in a deeply divided nation.

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WOLA staff spent a mid-November week visiting several points along the U.S.-Mexico border. We spoke to many migrants stranded in Mexico, in shelters and in rustic camps, unable to seek protection in the United States. What will happen if and when Title 42 ends?
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Mexico has been increasing its armed forces' role in public security for many years, but the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has just taken it to historic new lengths. WOLA's Mexico Program director, Stephanie Brewer, explains.

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WOLA's director for the Andes, Gimena Sánchez, was in Colombia during the historic June 19 election that sent Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez to the presidency and vice-presidency. We discuss this victory's significance and the big challenges ahead.

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Adam, Stephanie Brewer, Maureen Meyer, and Lesly Tejada discuss regional migration and the Summit of the Americas, which took place Los Angeles earlier in June. The four analyze the political implications of the Summit and their recent travel to the border areas. 

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