A primary conclusion of and recommendation from WOLA's recent assessment of police reform efforts in Central America is the urgent need for international donors to bolster technical and political cooperation and coordination in order to improve citizen security and decrease crime rates. Efforts to reduce street crime, drug trafficking and organized crime are overshadowed by heavy handed and ultimately ineffective responses to gang violence, while police forces remain weak, under-funded, poorly equipped and ill-trained and often under the taint of corruption. WOLA believes that coordination among governments, donors and civil society is needed to advance comprehensive security sector reform in the region and that the optimal way to achieve this goal is through a meeting of donor governments and agencies, recipient governments, and civil society to discuss and coordinate responses to the problem of citizen security.
With this support, WOLA will leverage it's relationships with relevant institutions to facilitate development of a common vision for comprehensive citizen security reforms in Central America by convening governments, donors and civil society. Subsequent to such agreements and commitments, WOLA will monitor ongoing implementation of the multilateral plans.