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Improving Citizen Security in Central America: Options for Responding to Youth Violence

The Wilson Center and the Andean Development Corporation are co-sponsoring a discussion on addressing citizen security and youth violence in Latin America.

Date & Time

Oct. 18, 2012
9:00am – 12:00pm


6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Improving Citizen Security in Central America: Options for Responding to Youth Violence

Cynthia J. Arnson's introductory remarks: 

We all know the dismal facts—that the countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have the highest murder rates in the world, including the highest rates of youth violence

That the presence of organized crime groups has worsened the already alarming crisis of citizen security, in which gangs play a central role

That the region’s fragile institutions, and incomplete processes of reform following the end of internal armed conflicts have provided a fertile context in which crime and violence flourish

And that Central America does not exist in a vacuum.  Its fate is deeply connected to the dynamics of migration and organized crime, in which Mexico, and the proximity of the region to the largest drug market in the world, the United States, play central roles

What is less known are the efforts of courageous, determined individuals and organizations, a number of them represented here today, to make a difference in their countries and their communities, in addressing the root causes of violence and improving the capacity of state institutions to combat violence and uphold the rule of law.  These efforts are not easy.  They are risky and threatening.  We applaud your courage and thank you for your efforts.


Hosted By

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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