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Protecting, Defending and Promoting Civic Space in Central America

Date & Time

Dec. 5, 2022
11:00am – 12:30pm ET


6th Floor Flom Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center
and Online


Globally, democratic values are under assault. That is also true in parts of Central America, where public officials and criminal organizations are silencing public debate. In response, during this year’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, USAID Administrator Samantha Power launched the interagency “Voices” initiative, designed to protect, defend and promote civic space in the region and support the U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America. 

The “Voices” initiative includes three pillars: Promoting Digital Democracy & Countering Digital Authoritarianism; Promoting Freedom of Expression & Strengthening Independent Media; and Countering Criminalization & Providing Protection. It is predominantly focused on addressing the contraction of civic space in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua and bringing like-minded partners together to foster a vibrant and resilient civil society across the region. 

What are the best strategies for the State Department and USAID to support civil society in Central America? How could these efforts improve governance, accountability and the investment climate and address underlying factors of the regional migration crisis? Are there limits to the capacity of civil society actors to address structural challenges?  How can the State Department and USAID most effectively engage government counterparts, private entities, and others in Central America and globally to address the key challenges highlighted under the Voices initiative? 

Please join the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development on Monday, December 5, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (ET), for a dialogue with senior U.S. government officials and civil society leaders from Central America on the “Voices” initiative and U.S. policy in Central America. 

Hosted By

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America 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 policy 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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