What Works in Reducing Community Violence: Spotlight on Central America and Mexico | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

What Works in Reducing Community Violence: Spotlight on Central America and Mexico

Webcast available

Event Co-sponsors

Webcast Recap


Over the past decade, Mexico and Central America have witnessed escalating levels of community violence. Latin America as a whole is the most violent region in the world, accounting for 33 percent of global homicides despite representing only 9 percent of the world’s population. While prevention and rehabilitation are gaining ground in the region, government responses to violent crime continue to trend towards heavy-handed suppression, which has led to the wrongful arrest of thousands of youth, overwhelmed prisons and justice systems, and empowered gangs.
Join us for a discussion about what works in reducing community level violence and can be implemented in Central America. The dialogue is based on a recent study for USAID by Thomas Abt from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Speakers will expand on various evidence-based approaches to reducing crime and violence, experiences throughout the region, and opportunities for replication in the Northern Triangle.
To read our take on USAID's report, click here.


Co-sponsored by:



  • Eric L. Olson

    Global Fellow
    Director of the Central America-D.C. Platform, Seattle International Foundation


  • Thomas Abt

    Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School
  • Enrique Betancourt

    Director, Violence and Crime Prevention Initiative, Chemonics International
  • Elizabeth Hogan

    Acting Assistant Administrator for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau, USAID
  • David Kennedy

    Senior Advisor for the Arctic Region, NOAA
  • Antonio Morales

    Deputy Minister of Governance of the Government of El Salvador
  • Anthony (A.J.) Watson

    Director of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man