Adriana Beltrán

Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA), Director for Citizen Security

Adriana Beltrán, Director for Citizen Security, WOLA For more than twenty years, Adriana Beltrán has championed the promotion of a comprehensive, rights-based approach to tackling insecurity, violence and the growing influence of organized crime in Central America. As head of the Citizen Security Program for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a U.S.-based research and advocacy organization, she promotes policies that identify and address the root causes of violence and improve the effectiveness and accountability of police and judicial systems. She has extensive experience addressing human rights, citizen security, and rule of law related issues, and works closely with civil society organizations and networks in Central America, government officials, and multilateral entities. Ms. Beltrán has written and co-authored various reports and articles on police reform, organized crime, and violence in Latin America, including Protect and Serve? The Status of Police Reform, and Hidden Powers, a ground-breaking study documenting the rise and impact of illegal armed groups in post-conflict Guatemala. She has testified before Congress and is a frequent commentator in the media. Ms. Beltrán is currently leading a project to monitor efforts to address the root causes of migration of children and families from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. A central part of the project has involved the use of a series of indicators to evaluate progress in the areas of violence reduction, strengthening of law enforcement and judicial institutions, and tackling corruption, among others. Ms. Beltrán holds a Masters’ Degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Adriana is speaking at

June 2, 2021
9:15 am - 10:45 am


  • Eric Olson (Panelist) Director of Policy & Strategic Initiatives, Seattle International Foundation
  • David Shirk (Moderator) full professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of San Diego
  • Alan Bersin (Panelist) Covington & Burling LLP, Policy Consultant at Covington & Burling; Former Assistant Secretary in the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; former Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Arnau Baulenas Bardia (Panelist) Legal Coordinator, Instituto de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas, El Salvador.
  • Adriana Beltrán (Speaker) Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA), Director for Citizen Security


Security, justice and good governance are integral to  Central America’s  hopes for sustained economic recovery.  Our panelists will discuss the multi-dimensional aspects of security issues in the Northern Triangle region including  challenges of growing narco-violence, the influence of organized crime, weak governance and collapsing rule of law.  Panelists will examine proposed U.S. strategies for addressing some of these root cause factors that are triggering the northbound migration of Central Americans to the southern border of the United States.

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