Central America Citizen (In)security Index: Improving the Quality of Information to Strengthen Institutions
Panel Duscussion from the National Endowment for Democracy.
- Marcela Donadio, Executive Secretary of the Red de Seguridad y Defensa de América Latina (RESDAL)
- Juan Rial, Political Analyst and Board Member of the Red de Seguridad y Defensa de América Latina (RESDAL)
- Johanna Mendelson Forman, Senior Advisor, Managing Across Boundaries Program at the Stimson Center
and Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation
moderated by Miriam Kornblith, Director, Latin American and the Caribbean, NED
Monday, November 18, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
1025 F. Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20004
About the Event
In Central America, crime and insecurity continue to be the main challenge to democratic governance. Criminal organizations are often transient and shift their operations quickly from one country to another in the region as governments crack down on their activities. Information that can be used to combat crime and lack of security effectively is often not readily shared by government institutions that collect and analyze such materials.
For the past four years the Red de Seguridad y Defensa de America Latina (RESDAL), an Argentina-based organization, has been analyzing the security situation in Central America and publishing its results in the form of a standardized index. The index allows for cross-country comparisons and provides crucial information for developing a regional approach towards crime.
Members of RESDAL presented their most recent version of the Index in English and discussed what their findings mean for democracy in Central America. The index “covers the political and institutional control of public security, the link with the criminal justice sector, law enforcement bodies, state actions in the face of crime, prevention programs, budgets, the participation of the armed forces in public security, private security, and summary information regarding crimes and their main characteristics.”
The event addressed questions such as: What consequences do high levels of criminality and insecurity have for progress toward democracy? How can civil society promote greater interaction among governments in the region? What role does civil society play in proposals for security policy and oversight? How can governments tap into innovative policy recommendations from civil society organizations? What insights can the index offer us moving forward?