Who We Are: Founded in 1983, The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) leads one of the nation's longest-standing coalitions dedicated to foreign policy. LAWG and its sister organization, the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, work with over 60 major religious, humanitarian, grassroots and policy organizations to directly influence decision makers in Washington DC. LAWG is a trusted voice in Congress. We have guided our nation's representatives to change U.S. policies towards Latin America and promote human rights, justice, peace and sustainable development throughout the region.
How We Work: The LAWG, a 501 (c) 4 non-profit, carries out advocacy and grassroots education. The Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, was established in 2002 to implement the coalition's educational activities. LAWGEF organizes briefings, forums and other public events and coordinates visits by Latin American civil society leaders. The LAWGEF also provides information to the press and publishes reports on Latin American issues and related U.S. policy.
What We Have Achieved: LAWG was a major player in opposing the U.S. role in Central American wars during the 1980s and in supporting the negotiated peace settlements that took hold in the region by the 1990s. Since then, LAWG gained U.S. support to implement Central American peace accords and to declassify thousands of documents that shed light on human rights abuses in Latin America and U.S. policies. We helped secure several billion dollars in U.S. disaster relief in the wake of earthquakes and hurricanes that devastated Central America and Haiti. We changed the balance of U.S. aid to Colombia, decreasing military aid and increasing aid for development and victims of violence, and helped ensure U.S. government attention to abuses in Mexico and Colombia. Our efforts led to easing of restrictions on the sale of food and medicine to Cuba and restrictions on the right of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba.
Partners We Bring Together: The LAWG's unique role is as coordinator and catalyst. We bring like-minded partners organizations together to implement the most effective strategies to influence the policy debate. Please click here for a list of organizations currently participating in the LAWG coalition.
LAWG is here to make sure activists' voices are heard in the halls of power! We offer activists across the United States the tools they need to expand their ability to influence U.S. foreign policy. Click here to sign up for e-mail alerts and the e-Advocate newsletter.
Our relationships on Capitol Hill opens doors for Latin American civil society activists and allows them to contribute first-hand perspectives to U.S. policy debates. LAWGEF provides international support for local human rights workers in the region. Our collaboration with human rights networks throughout the region ensures our work reflects the needs of Latin American partners and the values of coalition members.