civil society

A little over a week ago, Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, leaving thousands dead and devastating the city of Tacloban. Suzette Grillot also talks with Joshua Landis about a so-called "wild card" in Syria's civil war - private funding by wealthy donors.

Later, Adriana Beltrán from the Washington Office on Latin America joins Suzette Grillot to discuss how clandestine criminal organizations infiltrate Guatemala’s judicial system.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Guatemala Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz - June 22, 2011.
U.S. Embassy Guatemala / Flickr Creative Commons

Guatemala signed peace accords in 1996 to end a decades-long civil war. But even though the fighting came to an end, institutional democratic reforms never took place.

The government consolidated power through corrupt relationships with organized crime and a lack of accountability over the next two decades. 

“A very popular phrase is ‘hidden powers’,” says Adriana Beltrán, a Senior Associate for Citizen Security at the Washington Office on Latin America, and the author of a study of the same name. “Established institutions like the judicial sector, the police… they’ll use them to prevent any kind of conviction when it comes to human rights cases to protect in case of criminal wrongdoing.”

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the cargo ship stopped in Panama on its way to North Korea with missiles and fighter jets on board, and Pakistani women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai’s speech before the United Nations.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, the co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), joins Grillot and Cruise for a conversation about gender and security in the 13 years since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Devra Berkowitz / UN Photo

In 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution requiring states and non-state actors settling conflicts to consider and respect women’s rights, and include women in the negotiating process.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini helped draft UN Security Council Resolution 1325. She’s the co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and the author of Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why They Matter.

“Because [women] are in civil society, they’re often not related to political parties or military parties,” Naraghi-Anderlini says. “But they want to have a voice because they’re taking responsibility when others are talking about power. So it’s kind of that duality of power and responsibility, saying ‘We have a voice as well, and we have needs, and we have solutions to bring to the table.’”