Security in Central America topic of Vecinos Lecture Series April 23 at Baker Institute

David Ruth

HOUSTON — (April 18, 2012) — A panel of international experts will discuss the current outlook and prospects for improving security in Central America at the Vecinos Lecture Series at 6 p.m. April 23 at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Security experts will examine the critical connection between a secure Central America and a prosperous Western Hemisphere, the challenge of drug-related violence and transnational crime, and what policymakers and private sector leaders can do to promote safety and stability in the region.

Former Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein will discuss current conditions and the importance of government leadership; Virginia Trujillo of the global utilities company AES El Salvador will explore how insecurity undermines economic growth and opportunities for public-private cooperation; and Thomas Ward of the University of Southern California will examine the role of transnational gangs. Christopher Sabatini of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas will moderate.

Who: Panelists Eduardo Stein, Virginia Trujillo and Thomas Ward; moderator Christopher Sabatini.

What: “Vecinos Lecture Series: Security in Central America: Outlook and Options.”

When: 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, April 23.

Where: Rice University’s Baker Institute, Baker Hall, 6100 Main St.

As part of the Baker Institute’s public outreach to the Houston community and beyond, the Latin America Initiative hosts the Vecinos (Neighbors) Lecture Series, a speaker series addressing a variety of important topics related to Latin America. World-renowned writer Carlos Fuentes formally launched the series at the Baker Institute in April 2008.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is available at, where the presentations will also be webcast.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to David Ruth at or 713-348-6327.


Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.