Central America under Video Surveillance


Building capacities in the Internet ecosystem in Central America with a multisectoral perspective

Mass video surveillance of citizens with loss of privacy

To make the people of Central America analyze and question mass video surveillance systems with cameras and the effectiveness of their use.


A map of mass video surveillance systems in Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala will be created, through public information, requests for access to public information, public purchasing systems, news and press. With the analysis of the map, the public will be consulted to learn their thoughts on the findings.


Central America is a victim of excessive use of video surveillance, with governments that seek to increase control of citizens in the region. These mass video surveillance systems have very little effect on public safety, and even create a loss of privacy and greater state authoritarianism.

With a lack of understanding of mass video surveillance, the people may request greater use of these systems to reduce violence and crime in the region

Expected results benefitting the population:
  • Knowing the characteristics of the mass video surveillance systems installed in Central America
  • Knowing statistics for false positives from the systems, especially with people from vulnerable groups, and the low effectiveness of these systems in the fight against crime.
  • Knowing the opinion of the main people involved, the population that is under constant surveillance, on loss of privacy
  • Mapping and identification of the number of video surveillance systems in Central America will make it possible to understand the mass deployment, without safeguards, of these technologies in public spaces.

Building capacities in the Internet ecosystem in Central America with a multisectoral perspective

To advocate for the improvement of public digital rights policy by training stakeholders to strengthen projects and dialogues on pertinent issues.


In Central America, there is a lack of participation and coordination in the development of public policies and laws related to technology. This translates into projects that enable the censorship, governmental or private, of speech and content on social networks and digital platforms, a problem which threatens citizens’ freedom of expression and access to information and which affects the fragile democracies of these countries. As such, it is relevant to advocate for the improvement of public policies on digital rights by training key actors to strengthen projects and dialogues that pertain to these issues.

More training was needed to advocate for stopping any legislation on technology that affected digital rights

Project achievements

Before this project, Central American governments rarely invested resources into defending the digital rights of citizens. IPANDETEC worked to generate public dialogue and train relevant actors within civil society, the government, the private sector and academia in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In addition, they developed recommendations for improving laws and public policies in these countries.

How was this achieved?

Trained representatives from civil society, the government, the private sector and academia in order to generate interest and proposals within participating countries surrounding public policy on technology with a human rights approach.

Strengthened the network of actors, enabling the development of future projects with regional coordination.

Achieved greater engagement from the government sector in discussions regarding laws and public policies on technology and human rights.

Strengthened gender equality in discussions on digital laws and public policies; the vast majority of attendees, speakers and trainers were women.

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