Keith Mines is director of the Latin America program at USIP.

Mines joined USIP after a career at the State Department, where he was most recently director for Andean and Venezuelan affairs. In 32 years of diplomatic and military service, he has worked on governance and institution building in Central America and Colombia; Middle East peace in Israel and the West Bank; post-conflict stabilization in Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan; global financial stability and the environment in Brazil; security sector reform in Hungary; famine relief and tribal reconciliation in Darfur and Somali; and creating a culture of lawfulness as the first director of the Merida Initiative in Mexico City.

A frequent contributor to publications such as the Foreign Service Journal and Orbis, Mines has written extensively on post-conflict stabilization, peacebuilding and negotiations, and the roots of civil conflict. His book, “Why Nation Building Matters: Political Consolidation, Building Security Forces, and Economic Development in Failed and Fragile States,” was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2020. Mines has a bachelor’s in history from Brigham Young University and a master’s in foreign service from Georgetown University.

Publications By Keith

Lo que le espera a Venezuela en 2022

Lo que le espera a Venezuela en 2022

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

By: Ana Caridad;  Keith Mines

Venezuela arranca el 2022 con desafíos persistentes, pero también con algunas oportunidades tangibles. Quedaron atrás las poco realistas aspiraciones de una salida inmediata del chavismo, dejando espacio para la eventual construcción de una convivencia democrática. Pero para que ocurra cualquier cambio positivo, el gobierno de Maduro y la oposición democrática deberán volver a la...

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernancePeace Processes

What’s in Store for Venezuela in 2022

What’s in Store for Venezuela in 2022

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

By: Ana Caridad;  Keith Mines

Venezuela enters 2022 with persistent challenges but also some tangible opportunities. Left behind are the unrealistic aspirations of the immediate exodus of Chavismo — leaving room for the incremental development of democratic co-existence. But for any positive change to occur, the Maduro government and democratic opposition will need to return to the negotiating table, where they have established a platform for coordination and progress on issues such as restoring democratic institutions, humanitarian relief and, ultimately, elections. The international community, especially the United States, will be a key player and should not fall into a pattern of inertia. In the Venezuela of 2022, small efforts can make a real difference in the lives of ordinary citizens.  

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernancePeace Processes

Colombia Police Reform: The Critical Need to Include Rural Forces

Colombia Police Reform: The Critical Need to Include Rural Forces

Monday, January 10, 2022

By: Nicolas Devia-Valbuena;  Carlos Hoyos;  Keith Mines

The Colombian government, seeking to reform its National Police in a time of security challenges and mass protests, has focused on big-city units that sit in the national spotlight. While the reform efforts are generally praiseworthy, the emphasis on urban areas creates the risk of losing sight of the country’s rural regions — places where guerrillas and other armed actors hold sway, and the fate of peace efforts will ultimately be determined. The resolve and capacity of rural police and courts to meet the needs of citizens in these zones will be critical to achieving meaningful and lasting peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Many Venezuelans Choose a Flawed Election Over No Election

Many Venezuelans Choose a Flawed Election Over No Election

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

By: Ana Caridad;  Keith Mines

Venezuelans elected governors, mayors and local officials November 21 in a vote condemned by many as stacked hopelessly against the opposition or simply fraudulent. An increased turnout over elections last year appears to reflect many Venezuelans’ growing belief that they have gained little with voting boycotts. They believe participation in even a flawed election advances the concept of “re-institutionalization,” which aims to progressively reform the machinery of democracy after years in which it has been undermined by the ruling party. Advocates of this strategy say that restoring democracy must be a long game of incremental advances.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

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