Adam Isacson

Still trying to understand Latin America, my own country, and why so few consequences are intended. These views are not necessarily my employer’s.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here)

April 24, 2018

Central America Regional, Mexico

For those seeking asylum, all individuals may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed

Colombia

El general Alberto José Mejía, comandante de las Fuerzas Militares, asegura que la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz será una oportunidad para resolver los procesos penales en contra de los miembros de la fuerza pública

Henry Acosta, quien facilitó los diálogos de paz, afirma que en la Farc hay dos bloques: Márquez- Santrich-Joaquín Gómez, y Timochenko- Alape- Lozada y Catatumbo

Honduras

Mirian, a 29-year-old mother from Honduras, is currently detained in T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, while her toddler is kept in a facility in San Antonio, some 120 miles away

Mexico

At the Kino Border Initiative, we have stood with his family in their grief and their persistent fight for justice. As such, we accompany them in their sorrow today given the jury’s decision to declare Lonnie Swartz not guilty of second-degree murder

The decision by U.S. District Judge Raner Collins means prosecutors could seek another trial for Agent Lonnie Swartz on the manslaughter charges in the 2012 death of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez

Ello, como parte del litigio contra el Estado mexicano por la desaparición forzada –el 29 de diciembre de 2009– de Nitza Paola Alvarado Espinoza, Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes y José Ángel Alvarado Herrera en el municipio de Buenaventura, Chihuahua

About 600 men, women and children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras had been waiting on Monday in Hermosillo, Sonora to board a train or take buses for the remaining 432 miles

El Fiscal Especial para la Atención de Delitos cometidos contra la Libertad de Expresión? (FEADLE), Ricardo Sánchez Pérez del Pozo, confirmó la detención de Heriberto “N”, alias el Koala

Nicaragua

The student leaders stress that their cause is much bigger than the infamous social security reform that sparked the massive street protests last week

Paraguay

Many older Paraguayans remember Stroessner fondly, and the 60 percent of the population born since 1989 barely remembers him at all

Western Hemisphere Regional

According to conventional law enforcement accounting, this single incident should have been tallied as seven agents assaulted — not seven agents times six perpetrators times three projectiles

As the records POGO obtained show, drug-related charges are some of the most common reasons CBP employees are arrested

  • Nick Fortugno, Sisi Wei, The Waiting Game (Playmatics, WNYC, ProPublica, April 24, 2018).

The U.S. is supposed to be a safe haven for people fleeing persecution. But asylum-seekers face years of uncertainty when they arrive

The day ahead: April 24, 2018

I’ll only be reachable in the late afternoon. (How to contact me)

I’m spending the morning at a Colombia conference that George Mason University is putting on. In the afternoon I have calls with congressional staff and some local university researchers. During the latter part of the afternoon I’ll be in the office writing.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here)

April 23, 2018

Central America Regional

New data reviewed by The New York Times shows that more than 700 children have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of 4

Colombia

Una de las noticias que más se repite en la cronología periodística de los últimos 60 años en Colombia, es que en los servicios de inteligencia del Estado hay escándalos y que para superarlos se ordenan medidas de reforma o disolución de unidades

La convicción de la Farc como partido político se reforzará si demuestran que superarán las dificultades en el camino, entre tanto, el Gobierno deberá respetar y dar garantías frente al Acuerdo

La gente que lo conoció bien en la Habana tenía la firme impresión de que ‘Santrich’ era un convencido político en la causa guerrillera y por eso es difícil creer que estuviera haciendo esa transacción para enriquecerse él mismo

Por lo menos 33 personas fueron detenidas durante el viernes pasado por las autoridades en una acción coordinada en varios municipios. Se les sindica de hacer parte de la guerrilla del Eln

Colombia, Ecuador

Muchos colombianos se preguntan, ¿cómo es posible que un disidente de menor rango de esa guerrilla y con unos 200 hombres se haya convertido en la prioridad número uno de las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia y Ecuador?

Mexico

Cadhac, dirigida por la hermana Consuelo Morales, es la primera organización del norte del país que arropó a las víctimas de la “guerra del narco”. También logró estructurar un sistema de búsqueda en colaboración con las Procuradurías, que se ha convertido en un modelo

El fenómeno es nacional, pero los focos más rojos siguen estando en el centro-occidente del país y en la península de Baja California

Nicaragua

Cuadra insistió en la responsabilidad de una posible intervención militar. “Se ha rumorado de que se vaya a usar el Ejército para reprimir. Esa es una posibilidad muy remota. No la veo absolutamente. Sería un error histórico”

His announcement seemed to acknowledge that the protests, which started on Wednesday as a picket by college students against the social security overhaul, had become a serious challenge to his authority

My friends in Nicaragua think this one’s for real

Las banderas de esta rebelión popular también están demandando libertad, democracia, y participación política para terminar con la dictadura

Paraguay

Mr. Abdo Benítez’s presidential bid evoked memories of Paraguay’s dictatorship from 1954 to 1989 because his father was the personal secretary of Alfredo Stroessner

South America Regional

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru had decided to temporarily leave the Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR, given differences over choosing the secretary general of the group

The day ahead: April 23, 2018

I’ll be most reachable in the afternoon. (How to contact me)

Spent the weekend knocking out a “final final” draft of an evaluation of a USAID project in Colombia, responding to reviewers’ comments. The morning will be spent in internal meetings—the weekly staff meeting and a follow-on discussion of our communications strategy. In the afternoon, I’ll be in the office catching up on three weeks of overdue Colombia peace process updates.

The Week Ahead

Again, I’m in Washington all week, this time with a lighter meeting schedule. Which means it’s time to catch up for real on writing. First order of business is backlogged Colombia peace process updates for the month of April. Second is to pay more attention to this site.

I also expect to prepare a Colombia talk that I’ll be giving before a State Department audience late next week, and to start writing a paper about Colombia’s peace process that I’ll present at the Latin American Studies Association’s annual meeting at the end of May.

Later in the week we’ll be helping USIP host a group of victims’ advocates from the Medellín city government, who are brought here by George Mason University.

Latin America-related events in Washington this week

Monday, April 23

Tuesday, April 24

Wednesday, April 25

Thursday, April 26

The day ahead: April 20, 2018

I’ll be most reachable in the morning. (How to contact me)

I’m talking to a border-area journalist in the late morning, then headed to a meeting with a Colombia-based international organization official in the early afternoon. Taking my excellent intern out to coffee in the mid-afternoon (it’s her last day, and she did a great job with our weekly border updates), then talking to some reporters about Mexico’s southern border at the end of the day.

The day ahead: April 19, 2018

I should be reachable much of the day, but trying to get some work done. (How to contact me)

Today’s a quieter day: for the first time all week, I’ll have more than a couple of minutes at a computer keyboard, without racing to meet a deadline. (Incidentally, today is only quiet because I’ve aggressively steered meetings away from this day on my calendar, having blocked it off early last week. I recommend this practice if you find that meetings and commitments keep you from getting “real” work done.)

I expect to close the door and catch up on research, reading, databasing, and some writing all day. I’m be available to talk, but would prefer not to get too diverted from program work.

The day ahead: April 18, 2018

I’ll be hard to contact today. (How to contact me)

This morning I’m finishing a brief article about Colombia for another publication, probably working at home. I’ll have a late-morning phone conversation with a journalist about Colombia, then I’m going to USCIS to brief a group of refugee officers, again about Colombia. Later in the afternoon I’m joining WOLA colleagues in a meeting about Mexico at the State Department. I’ll be hard to contact all day—and once again, probably not posting here.

The day ahead: April 17, 2018

I’ll be hard to reach today. (How to contact me)

This morning I’m working on a WOLA planning document, then headed to the US Institute of Peace for a discussion of how Colombia’s peace process is going. I then need to prepare a presentation I’ll be making tomorrow for USCIS refugee officers who work on Colombia. I have two internal meetings this afternoon and a sit-down with some researchers from a local university who are looking at organized crime. And I want to make progress on (and finish tomorrow morning) a brief piece on Colombia’s peace process for another publication. In the evening I hope to catch up on the news in the region, I’m a bit behind.

The Day Ahead: April 16, 2018

I’ll be difficult to contact today. (How to contact me)

I’ve got a weekly staff meeting in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, two calls scheduled with journalists, a call with State Department officials about an upcoming Colombia talk, and a call with USAID about Colombia. That will consume most of the day.

The week ahead

I’m in Washington all five days this week, for a change. (Last week I spent Wednesday and Thursday in Orlando, at a very good workshop on military assistance hosted by the University of Central Florida. Then I spent the entire weekend in New York visiting family.)

As of now, I’ve got about 16 hours of meetings and calls on the calendar, which leaves at least some time for research, writing, and communicating.

Most of that will be about Colombia this week. I’ll have a short piece coming out about the current state of the peace process. And more updates posted here. And later in the week—hopefully, unless I run out of time—an update on the state of border-security spending and construction.

Over the weekend I’ll be completing final responses to comments on the USAID project evaluation for which I spent February in Colombia.

The day ahead: April 10, 2018

I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me)

No meetings today, which is good because I’m running behind on work and leaving town tomorrow, briefly, to talk at a conference in Orlando on Thursday. I expect to finish the day with edits to a draft funding proposal, a new Colombia update posted here and, for the first time since January, an empty e-mail inbox.

The day ahead: April 6, 2018

I’m most available in the last half of the afternoon. (How to contact me)

Well this has been a busy week, hasn’t it. Lots of media and Twitter activity, and some WOLA memos, responding to Trump’s border moves. An op-ed in the New York Times. And a series of meetings at State and USAID to discuss the results of our USAID program evaluation. I haven’t had a moment to update this site, and have barely kept up on the region-wide news.

Today promises to be the quietest day of the lot. I’m spending the morning finishing a bit of writing that’s due shortly, then lunch with a Colombian colleague, then I’ll be in the office for the rest of the afternoon trying to catch up on whatever I possibly can.

Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here)

April 3, 2018

Brazil

If Lula is jailed, his supporters will cry political persecution; if not, his detractors will allege corruption

Central America Regional, Mexico

“The people who suffer the consequences are the ones that follow behind this caravan,” one migrant shelter director told BuzzFeed News

Colombia

“Nos preocupa que el Eln está planeando y ejecutando ataques en territorio colombiano desde Venezuela, tanto en la frontera de Norte de Santander, como la de Arauca”, había dicho el ministro

La reunión fue agendada con el objetivo de discutir una serie de asesinatos de excombatientes y líderes sociales de las Farc por parte de unidades del ELN

En los municipios donde los mataron hay o hubo presencia de grupos armados y desplazamiento histórico; y el 80 por ciento de ellos tienen corredores de narcotráfico, armas y tropas por donde pasaron las Farc

Cuba

“This came about probably mid-January, February, we started to see an increase in web traffic, an increase in leads or demands for information and increases in bookings”

Mexico

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute has not commented on the caravan or Trump’s allegations. Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray responded indirectly Sunday

It’s one of the largest since the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras began staging its annual pilgrimage through Mexico a decade ago

False. While he was in office, former President Obama quietly pressured Mexico to step up immigration enforcement along its southern border

Cherán, in the violent state of Michoacán, will stand apart from Mexico’s electioneering season, having tackled corruption and exploitation by banishing political parties, police and gangsters

Venezuela

Saab, a close ally of President Nicolas Maduro, told Union Radio that police officials nonetheless bore responsibility and would be held accountable

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