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.

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November 2017

Rescuing Colombia’s Post-Conflict Transitional Justice System

Remember back when Colombian officials said that the FARC peace negotiations sought to “put victims at the center” of the process? Colombia’s Congress just finished work on the legislation that would implement transitional justice, the process of punishing the worst human rights violators and making them provide reparations to victims. They did serious damage, putting together […]

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Snapshots from the border

I’m just back from a quick 3-day trip to the very farthest southern part of Texas, known as the Rio Grande Valley region. This is by far the “busiest” of all sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border. It has the most undocumented migration, the largest number of Central American migrants seeking protection from violence, and (according […]

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The day ahead: November 30, 2017

I’ll be reachable in the afternoon. (How to contact me) After 3 days at the Texas-Mexico border, I got home at 11:30 last night. I’m working and unpacking at home this morning. I’ll be in the office and reachable in the afternoon.

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The day ahead: November 27, 2017

I will be out of contact today. (How to contact me) Good morning from McAllen, Texas. I’ll be here all day: along with a few WOLA colleagues, I’ve got a full agenda of meetings with authorities, experts, humanitarian workers, and advocates. We’re doing some border and migration research. This is my first visit in two […]

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The week ahead

I flew to south Texas on Sunday, where a few of us from WOLA will be until Wednesday evening. It’s a quick trip to do some more field research on border security. I’ll be back in Washington, in the office, on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully by then, we’ll have posted a long piece taking the pulse […]

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7 links from the past week

Seth Freed Wessler, “The Coast Guard’s ‘Floating Guantánamos’,” The New York Times Magazine, November 20, 2017. Wessler reveals and details a very disturbing practice that intensified with the U.S. Southern Command’s post–2012 “Operation Martillo” drug-interdiction surge. When the U.S. Coast Guard captures someone trafficking drugs in international waters—often, impoverished fishermen at the low end of […]

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Ex-FARC reintegration is flailing in Colombia, a would-be OECD member state

The chief of the UN mission verifying parts of Colombia’s peace accord implementation has had a rare public disagreement with the Colombian government. On Tuesday, Jean Arnault urged officials to do more to keep former FARC fighters from slipping through the cracks. He pointed out some alarming things: “A very high percentage of ex-FARC members […]

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The day ahead: November 23, 2017

I will be out of contact today. (How to contact me) Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in, or from, the United States. I’ll be spending the day with family, and I hope you get to do that too. Everyone else, have a nice regular working Thursday.

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) November 22, 2017 Chile Patricio Navia, “Chile Votes for (Steady) Change” (Americas Quarterly, November 22, 2017). Chileans did not follow other Latin Americans in making a right-wing turn in the presidential election, and instead voted to stay the course on the ambitious reform agenda that Bachelet put in place Colombia Juanita Velez, […]

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“Good to be here”

The deconstruction of the State Department continues in real time. On Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Colombia’s foreign minister. On Tuesday, he met with Peru’s foreign minister. Why the flurry of activity? You’re not going to learn anything from the State Department. Here’s the entirety of what the Secretary’s office had the gall […]

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The day ahead: November 22, 2017

I should be reachable much of the day. (How to contact me) It’s the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, so it should be quiet in the office. I’ll be finishing a long draft memo about Colombia’s transitional justice legislation, and updating our border legislation tracker because the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday released its version of the […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) November 21, 2017 Brazil Andrea Barretto, “Brazilian Armed Forces Summit Aligns Electronic Warfare Knowledge” (Revista Dialogo (U.S. Southern Command), November 21, 2017). Among the issues discussed: Brazil’s Integrated Border Monitoring System (SISFRON, per its Portuguese acronym) stood out Colombia Nelson Ricardo Matta Colorado, “Las Mafias Detras de la Ruta de la Cripa […]

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