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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October 2019

Interview with “Colombia Calling” podcast

I’m a regular listener of Richard McColl’s “Colombia Calling” English-language podcast, so I was delighted to accept his invitation to appear in an episode (number 297, very impressive). Even better, I happened to be in Bogotá when we recorded (back on October 20), so I stopped by his lovely home where gave me very strong […]

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Some pleasant surprises in Colombia’s local elections

Colombians voted for governors, mayors, town councils, and local legislatures on October 27, and—unlike so many places in the world lately—left and right radicals and populists had a lousy day. Voters especially rejected the ruling rightist party of President Iván Duque and former president Álvaro Uribe, who has lost his luster. In most cities, voters […]

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The day ahead: October 29, 2019

I’m traveling through Thursday. (How to contact me) I’m en route to Tallahassee, giving a talk about Colombia, and a few side events, at Florida State University. I fly back Thursday morning.

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The 26 Republicans who’ve voted against Trump’s border wall “emergency”

Last week, with a 53-36 vote (59.6 percent), the U.S. Senate failed to get the two-thirds necessary to override President Trump’s veto of a resolution reversing his February 15 “national emergency” declaration. That declaration, coming after Trump failed to force Congress to pay billions for his “border wall” demands, would take more than $6 billion […]

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Street scene in Arauca, Colombia

Going over my photos from our early October visit to Colombia, I found this one, taken on October 3 from our car window, while driving through the hamlet of La Esmeralda, between Arauquita and Saravena, Arauca. This area is heavily under the influence of the ELN guerrilla group. An unremarkable photo of a tidy small-town […]

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Notes from Chocó, Colombia

After our early October visit to Arauca, Colombia, WOLA colleagues and I spent several days in the middle section of Chocó. This department (province) borders both the Pacific and Atlantic, as well as Panama, in Colombia’s far northwest. It’s been a week and a half since we completed this last leg of our trip. It […]

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Sunday morning in Bogotá

The conference I participated in is over (see coverage at the #FESSeguridadIncluyente Twitter hashtag). It was great to spend 2 1/2 days with people working on aspects of security policy from at least 10 other countries in the region. Well worth having to spend the weekend working. I head back to Washington before dawn tomorrow.

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More travels

Today (Wednesday 16th) is the second day in October during which I’ll spend all 24 hours in Washington. I was in Colombia September 30-October 11, then in New York for family reasons on the 12-14. And tomorrow I fly back to Bogotá. I’ll be participating in a conference, hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, that […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) October 15, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Catherine E. Shoichet, “Why One Area Along the Us-Mexico Border Saw Drownings Triple and Water Rescues Skyrocket More Than 1000%” (CNN, October 15, 2019). Water-related deaths tripled in the Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2019, according to data CNN […]

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Notes from Arauca, Colombia

Greetings from Bogotá. I’m here briefly after a few days in the department of Arauca, in northeastern Colombia along the border with Venezuela. We visited the towns of Arauca (the departmental capital), Arauquita, and Saravena, holding 17 interviews with human rights defenders, political office holders, social movements, the armed forces, youth groups, trade unionists, and […]

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Back in Colombia

Here’s the unremarkable view from my hotel near the Bogotá, Colombia airport. We just arrived last night, and in a couple of hours we’ll be flying to another region of the country. If I post from that region at all, it will be content that doesn’t reveal my location. I’ll be back in Bogotá on […]

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