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 2019

The day ahead: November 18, 2019

I’m on vacation this week, so be cool. (How to contact me) I’m taking the week off. I’m spending a lot of it at the computer keyboard, finishing a lot of writing. Still, I’m calling it “vacation” because I can actually be at the keyboard: for a week, I’m under no obligation to attend meetings […]

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Twitter thread of border and migration graphics

I updated my collection of data about security and migration at the border to reflect some new data releases from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and from Mexico’s Migration Policy Unit. From those, I have a collection of charts and graphics whose most current version is always downloadable as a PDF file at I […]

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WOLA Podcast: Bolivia’s Post-Evo Meltdown

Here’s a podcast recorded yesterday with Kathryn Ledebur, a longtime Bolivia expert and colleague who directs the Andean Information Network in Cochabamba, Bolivia. We discuss: The election process and the events leading up to Morales’s resignation. The disorder and violence following the election, and missed opportunities to achieve an institutional solution to the crisis. The role of […]

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The day ahead: November 14, 2019

I’ll be hard to reach today and through the end of next week. (How to contact me) Another day, another plane. I’m off this afternoon to Ohio, where I’ll be on a panel tomorrow at Kent State University, talking about the border wall. Before I go, I’m recording an in-the-moment podcast about Bolivia, which I […]

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The day ahead: November 13, 2019

I’ll be hard to reach today. (How to contact me) I’m back in Washington, having returned from the border over the weekend—but I have a very heavy schedule (12 hours of meetings and events on the calendar today) and won’t be adding updates to this site. Which is too bad because, from Bolivia to Colombia […]

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Why are homicides declining in Colombia this year?

An argument I included in Monday evening’s post, about the Colombian Defense Minister’s security performance, raised a few hackles on social media. That post cited President Iván Duque’s crediting Defense Minister Guillermo Botero for a 2 percent reduction in homicides so far in 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. To refute it, I […]

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Back at the border

I’m here at the U.S.-Mexico border again. This is my fourth visit to San Diego and Tijuana this year. I’m spending most of this visit at a gathering of migration attorneys and experts from the United States, Mexico, and Central America. The situation is grim right now, but there’s a lot of talk of solutions.

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At What’s at Stake in the Battle Over U.S. Homeland Security Funding

With a November 21 budget deadline looming, the Democratic-majority House of Representatives and Republican-majority Senate (and the Republican White House) seem far from agreement on how to fund the Department of Homeland Security in 2020. They’re either going to have to seek another extension to keep the government open, or undergo at least a partial […]

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Colombia’s Defense Minister’s indefensible record

From the legislature to the media, a lot of prominent Colombians are asking why, amid regular gaffes, human rights abuses, and evidence of deteriorating security, Defense Minister Guillermo Botero is still at his post. In an article explaining that it’s basically “Botero is ex-president Álvaro Uribe’s man in his party’s government,” the online journalism outlet […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) November 4, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional “Editorial: Only Now Do We Understand the True Cruelty of Trump’s Family Separation” (The Washington Post, November 4, 2019). Most Americans thought the policy detestable. It was far worse than they imagined Bolivia “Protestas en Bolivia Tras Ultimatum a Evo Morales para Que Renuncie” (EFE, El […]

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The day ahead: November 4, 2019

I’m around in the afternoon. (How to contact me) This is my only full day in the office this week. I’m flying to the west coast tomorrow for a few days in San Diego and Tijuana, for a delegation and events sponsored by Hispanics in Philanthropy. Today, other than some internal meetings in the morning, […]

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