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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December 2019

Tips and Tricks: how I gather information every morning

Doing my job properly means reading a lot. Even before “reading,” though, it means scanning and gathering from a wide variety of sources, both here and in Latin America: news, journalism, analysis, scholarly and think-tank research, NGO reports, government documents, and my own fieldwork, meeting, and interview notes. This “gathering” exercise is, for me, a […]

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The day ahead: December 18, 2019

I’ll be hard to reach today. (How to contact me) I’m expecting today to be the last truly “busy” day of the year (decade!). I’m on a panel mid-day at the OAS Inter-American Defense College, talking to a Latin American military audience about the role of the armed forces in public security and politics. After […]

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WOLA Podcast: Protest and Politics in Post-Conflict Colombia

In this podcast, recorded this afternoon, I talk about Colombia with my longtime WOLA colleague Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli. She explains Colombia’s four-week-old wave of social protests, and we talk about the continuing challenge of peace accord implementation, and efforts to protect social leaders. She also covers what we saw and heard during October field research in […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) December 16, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional “Editorial: Trump’s Border Wall Wouldn’t Stop Most Illegal Immigration or Drugs. So What Is It For?” (The Washington Post, December 16, 2019). Even as construction begins on parts of the wall, it is unlikely to fundamentally alter illegal border crossings of people or drugs Elizabeth Findell, […]

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The day ahead: December 16, 2019

I’ll be around in the latter afternoon. (How to contact me) I’m back from El Paso as of late Saturday. I plan to have a memo about that done by Wednesday or Thursday. I’m back on the clock this morning. Today I’ll be in a morning staff meeting, and recording a podcast about Colombia during […]

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This morning in Ciudad Juarez

By a drainage ditch on the Mexican bank of the Rio Grande, a soldier with a “National Guard” armband buys what looks like cigarettes from a vendor.

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The day ahead: December 10, 2019

I’ll be reachable in the morning, then in meetings. I’m traveling Wednesday through Friday. (How to contact me) I just finished what should be the final draft of a very long report on Colombia. For the rest of the day I’m meeting with a colleague who does border and migration work, attending an internal meeting, […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) December 9, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Mac Margolis, “Latin America’s Generals Know Their Place” (Bloomberg, December 9, 2019). The danger is when struggling national leaders call upon the military to solve problems it has no business taking on Alexander Zaitchik, “Under Left and Right-Wing Leaders, the Amazon Has Burned. Can Latin America […]

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The day ahead: December 9, 2019

I should be reachable in the afternoon. (How to contact me) I’m in Washington for two days this week. Wednesday morning I leave for El Paso, for a brief border research trip. Today I’ve got a long internal meeting in the morning, and in the early afternoon will be participating in a WOLA event about […]

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Latin America-related events in Washington this week

Monday, December 9 1:30 at WOLA: Protests in the Andes: Perspectives on Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, and Peru (RSVP required). Tuesday, December 10 8:30–10:15 at the Atlantic Council: Venezuelan illegal mining: Transnational crime, displacement, and violence (RSVP required). 9:00–11:00 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Upheavals in Chile & Bolivia (RSVP required). 10:00 in Room 2172, Rayburn House […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) December 6, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), “Chairman Thompson Requests Investigation Into $400 Million Border Wall Contract” (House Committee on Homeland Security, December 6, 2019). I write seeking a review of the $400 million contract the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded to Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. […]

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