Adam Isacson

Defense, security, borders, migration, and human rights in Latin America and the United States. May not reflect my employer’s consensus view.

January 2023

Latin America Security-Related News: January 4, 2023

(Even more here)

January 4, 2023


– Alex Cuadros, Has the Amazon Reached Its ‘Tipping Point’? (The New York Times, January 4, 2023).

It’s possible that Amazon deforestation has passed its point of no return, according to this in-depth report


– Jhordan C. Rodriguez, Laura Duarte Sandoval, Paz Con el Eln: Lo Que Viene Tras la Salida en Falso de Petro Sobre Cese al Fuego (El Espectador (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

There is no ELN ceasefire. And the negotiators should meet soon to clear this up

– Estas Son las Reglas de Juego para Cese al Fuego Bilateral: Asi Son los Decretos (El Espectador (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

Decrees with every armed group except the ELN lay out ceasefire terms

– Luke Taylor, Colombia’s Eln Guerrilla Group Denies Agreeing to National Ceasefire (The Guardian (Uk), January 4, 2023).

English overview of the ELN non-ceasefire situation

– Gloria Castrillon Pulido, “No Hay Crisis Con el Eln”: Otty Patino (El Espectador (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

Interview with chief government negotiator with the ELN: “Why did the president make the announcement like this?” “Petro is Petro and he is the president”

– La Desmentida del Eln Sume al Gobierno en su Primera Gran Crisis (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

The government’s reaction appears confused after the ELN denies that negotiators reached any ceasefire agreement

– Detalles Intimos de un Cese al Fuego Improvisado (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 4, 2023).

“Improvised” sure seems to be the right word to describe Colombia’s new year ceasefire saga


– A 26 Anos de los Acuerdos de Paz en Guatemala: Un Recuento de Lo Arrebatado (Prensa Comunitaria, Desinformemonos, January 4, 2023).

26 years after a peace accord that was not honored, “there’s little left to recover”


– Marcia Perdomo, En Impunidad Permanece Caso de Misquitos Abatidos por las Ff. Aa. En Ibans, Gracias a Dios (Criterio (Honduras), January 4, 2023).

The justice system has made almost no progress holding accountable military personnel who, apparently in pursuit of drug traffickers, attacked an Indigenous community in eastern Honduras


– Luis Chaparro, Ciudad Juarez Is on Lockdown During Gang Leader Killed 10 Guards After Prison Break (VICE, January 4, 2023).

English coverage of the violent beginning to the new year in Ciudad Juárez


– Ángel Páez, Renuncio Polemico Jefe de la Dini, Juan Carlos Liendo (La Republica (Peru), January 4, 2023).

Peru’s intelligence chief is out after calling protesters a “terrorist insurgency”

Latin America Security-Related News: January 3, 2023

(Even more here)

January 3, 2023


– Que Sigue Ahora para la Compra de los Aviones de Combate (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 3, 2023).

New procedural delays in Colombia’s planned approximately $680 million purchase of fighter aircraft

– Los Militares, Sorprendidos por el Cese al Fuego Bilateral (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 3, 2023).

It seems that Colombia’s military learned about the six-month ceasefire from President Petro’s tweet announcing it

– Paz Total, Apuesta Total: El Capital Politico Que se Juega Petro Con el Cese al Fuego Bilateral (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 3, 2023).

Is Colombia’s ceasefire a ceasefire between groups as well as between groups and the government? Will it mean fewer social-leader killings?

– “Es un Alivio Necesario”: Asi Reciben en las Regiones el Cese al Fuego Bilateral (El Espectador (Colombia), January 3, 2023).

In conflict-hit areas of Colombia, expressions of hope about the ceasefire, but concerns about verification and continuation of other criminal activity

– Julian Rios Monroy, Abece del Cese al Fuego: Vocero de la Iglesia Explica Lo Que Viene y Que Significa (El Espectador (Colombia), January 3, 2023).

Msgr. Héctor Fabio Henao of Colombia’s Pastoral Social, who will be assisting ceasefire verification, adds some details about how the ceasefire may work. It doesn’t specifically cover non-combat hostilities like extortion, though there’s an expectation that it “start acclimatizing.” Verification still requires protocols

– Las 10 Zonas Donde Impactara el Cese al Fuego Bilateral Con Cinco Grupos Armados (El Espectador (Colombia), January 3, 2023).

Maps of 10 areas of intense violence that could ease with Colombia’s announced ceasefire

– Cifra Historica de Reduccion de Homicidios: Cali Lidera la Lista (Revista Cambio (Colombia), January 3, 2023).

Homicides in Cali dropped 19 percent from 2021 to 2022. Bogotá’s homicide rate is the lowest in 61 years


– David Goodhue, Pedro Portal, Cuban Migrant Arrivals Overwhelm Federal Immigration Officials in the Florida Keys (The Miami Herald, January 3, 2023).

“So many people from Cuba are arriving in the Florida Keys that days could go by before federal officials are able to pick up migrants on the side of U.S. 1 to be processed”


– Thousands of Migrants Protest on Mexico’s Southern Border to Demand Asylum (EFE, La Prensa Latina, January 3, 2023).

Mexico appears to have stopped issuing permits for migrants to leave Chiapas, leading to huge backlogs and protests outside the refugee agency’s offices in Tapachula

U.S.-Mexico Border

– Camilo Montoya-Galvez, The Facts About the Legal Battle Over Title 42 and What Its End Could Mean for U.S. Border Policy (CBS News, January 3, 2023).

This overview piece recalls that Title 42 hasn’t been reducing migration, though its lifting may bring a short-term increase over current high levels

Latin America Security-Related News: January 2, 2023

(Even more here)

January 2, 2023

Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico

Guatemalan counter-drug authorities attribute a decline in cocaine seizures to drug traffickers using neighboring countries’ territory more often


Bolsonaro, and many pro-Bolsonaro media figures, are now based in Florida

Brazil, Colombia

Santiago Torrado sees a pro-environment “bloc” forming between Brazil and Colombia


Colombia will use four glyphosate coca-eradication spray planes and two Black Hawk helicoptera, all U.S. donations, to put out forest fires

Petro’s first 100 days saw a 70 percent reduction in security-force operations compared to 2021

This will be a make-or-break year for the Petro government’s efforts to negotiate peace, implement rural reforms, and change drug policy

Colombia’s government announces a six-month ceasefire with most major armed groups

The ELN peace talks will remain focused on procedural issues to build a more solid foundation for negotiating substantial issues

Colombia, Venezuela

The much-photographed shipping containers are no longer blocking traffic on the Tienditas bridge between Colombia and Venezuela

El Salvador

Salvadorans will feel the negative impacts of Bukele’s populist reign in the long term

Read More
Newer Posts
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.