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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Latin America

Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) December 18, 2018 Western Hemisphere Regional Ellen Mitchell, “Pentagon Has Sent Home Nearly 3k Active-Duty Border Troops” (The Hill, December 18, 2018). Army Col. Rob Manning told reporters at the Pentagon that 3,150 active-duty troops remain at the southern border, including 1,200 in California, 1,050 in Texas and 900 in Arizona Luciano […]

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This isn’t an aid package

Today the U.S. and Mexican governments announced what looks like a bombshell: a monster $10.6 billion package of new U.S. aid to address the root causes of migration. $5.8 billion of it for Central America, $4.8 billion for Mexico. “US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico,” an AP headline gushes. Not so fast. […]

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Lights are going out around the region

What a horrible three days for press freedom in the Americas. On Friday, Nicaraguan police raided, and trashed, the offices of the investigative web publication Confidencial, which has been an indispensable and very credible source of coverage of the country’s slide into democracy. Confidencial has been around since 1996. Over the weekend El Nacional, which […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) December 17, 2018 Western Hemisphere Regional Lomi Kriel, “Proposed Fence in Rio Grande Valley Shows Challenges of Building Trump’s Border ‘Wall’” (The Houston Chronicle, December 17, 2018). Much of the region is rugged and either privately-owned or under environmental protection and there are doubts about whether such a structure would make a […]

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“Concrete actions”

Nicaraguan journalist Dánae Vílchez in the Washington Post on Friday: The United States has taken some important steps, including the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act that was approved this week by Congress, a bill that would place conditions on the “approval of loans to the Ortega regime by international financial institutions,” and expand the Magnistky sanctions on people […]

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Trust in security institutions across Latin America

All credit here goes to the Chile-based Latinobarómetro polling organization, which carries out an annual public-opinion survey in most of Latin America and the Caribbean. The 2018 poll (PDF) is a fascinating read. For an upcoming presentation, I wanted to know what the poll said about how Latin Americans are viewing the three government institutions […]

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Writing from a long Miami airport layover

I’m back from Havana. This is the second time I’ve participated in an annual “series of conversations” between U.S. and Cuban scholars and diplomats—the last time was 2013. It was an honor to be on the list of invited Americans, most of whom—unlike me—are Cuba specialists. It was a lot of panels, and I learned […]

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Latin America-related events in Washington this week

All Week Public Hearings of the OAS Inter-American Human Rights Commission, open to the public Monday, December 3 11:30–1:00 at the Atlantic Council: China-Latin America Trade at a Moment of Uncertainty: What Lies Ahead in 2019? (RSVP required). 2:30–5:00 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Human Rights and Grand Corruption: What Role for International Law? (RSVP required). […]

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Arms transfers and arms trafficking in Latin America: Links from the past month

Brazil, Uruguay Andrea Barretto, “Brazil Donates 25 Armored Tanks to the Uruguayan Army” (Revista Dialogo (U.S. Southern Command), November 13, 2018). The M-41C vehicles that the Brazilian Army used through 2009 will be part of the Uruguayan Army’s 13th Armored Infantry Battalion Brazil purchased the M-41 armored vehicles from the United States in the 1960s. […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) November 30, 2018 Western Hemisphere Regional Megan Specia, Rick Gladstone, “Border Agents Shot Tear Gas Into Mexico. Was It Legal?” (The New York Times, November 30, 2018). When the legality of the border episodes are in question, it can be difficult to hold people accountable within the United States Perla Trevizo, “Tucson […]

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Links from the Past Month about “Soldiers as Police” in Latin America

El Salvador Juan Carlos Diaz, “FAES no reportó delitos en escuelas donde dio seguridad” (La Prensa Grafica (El Salvador), November 12, 2018). El comandante saliente de la sede militar de La Unión rindió un informe sobre las acciones ejecutadas por el personal a su cargo Vanessa Jurado, “Así será el despliegue de policías y militares […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) November 29, 2018 Argentina Cassandra Garrison, Matt Spetalnick, “China, Vying With U.S. in Latin America, Eyes Argentina Nuclear Deal” (Reuters, Reuters, November 29, 2018). Argentina and China are aiming to close a deal within days for the construction of the South American nation’s fourth nuclear power plant, a multi-billion dollar project Brazil […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) November 20, 2018 Western Hemisphere Regional Robert Burns, “Pentagon: Troops at U.S. Border to Cost About $210 Million” (Associated Press, Time, November 20, 2018). The total includes $72 million for approximately 5,900 active-duty troops providing support to Customs and Border Protection, plus $138 million so far for 2,100 National Guard troops who […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) November 19, 2018 Western Hemisphere Regional Gordon Adams, Isaiah Wilson Iii, Lawrence B. Wilkerson, “Trump’s Border Stunt Is a Profound Betrayal of Our Military” (The New York Times, November 19, 2018). They are not toy soldiers to be moved around by political leaders but a neutral institution, politically speaking Wesley Morgan, “Troops […]

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Corruption in Latin America: Links from the past month

Brazil Brian Winter, “Why Sergio Moro Took the Job – and Changed Car Wash Forever” (Americas Quarterly, November 5, 2018). The Sérgio Moro of 2018 does not suffer from amnesia. He simply concluded that the potential benefits of accepting the position outweigh the risks Central America Regional Victoria Sanford, “‘Criminals?’ Hardly. That’s Who the Caravan […]

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