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) June 18, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Priscilla Alvarez, Geneva Sands, “Trump Admin Considers Temporary Courts Along the Southern Border” (CNN, June 18, 2019). Site assessments have been completed for almost all the ports of entry to determine where such temporary immigration courts, described by sources as “soft-sided,” would be needed Colombia Tatiana […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) June 17, 2019 Colombia Joe Parkin Daniels, “Journalist Finally Brings Attackers to Justice but Warns: ‘Colombia’s Sliding Backwards’” (The Guardian (Uk), June 17, 2019). “When you see social leaders threatened, when you hear women threatened with rape if they don’t shut up, when you see journalists attacked for not toeing the government […]

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Latin America-related events in Washington this week

Tuesday, June 18 1:00–3:00 at WOLA: Cuban Women’s Voices in a Changing Economy and Society (RSVP required). Wednesday, June 19 10:30 in Room 106, Dirksen Senate Office Building: Hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Full Committee Markup of the Emergency Border Supplemental. 12:30–1:30 at the Newseum: Turned Away: No Refuge for People Forced From […]

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Video of my long talk, in Mexico, about “militaries as police”

Many thanks to Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana, who along with several other groups organized a May 21-22 conference in Mexico City on the need for civilians to be in charge of security, at a time when it is militarizing throughout Latin America. They asked me to give a talk about citizen security and the military’s involvement, […]

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My notes from Monday’s talk at the Kroc Institute’s Colombia peace conference

I enjoyed participating in a June 10 panel discussion at a seminar in Washington, “The Colombian peace process after two years,” hosted by Notre Dame University’s Kroc Institute for International Affairs. Colombia’s 2016 peace accord gives this Institute, which maintains a database of worldwide peace processes, a formal role in monitoring the accord’s implementation. I […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) June 7, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional James Laporta, “Exclusive: U.S. Marines Faced Down Armed Gunman at Mexico Border in Latest Threatening Encounter” (Newsweek, June 7, 2019). Three individuals, one armed and aiming a firearm at U.S. service members in Yuma, Arizona were apprehended late last month Colombia “Entrenamiento Militar Bajo Tortura: ¿Origen […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) June 6, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Justin Wise, “Us Military Personnel Ordered to Paint Border Barriers to Improve ‘Aesthetic Appearance’” (The Hill, June 6, 2019). A disgraceful misuse of taxpayer $$,” Durbin said on Twitter. “Our military has more important work to do than making Trump’s wall beautiful” Caitlin Dickson, “Border Patrol […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) June 5, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Carlo Munoz, “Military Officials Dispute Reports of Marine Shooting on Mexican Border” (The Washington Times, June 5, 2019). Command officials are in the midst of an investigation into claims an active-duty Marine fired his sidearm after a physical confrontation with three unknown individuals during a surveillance […]

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80 Homeland Security Agents to Guatemala? New analysis at WOLA’s website

Here’s a short analysis posted to WOLA’s website (Español). It jumps off from last Friday’s Washington Post finding that dozens of CBP and ICE officers may be sent to Guatemala to work as “advisors” at the country’s border with Mexico. The piece is built around a listing of Homeland Security and Defense Department deployments to […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) June 4, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Rose L. Thayer, “Soldier Dies While Deployed in Arizona for Border Mission” (Stars and Stripes, June 4, 2019). The military, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI are investigating circumstances surrounding the death, though foul play is not suspected Spencer S. Hsu, “Judge Rejects […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) June 3, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional A.c. Thompson, “Over 200 Allegations of Abuse of Migrant Children; 1 Case of Homeland Security Disciplining Someone” (ProPublica, June 3, 2019). From 2009 to 2014, at least 214 complaints were filed against federal agents for abusing or mistreating migrant children. According to the Department of Homeland […]

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Latin America-related events in Washington this week

Monday, June 3 3:30–5:00 at WOLA: New Research on Human Rights Trials in Latin America (RSVP required). Tuesday, June 4 10:00–11:00 at Brookings: How security cooperation advances US interests (RSVP required). 1:00–2:30 at the Wilson Center: Trump, Tariffs, and U.S.-Mexico Relations: Finding a Path Forward (RSVP required). Wednesday, June 5 9:00 in Room 2008, Rayburn […]

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Colombia’s return to the discredited “body count” strategy

Image of the form described in the caption.

Leer en español A May 18 New York Times article revealed an alarming shift in how Colombia’s army, under leadership that took over last December, is measuring “success” in its operations. The article got a lot of attention because of the human rights angle, especially the possibility of a return to “false positive” extrajudicial killings. […]

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It’s possible that 15% of the FARC have re-armed

Note as of June 5: Kyle Johnson at the International Crisis Group reminds me that several hundred of the FARC dissidents never demobilized in the first place: they “went dissident” even before the peace accord was signed. So although this is all very inexact, my estimate here should probably be closer to 10 percent of […]

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Some articles I found interesting this morning

(Even more here) May 13, 2019 Western Hemisphere Regional Dan Lamothe, “Pentagon Will Pull Money From Ballistic Missile and Surveillance Plane Programs to Fund Border Wall” (The Washington Post, May 13, 2019). The Pentagon has justified the reprogramming for the border wall by shifting the funding to a Defense Department counterdrug effort Helene Cooper, “Pentagon […]

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