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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5 links

5 links from the past week

If coronavirus wasn’t putting a halt to such things, this week the U.S. government would’ve sent back to Colombia one of the maximum leaders of the AUC paramilitary group, Salvatore Mancuso, who was extradited to face drug trafficking charges in 2008. In a detailed piece at Canada’s National Post, Brian Fitzpatrick tells the story of […]

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5 Links from the Past Week

The Americas Society / Council of the Americas has been keeping an updated record, using the Johns Hopkins database and other sources, of how coronavirus is affecting 19 Latin American countries plus Puerto Rico, and how governments are responding. At The New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson interviews Evo Morales, Jeanine Añez, and many others for […]

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5 links from the past week

“Death and the Maiden” author Ariel Dorfman, now in his late 70s, has a reflection in the New York Review of Books about Chile’s recent wave of protest. The Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, and activist weaves first-person reporting in with his long own experience of hope and disenchantment. At El Faro, Efren Lemus, Óscar Martínez, and […]

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5 links from the past week

Every few months, a team of researchers at the University of California at San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and the University of Texas’s Strauss Center surveys U.S.-Mexico border crossings and summarizes the “metering” situation at each one: how many people are waiting, who runs the list, how many people CBP typically takes in a […]

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5 links from the past week

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released its annual report on Colombia, and it’s really good. It’s in English and Spanish, and it angered Colombian officials. I posted highlights of the report elsewhere. Writing for the International Crisis Group, Bram Ebus produced a vivid and alarming look at life in Venezuelan refugee communities on […]

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5 links from the past week

The National Security Archive reveals documents showing that the CIA was the true co-owner of a supposedly Swiss cryptography company, whose equipment encrypted the communications of Latin American military regimes participating in “Operation Condor” in the 1970s. This means that the U.S. intelligence community had knowledge about the human rights abuses these regimes were committing—including […]

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5 links from the past week

Some Latin American militaries have a particular clique, usually an academy graduating class, that rises to leadership and leaves a mark on the institution—often for the worse. At ProPublica, Melissa del Bosque identifies a ”tanda” in the U.S. Border Patrol: a group of agents who served in Douglas, Arizona in the 1990s and rose to […]

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5 links from the past week

The Washington Post produced the most thorough mapping you’ll ever see of where, when, and how all sections of Trump’s border wall would be built. Several reporters at Colombia’s La Silla Vacía produced a deep dive into the more than 180 demobilized FARC combatants who have been murdered since the 2016 peace accord. The ex-guerrillas […]

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5 links from the past week

Colombia’s Ideas for Peace Foundation think-tank published a useful analysis of the ELN guerrilla group: its increased strength, territorial gains following the FARC’s demobilization, its activity in Venezuela, and its sources of financing. The authors note that it would be very difficult to defeat the ELN militarily, as it is decentralized and has deep roots […]

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5 links from the past week

Because of my travels this week, I no doubt missed a lot of important analysis and coverage. But from what I managed to see, here are five recommended reads. Alberto Pradilla, a journalist for Mexico’s Animal Político who wrote a well-received book about migrant caravans last year, was on hand in Chiapas this week for […]

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5 links from the past week

Colombia’s Semana magazine started the week with a bombshell scoop. The country’s army has been spying on, and hacking into the communications of, opposition politicians, high court judges, reporters (including Semana’s), human rights groups, and even other officers. The magazine claims that a mid-December Supreme Court search of an army installation where the hacking was […]

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Five links from the past week

PBS’s Frontline program ran a very good episode on how the Trump administration’s migrant crackdown has affected the twin border cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. As I noted after returning from a trip there last month, the situation is very grim there. Still, it was good to see a few people I met […]

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Five Links from the Past Week

As many as 300 paramilitary fighters are on a new year’s offensive in Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in the conflict-battered municipality of Bojayá, Chocó, Colombia. Semana magazine tries to explain what is happening. Colombia’s government has issued a draft decree that would govern a renewal of aerial fumigation of coca-growing areas with the highly questioned […]

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