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.

Colombia Post-Conflict

The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(This covers the week of June 24-30—a very eventful period. Sorry this is so behind schedule, but there’s no way around it with the present workload. Last week’s update is coming soon.) Congress Makes Big Changes To Transitional Justice System On June 27 Colombia’s Congress passed a Procedural Law for the Special Peace Jurisdiction (JEP), […]

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An early incident casts doubt on the incoming Colombian president’s independence—and the peace accord’s future

An incident late last week in Bogotá, getting reported as hearsay in Colombia’s media, raises serious concerns about the independence of President-Elect Iván Duque from his patron, the hardline former president and current Senator Álvaro Uribe. It also raises concerns that the peace accord with the FARC, which Duque and Uribe both criticize but Duque […]

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President No

The votes are counted in Colombia. Today’s elections were not a “second referendum” on the 2016 peace accord with the FARC: issues like corruption, a semi-collapsed healthcare system, and Venezuela’s crisis came to the fore. Nonetheless, the coalition that criticized negotiations to end Colombia’s conflict with the FARC, and narrowly won an October 2016 plebiscite […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of May 27 – June 2) First-Round Election Results: Petro vs. Duque As polls predicted, no single candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote in Colombia’s May 27 first-round presidential election. The candidates who will go on to a second round runoff on June 17 are rightist Senator Iván Duque and leftist […]

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This is a striking graphic

Although the peace accord was reportedly a low priority among Colombian voters, this graphic of Sunday’s first-round presidential vote shows a sharp divergence between the half of the country that voted “yes” for the FARC peace accord on October 2, 2016, and the half of the country that voted “no.”

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of May 13-19) Transitional Justice System Suspends Santrich Extradition The case of FARC leader Seusis Pausias Hernández alias Jesús Santrich, arrested on April 9 with the possibility of extradition to the United States for narcotrafficking, grew more complicated this week. The Review Chamber of the new Special Peace Jurisdiction (JEP, the transitional justice system […]

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My LASA presentation slides

If I were smarter, I’d have recorded my Latin American Studies Association panel discussion and shared the audio as a podcast, like Greg Weeks did. Instead, here’s the 36-slide presentation I used to explain the experience of U.S. support for Colombia’s peace process under the Trump administration. It’s below, or just download the 16mb PDF file […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of April 29-May 5) Dire Warning from Former Chief Negotiator De La Calle Humberto de la Calle, a respected former vice president and the Liberal Party’s low-polling candidate for May 27 elections, led the Colombian government’s team for all four years of peace talks with the FARC in Havana. On the campaign trail, he […]

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Colombia’s ungoverned, conflictive margins

While looking for a graphic to use in a presentation for tomorrow, I found this cartogram of Colombia’s population at a site called World Mapper. A cartogram re-sizes territories on a map, usually using software, to reflect an attribute. This one shows what Colombia’s map might look like if each pixel contained an equal number […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of April 22-28) Jesús Santrich Case Arrested FARC leader Seusis Pausias Hernández alias Jesús Santrich remains in Bogotá’s La Picota prison, where he is continuing a hunger strike that began after his April 9 arrest. He agreed to receive medical attention, but only from “trusted personnel.” Colombia’s judicial system—both the transitional system set up […]

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The Bogotá Bubble Is Impenetrable

From yesterday’s edition of Colombia’s El Tiempo: After doing an ‘exhaustive’ review, together with his government team, of how peace accord implementation is going so far, President Juan Manuel Santos delivered a “positive evaluation” of the development of what was agreed in Havana. …”The detractors of the process can’t come to us and say that the peace […]

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Amazing maps, but what a mess

It’s hard to believe anyone would even try to map out the tangled, shifting patchwork of violent groups active in “post-conflict” Colombia’s Pacific coastal region. But the Ideas for Peace Foundation (FIP), a Bogotá-based think tank, accepted the challenge. This map, from an April 10 FIP report on rearmed FARC “dissident” groups, depicts the department of […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Still catching up. This is the week of April 15-21.) Ecuador Will No Longer Host the ELN Negotiations The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, announced April 18 that his country will no longer host the ongoing peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN. Government representatives and guerrilla leaders had held five rounds of […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Still catching up. This is the week of April 8-14. But this synopsis of the Santrich case is still worth your time, there’s no similar synthesis out there in English.) FARC Leader Jesús Santrich Arrested, May Be Extradited On the evening of April 9, police arrested demobilized FARC leader Seuxis Pausivas Hernández, alias “Jesús Santrich,” […]

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Colombia’s Grade on Implementing the FARC Peace Deal So Far Is a C Minus

Published this evening at World Politics Review: Harsh perhaps, but sadly true: Colombia is dropping the ball badly on implementing the FARC peace accord. Its 1,300 words are behind a paywall. Here’s a sample: On reintegration of ex-fighters: Incredibly, to this day the implementation process is still missing one of its most essential elements: a written plan […]

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