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

The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(This covers the week of August 26-September 1; as I was traveling in Colombia during the week of September 2-8, there will be no update for that week.) Peace Commissioner Lays Out Four “Adjustments” to FARC Accord In an August 27 interview with El Tiempo columnist María Isabel Rueda, President Iván Duque’s new high commissioner […]

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Day 7 in Colombia

Good morning from Bogotá. It’s day seven of our visit, and we’ve finished the field-work portion of the trip. Nothing left but two days of meetings here with experts, activists, government and UN personnel.   We spent Saturday through Tuesday in Colombia’s Pacific coast region, in the city of Buenaventura and then way up the […]

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Colombia’s New President Wants to Modify the FARC Peace Accord. His Proposals Aren’t Dealbreakers.

Along with his conservative political party, Colombia’s new president, Iván Duque, fiercely opposed the peace accord with the FARC guerrilla group negotiated by his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos. On the campaign trail during the first half of 2018, he pledged to make “adjustments” to the November 2016 accord, which had taken more than four difficult […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of August 19-25) ELN Still Hasn’t Released Captives and Hostages The ELN’s release of four soldiers, three police, and two civilians in its custody, believed imminent, still hasn’t happened yet. Guerrilla fronts in Chocó and Arauca captured the nine on August 3rd and 8th, and President Iván Duque (who was inaugurated August 7th) has […]

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Un-Uribe-like

One of the central questions in Colombian politics this year: how independent is the new president, Iván Duque—a 42-year-old technocrat with a light political resume—from his political party’s 500-watt boss, the incendiary far-right former president Álvaro Uribe? The word “puppet” gets tossed around a lot. But Duque is in fact showing some genuine flashes of […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of August 12-18) Constitutional Court Upholds, Modifies Law Governing Transitional Justice System Colombia’s maximum judicial review body, the Constitutional Court, completed an 8½-month review of the law governing the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), which is the body that the peace accords set up to put on trial, and punish, those who committed war […]

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Snapshot of U.S. aid to Colombia right now

Thought I’d share a table of current aid to Colombia. Click it to expand it in a new window. In sum, it looks like Congress will once again refuse the deep aid cuts the Trump White House had requested for 2019. Aid will continue to follow the “Peace Colombia” framework that guided assistance in 2017 […]

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Two speeches show the bipolar nature of Colombia’s new ruling party

Inauguration day in Colombia, August 7, will be remembered for two speeches that left observers scratching their heads about what direction the new government of President Iván Duque will take the country. Duque gave an hourlong speech listing dozens of policy priorities. There were so many, it was hard to pick out those he viewed […]

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USAID Colombia evaluation is out

I’m very happy that the U.S. Agency for International Development has posted our independent evaluation (PDF) of its “Colombia Transforma” program, which through 2018 has supported $43 million in “rapid response” efforts to implement Colombia’s peace accord. I worked on this evaluation earlier this year; regular visitors to this site know that this work had […]

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Virginia “Ginny” Bouvier: An Indefatigable Voice for Peace and Inclusion

While I was away on vacation, the Latin American Studies Association’s LASA Forum published an obituary I wrote for a badly missed colleague, Virginia (Ginny) Bouvier, who passed away just over a year ago. Ever the optimist—and always curious about new ways to communicate—Ginny started a blog, Colombia Calls, in late July 2012, a month before […]

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Who are Colombia’s “Black Eagles?”

“The weeks following the [June 17] elections witnessed an upsurge in killings of social leaders,” reads last Friday’s UN Secretary-General report on Colombia. The killings have come alongside an even larger wave of death threats sent to political activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and social leaders in just about every corner of the country. Often, […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

Last Week in Colombia’s Peace Process (Week of July 1-7) Social Leader Killings Begin Getting Mass Attention At least four local social movement leaders were killed during the week: Felicinda Santamaría in Quibdó, Chocó Luis Barrios in Palmar de Varela, Atlántico Margarita Estupiñán in Tumaco, Nariño Ana María Cortés in Cáceres, Antioquia The latter two […]

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Video: Hearing on “Peace and Victims’ Rights in Colombia”

Here’s video, and here’s my written testimony, from this morning’s hearing about “Peace and Victims’ Rights in Colombia” in the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. It was a great hearing, featuring three social leaders working on the front lines of peace accord implementation and inclusion in Colombia. My role was to talk […]

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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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