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 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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24 years of coca and eradication in Colombia

Over the years I’ve been inadvertently building a big collection of “graphs that need periodic updating, which makes them more complicated.” This one depicts coca cultivation in Colombia, and efforts to eradicate it, since 1994. There are two measures of coca cultivation, from the United States and the UN. Eradication has mostly occurred through aerial spraying […]

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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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Who won where yesterday in Colombia

Many thanks to GitHub user “infrahumano” for posting all municipal data about yesterday’s presidential election in Colombia. Crunching those numbers yields interesting results: Poorer and historically conflictive parts of Colombia went for former Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro. Wealthier parts of Colombia went for former Medellín mayor Sergio Fajardo. Parts of Colombia that are neither too […]

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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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Talking Colombian elections on WBEZ Worldview

Here’s an 11-minute interview from yesterday with Jerome McDonnell, the veteran and deeply knowledgeable host of Worldview on WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station. We look at Colombia’s upcoming elections and the state of peace accord implementation. These interviews, especially live ones like this, are nerve-wracking, even when it’s a topic I follow closely. Time is very limited, […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of May 6-12) ELN Talks Restart in Havana Government and ELN negotiators relaunched peace talks in Havana, Cuba on May 10, continuing a fifth round of negotiations that had begun in Quito, Ecuador on March 15. The process was interrupted on April 18 when Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, suspended the country’s hosting of the […]

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WOLA Podcast on the Venezuelan Forced Migration Crisis

I sat down this morning with Gimena Sánchez, who works on Colombia and the Andes here at WOLA, and Geoff Ramsey, who works on Venezuela. Geoff spent all of April in Venezuela, and in the Venezuelan border areas of Colombia and Brazil. Gimena was in Colombia at the same time, and both did fieldwork in the border city […]

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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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Records of paramilitary atrocities are “moth food” today

As many of you remember, in 2006 Colombia embarked on the so-called “Justice and Peace process” after 32,000 members of the paramilitaries (the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia or AUC) demobilized. (A top ex-paramilitary leader recently said that as many as 12,000 of those weren’t even paramilitaries, just people rounded up at the last minute.) At their […]

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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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