Adam Isacson

Defense, security, borders, migration, and human rights in Latin America and the United States. May not reflect my employer’s consensus view.


Latin America-Related Events in Washington and Online This Week

(Events that I know of, anyway. All times are U.S. Eastern.)

Tuesday, October 3

  • 11:00-12:30 at IDPC Zoom: In defence of decriminalisation –a baseline upon which to build sustainable drug policy (RSVP required).
  • 2:00-4:00 at Violent crime in South America (RSVP required).
  • 4:30-5:30 at the Wilson Center and online: ‘Primavera Democrática’: A Conversation with President-Elect Bernardo Arévalo of Guatemala (RSVP required).

Wednesday, October 4

  • 12:00-1:30 at Georgetown University: Elections in Argentina: Will the Country Turn to the Far Right? (RSVP required).
  • 6:00-8:00 at Georgetown University: The Dictator’s Destructions: Facing Pinochet’s Power in Chile (RSVP required).

Thursday, October 5

  • 10:30-12:00 at George Washington University: Expanding South-South Climate Change Collaboration (RSVP required).
  • 11:00-1:00 at Advancing Caribbean development through women’s empowerment (RSVP required).
  • 6:30-8:00 at IPS: Inside Biden’s Cuba Policy: Film Screening (RSVP required).

Latin America-Related Events in Washington and Online This Week

(Events that I know of, anyway. All times are U.S. Eastern.)

Monday, September 25

  • 3:00-4:00 at,, or A Conversation with President of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso (RSVP required).

Tuesday, September 26

Wednesday, September 27

Thursday, September 28

Friday, September 29

  • 11:00-12:00 at the Wilson Center and online: Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints (Book Launch) (RSVP required).

Latin America-Related Events in Washington and Online This Week

(Events that I know of, anyway. All times are U.S. Eastern.)

Monday, September 18

Tuesday, September 19

  • 9:00-10:30 at Digital Report Launch: Tracking Transatlantic Drug Flows through the Caribbean to Europe (RSVP required).
  • 10:00-11:30 at Open Society Foundations and on BlueJeans: Militarización del Control Migratorio en México (RSVP required).
  • 12:00-1:30 at Guatemala’s 2023 Elections (RSVP required).

Wednesday, September 20

Thursday, September 21

  • 6:30-8:00 at IPS and online: Climate Justice: A Report from the Global South (RSVP required).

Friday, September 22

  • 3:00-5:00 at the MLK Memorial Library: Public Art, Activism, and Historic Memory (RSVP required).

Saturday, September 23

Latin America-Related Events Online and in Washington This Week

(Events that I know of, anyway. All times are U.S. Eastern.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

  • 10:00-11:00 at the Wilson Center and online: Untapped Economic Potential: What Can Latin America and the Caribbean Offer the World? (RSVP required).
  • 3:00-5:00 at American University: (Co)Building a Strategic Agenda for the Americas (RSVP required).
  • 3:30-4:30 at IPS: Prospects for Normalization of US-Cuba Relations: A Talk with Cuban Deputy Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío (RSVP required).

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Thursday, September 14, 2023

  • 10:15 (possibly 2:15) at the Atlantic Council and online: A Conversation with H.E. Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (RSVP required).
  • 4:00 at WOLA and WOLA Zoom: Post-election Optics in Guatemala: Judicial Cooptation and Gender Violence (RSVP required).

Latin America-Related Events Online and in Washington This Week

(All times are U.S. Eastern.)

Tuesday, September 5

  • 11:00-12:15 at Canning House Zoom: Elections in Guatemala (RSVP required).

Wednesday, September 6

Thursday, September 7

  • 9:00 at Where have the banks gone? Curbing financial de-risking in the Caribbean (RSVP required).
  • 9:30-11:00 at the Wilson Center and online: Journalism in the Age of Spyware: Defending Freedom of the Press and Countering Threats Posed by Surveillance Technologies in Latin America (RSVP required).
  • 10:30 in Room 419, Dirksen Senate Office Building: Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues on Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Priorities for the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1:00-3:00 at LAF Berlin online: El regreso de los militares ¿Un peligro para las democracias o más bien un debate fantasma? (RSVP required).

Latin America-related online events this week

Monday, August 7, 2023

  • 5:00 at Pulitzer Center Zoom: Amazon Underworld: Crime and Corruption in the Shadows of the World’s Largest Rainforest (RSVP required).

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

  • 2:00-3:00 at A Conversation with Henrique Capriles, Presidential Candidate for Venezuela’s Primero Justicia Party (RSVP required).

Thursday, August 10, 2023

  • 2:00 at the Atlantic Council and A conversation with Alicia Bárcena: Mexico’s newly appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs (RSVP required).

Latin America-related events in Washington and online this week

Monday, July 31, 2023

  • 11:00-12:00 at the Heritage Foundation and online: Catch, Release, and Then What? (RSVP required).

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

  • 12:30-1:30 at Argentina Elige: A Conversation with Luciano Laspina, Argentine Congressman and Senior Economic Adviser to Presidential Candidate Patricia Bullrich (RSVP required).
  • 6:00-7:00 at Elections Series – The Role of the Judiciary in Electoral Contexts: A View from Latin America (RSVP required).

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

  • 12:00-1:30 at Presentación del reporte del “Foro nacional sobre feminicidio: Visiones y soluciones” y del reporte sobre “Los avances legislativos y propuestas que se encuentran pendientes de aprobar en materia de feminicidio en México” (RSVP required).
  • 2:00-3:00 at Abuses at the U.S.- Mexico Border: How To Address Failures and Protect Rights (RSVP required).

Friday, August 4, 2023

  • 10:00-10:45 at Looking South: A Conversation with GEN Laura Richardson on Security Challenges in Latin America (RSVP required).
  • 1:15-2:30 at the Inter-American Dialogue and online: A Conversation on Central America (RSVP required).

Event and Report Launch Wednesday… been working on this one for a while

Next Wednesday, WOLA is publishing a report that I’ve been working on for months, with colleagues at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales.

It’s an in-depth look at

  • CBP’s and Border Patrol’s serious, pervasive human rights problem
  • Why DHS’s accountability efforts constantly fail
  • What we can do about it

Our launch webinar is at 2PM Eastern next Wednesday, August 2.

There’s a lot of ground to cover! Join us if you can – here’s the RSVP link.

Here’s the text of the event announcement from WOLA’s website.

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Kino Border Initiative (KBI) cordially invite you to the following webinar:

Abuses at the U.S.- Mexican Border: How To Address Failures and Protect Rights

A U.S.-Mexico border that is well governed can go hand in hand with a border where migrants and asylum seekers receive humane treatment. For this to happen, U.S. government personnel who abuse human rights or violate professional standards must be held to account and victims must receive justice.

Right now, at the U.S.-Mexico border, this rarely happens. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the federal government’s largest civilian law enforcement agency, has a persistent problem of human rights abuse without accountability. 

Many, if not most, CBP officers, and agents in CBP’s Border Patrol agency, are professionals who seek to follow best practices. However, the frequency and severity of abuse allegations suggests that agents who do, have little reason to be concerned about consequences from an accountability system that yields few results.

Join us to discuss the launch of our new report, Abuses at the U.S.-Mexican Border: How To Address Failures and Protect Rights. While documenting the problem at the border and showing “failure points” to accountability, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) offer more than 40 recommendations for more effective complaints, investigations, discipline, oversight, and cultural change. 

The report is a product of years of work documenting human rights violations committed by U.S. federal law enforcement forces at the U.S.-Mexico border. WOLA, based in Washington D.C, maintains a database of over 400 cases—many of them severe—compiled since 2020. KBI has documented thousands of cases of abuse narrated by migrants who have sheltered at its facilities in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. KBI has generated hundreds of formal complaints since 2015 in an effort to improve accountability. 

Of complaints since 2020, 95 percent resulted in no accountability outcome at all. Changing an abusive culture, and increasing the probability of accountability, can take many years and will face political headwinds. But as the many, often shocking, abuses documented by both organizations make strikingly clear, there is no other choice: this is a matter of democratic rule of law, both at the border and beyond it. The United States must bring its border law enforcement agencies’ day-to-day behavior back into alignment with its professed values, especially at a time of historic migration.


Adam Isacson

  • Director for Defense Oversight, Washington Office on Latin America, WOLA

Zoe Martens

  • Advocacy Coordinator, Kino Border Initiative, KBI

Joanna Williams

  • Executive Director, Kino Border Initiative, KBI

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

14:00 – 15:00 ET / 11:00 – 12:00 MST

Register to join the webinar here.

Latin America-Related Events in Washington and Online This Week

Tuesday, July 25

  • 2:00 at Americans for Immigrant Justice Zoom: What is the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) process? (RSVP required).

Wednesday, July 26

Thursday, July 27

Latin America-Related Events in Washington and Online This Week

Tuesday, July 11

  • 12:00 on Zoom: “Cómo informar al público latino/centroamericano en Estados Unidos sobre los temas que ocurren en la región (RSVP required).

Wednesday, July 12

Thursday, July 13

  • 9:00-10:00 at the Atlantic Council and online: Guatemala’s choice: What’s at stake ahead of the runoff election? (RSVP required).

Friday, July 14

  • 1:30 on AILA Zoom: High-Stakes Asylum: How Long an Asylum Case Takes and How We Can Do Better (RSVP required).

Latin America-related events in Washington and online this week

Tuesday, June 20

  • 11:00-12:30 at the Wilson Center: Voices Behind the News: Promoting Freedom of Expression & Strengthening Independent Media in Central America (RSVP required).
  • 12:30-2:00 at OSF and online: Peru: Democratic Crisis, Human Rights and Impunity (RSVP required).

Wednesday, June 21

Thursday, June 22

  • 3:00-4:30 at CSIS and online: Building the North American Semiconductor Corridor (RSVP required).
  • 5:30-6:30 in Washington and online: Democratic Decline and Authoritarian Drift in Guatemala: Presentation and Comments on the Inclusion of Guatemala in Chapter 4.B of the IACHR Annual Report 2022 (RSVP required).
  • 5:30-7:00 at 1301 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 600 and online: The Current Situation in Colombia: A Conversation with Marco Romero (RSVP required).

Friday, June 23

  • 9:30-11:00 at 1301 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 600 and online: ‘Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading’: Cristosal Reports on One Year Under El Salvador’s State of Exception (RSVP required).
  • 12:00-2:00 at Migrant and Refugee Children in the Americas (RSVP required).
  • 1:30-3:30 at USIP: Commemorating Jimmy Carter’s Legacy in the Americas (RSVP required).

Latin America-related events online and in Washington this week

Monday, April 17, 2023

  • 12:00-1:00 at Center for American Progress YouTube: Guns Without Borders: Addressing the flow of U.S. firearms to Mexico and Central America (RSVP required).
  • 4:00-8:00 at Race and Equality Facebook Live: Nicaragua: 5 años de crímenes de lesa humanidad (RSVP required).

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Latin America-related events online and in Washington this week

Monday, April 10

  • 12:00-1:30 at The Brazil 100 Conference: A Look Into Lula’s First 100 Days (RSVP required).

Tuesday, April 11

  • 10:00-11:30 at Critical Minerals in LAC: The ‘S’ in ESG (RSVP required).
  • 3:30-5:00 at Georgetown University and YouTube: Seeking Truth: The Challenges and Achievements of Colombia’s Truth Commission (RSVP required).
  • 6:00-7:30 at George Washington University: Dissent in Nicaragua: A Conversation with Lesther Alemán (RSVP required).

Wednesday, April 12

  • 1:00-5:30 at Georgetown University: Overcoming Challenges to Fight Climate Change in Latin America (RSVP required).

Thursday, April 13

  • 4:00-5:00 at Georgetown University: Can Argentina Achieve Economic Stability and Inclusive Growth? (RSVP required).

Latin America-related events in Washington this week

Monday, April 3, 2023

  • 1:00-2:00 at the Wilson Center: Corruption, Accountability and Democracy in Brazil: Challenges and Solutions (RSVP required).

Thursday, April 6, 2023

  • 11:00-12:30 at George Washington University: Resurgence Of Militarism: Views From The Global South And Implications For The United States (RSVP required).

Latin America-related events in Washington and online this week

Monday, March 27, 2023

  • 5:00-6:30 at Georgetown University: The García Luna Case: Dirty Money and the War on Drugs (RSVP required).

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Thursday, March 30, 2023

  • 9:30 at the Atlantic Council and online: 2023: A pivotal moment to celebrate 200 years of US-Chile relations (RSVP required).
  • 3:00-5:00 at Georgetown University: Forty years after the US invasion of Grenada: lessons for the 21st Century (RSVP required).

Friday, March 31, 2023

  • 10:00 at Global Americans Zoom: The Implications of Climate Change for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in the Caribbean (RSVP required).
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