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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Guatemala

Some Mexico-Guatemala Border Crossings

I’m back, as of a few hours ago, from a week along Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. There’s a lot to talk about – but for now, some photos of border crossings.

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80 Homeland Security Agents to Guatemala? New analysis at WOLA’s website

Here’s a short analysis posted to WOLA’s website (Español). It jumps off from last Friday’s Washington Post finding that dozens of CBP and ICE officers may be sent to Guatemala to work as “advisors” at the country’s border with Mexico. The piece is built around a listing of Homeland Security and Defense Department deployments to […]

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WOLA Podcast on Guatemala’s “backlash of the corrupt”

Only a few years ago, Guatemala was making historic gains in its fight against corruption and human rights abuse. Since then, the country has suffered a severe backlash. A “pact of the corrupt” in Guatemala’s ruling elite keeps pushing legislation that would terminate trials and investigations for war crimes and corruption. A U.S.-backed UN prosecutorial […]

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A huge setback for civil-military relations in Guatemala

I was disappointed to see Guatemala’s military—which had briefly taken a reformist direction—aggressively, enthusiastically supporting President Jimmy Morales’s crackdown on the CICIG anti-corruption body. WOLA has just posted a piece I wrote about that. What’s happened with Guatemala’s army since August 31 obliterates a few halting steps that it had taken toward being a credible, accountable […]

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Links From the Last Month About: Civil-Military Relations in Latin America

Argentina Outgoing Defense Minister Julio Martínez alleged that the previous governments of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández so neglected the country’s air force that “over a hundred [aircraft] went out of service or were decommissioned.” Brazil Brazilian Army soldiers, long tasked with guarding the country’s 10,400-mile land border, are increasingly being used as police. “During […]

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Just released: our latest report on the Mexico-Guatemala border

Maureen Meyer, Hannah Smith, and I spent the third week of February in and around Tenosique, Mexico. We were in Mexico’s far south, by the border with Petén, Guatemala. We visited migrant shelters, which were busy, though emptier than before Trump’s inauguration. We heard grim accounts of the violence Central Americans were fleeing. We spoke […]

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Links from the last month about: civil-military relations in Latin America

Argentina Pablo Waisberg, Guillermo Peralta, “Grupo Pro Militar Escracha a Testigos de Juicios” (Perfil (Argentina), May 22, 2017). A pro-military group posted a list of journalists and others who have testified in human rights cases against leaders of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship, calling them “subversive terrorists from the 1970s.” Brazil “Public Opinion Forces Temer to […]

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WOLA Podcast: The Central America Monitor

Congress appropriated $750 million in aid for Central America for 2016, and $655 million more for 2017. What’s in these aid packages? Which countries are getting what? What do U.S.-funded programs propose to do? Are they achieving their goals? Next Wednesday (May 17) my colleague Adriana Beltrán, who runs WOLA’s Citizen Security program will join […]

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WOLA Podcast: “Human Rights Trials in Guatemala”

Here’s a conversation with WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt, a professor of political science at George Mason University. Since 2012 Jo-Marie has closely monitored Guatemala’s judicial effort to hold military personnel accountable for crimes against humanity that they committed or ordered during the country’s 1960-1996 civil war. Despite some often severe pushback, prosecutors, investigators, and civil society […]

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