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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Mexico

WOLA Podcast: Searching for Mexico’s Disappeared

With two very good guests in two parts of Mexico, I’m really glad the technology held up on this one. It was well worth the high-wire act. Here’s the text of the summary at wola.org. Listen above, or download the .mp3 file here. More than 60,000 people have disappeared in Mexico since 2006. As a […]

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This morning in Ciudad Juarez

By a drainage ditch on the Mexican bank of the Rio Grande, a soldier with a “National Guard” armband buys what looks like cigarettes from a vendor.

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What happens if Mexican cartels go on the terrorist list

It’s a waste of time to write something that concludes, “President Trump hasn’t thought this through.” Of course he hasn’t. But still, let’s think through Trump’s declaration this week that he plans to add Mexican criminal groups (“cartels”) to the U.S. government’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Here’s that list, covering the whole world. There […]

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Thread: new border and migration data graphics

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its August data about migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Using that, along with data from Mexico’s government and recent non-governmental studies, I posted a 9-tweet thread to Twitter last night, with 17 graphics. Here is that thread, deconstructed. (1/9) Let’s post a bunch of migration data using […]

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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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Video of my long talk, in Mexico, about “militaries as police”

Many thanks to Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana, who along with several other groups organized a May 21-22 conference in Mexico City on the need for civilians to be in charge of security, at a time when it is militarizing throughout Latin America. They asked me to give a talk about citizen security and the military’s involvement, […]

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Good morning from the Tijuana port of entry

Here’s 3 1/2 minutes of me talking into my phone near a grim daily ritual: dozens of migrants queuing up for the weeks-long waitlist for their chance to cross to U.S. soil and request asylum.

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WOLA Podcast: A Humanitarian Crisis, Not a National Emergency

Here’s a conversation with my WOLA colleague Maureen Meyer about the border, which we recorded last Thursday afternoon and posted last Friday morning. U.S. and Mexican border communities are contending with a surge of asylum-seeking children and parents, arriving by the thousands each day. The Trump administration portrays it as a “national emergency” and is […]

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This isn’t an aid package

Today the U.S. and Mexican governments announced what looks like a bombshell: a monster $10.6 billion package of new U.S. aid to address the root causes of migration. $5.8 billion of it for Central America, $4.8 billion for Mexico. “US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico,” an AP headline gushes. Not so fast. […]

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The Border Patrol Union’s Latest “Green Line” Podcast

Art Del Cueto is president of the Tucson Sector chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, the union whose membership includes about 75 percent of all Border Patrol agents. He was the solo host of the latest episode of the union’s weekly “Green Line” podcast, embedded here: Entitled “Not Guilty!” the episode begins with a […]

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A fatal dose is smaller than Abe Lincoln’s head

From DEA’s December 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment. From GAO’s April 2018 report on synthetic opioids. Here are similar photos from U.S. government reports, the left from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2016 and the right from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2018. They show estimates of a lethal dose of […]

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Snapshots from the border

I’m just back from a quick 3-day trip to the very farthest southern part of Texas, known as the Rio Grande Valley region. This is by far the “busiest” of all sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border. It has the most undocumented migration, the largest number of Central American migrants seeking protection from violence, and (according […]

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