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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After many years of accumulating home office-type gadgets, working at home is tolerable. In the frame: Mac Mini with dual monitors, MacBook Air, sheet-fed scanner, podcasting mic, HD camera, blu-ray burner, printer, mechanical keyboard, mouse, Hue lamp, amp, LED lighting, speakers, turntable, headphones. If you find this horrifying, I totally understand. If it’s any consolation, […]

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Can I afford it? Barely. But a 2014 laptop with a busted trackpad connected to a big monitor just wasn’t working as my main work machine. This fully loaded Mac Mini arrived two days earlier than expected. You may hear a bit less from me over the next day or two while I set it […]

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While looking for a photo of coca bushes, I came across this shot from Putumayo, Colombia in 2016. Isn’t that cute.

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As an urban runner, I always notice the air quality difference when I get a chance to run in a forest or a rural setting. On this morning’s solo run in Washington DC, that’s what the air felt like. The air really is noticeably cleaner.

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Cleaned out

After seeing that Italy closed all stores except groceries and pharmacies due to the coronavirus outbreak, I said to the family, “Maybe we should go to Costco tonight.” Virtually everyone else in DC had the same idea; the place was jammed on a Wednesday night. Here’s the “organic brown rice” display.

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Betelgeuse, the rapidly fainting star

I just went outside here in Florida, where I’m visiting relatives, and yes, Betelgeuse, one of the most familiar stars in the northern night sky (it’s in Orion’s shoulder), is way dimmer than it used to be. I took this shot with my phone. Betelgeuse used to be about as bright as Rigel, the star […]

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The President of Colombia, the U.S. Ambassador, a dog, and a box of M-16 cartridges. Tumaco, Nariño, January 16. Detail of this Colombian Presidency photo.

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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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Back at the border

I’m here at the U.S.-Mexico border again. This is my fourth visit to San Diego and Tijuana this year. I’m spending most of this visit at a gathering of migration attorneys and experts from the United States, Mexico, and Central America. The situation is grim right now, but there’s a lot of talk of solutions.

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Street scene in Arauca, Colombia

Going over my photos from our early October visit to Colombia, I found this one, taken on October 3 from our car window, while driving through the hamlet of La Esmeralda, between Arauquita and Saravena, Arauca. This area is heavily under the influence of the ELN guerrilla group. An unremarkable photo of a tidy small-town […]

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Notes from Chocó, Colombia

After our early October visit to Arauca, Colombia, WOLA colleagues and I spent several days in the middle section of Chocó. This department (province) borders both the Pacific and Atlantic, as well as Panama, in Colombia’s far northwest. It’s been a week and a half since we completed this last leg of our trip. It […]

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Sunday morning in Bogotá

The conference I participated in is over (see coverage at the #FESSeguridadIncluyente Twitter hashtag). It was great to spend 2 1/2 days with people working on aspects of security policy from at least 10 other countries in the region. Well worth having to spend the weekend working. I head back to Washington before dawn tomorrow.

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Notes from Arauca, Colombia

Greetings from Bogotá. I’m here briefly after a few days in the department of Arauca, in northeastern Colombia along the border with Venezuela. We visited the towns of Arauca (the departmental capital), Arauquita, and Saravena, holding 17 interviews with human rights defenders, political office holders, social movements, the armed forces, youth groups, trade unionists, and […]

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