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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Post-Conflict Colombia

Last Week in Colombia’s Peace Process

(We’re catching up on overdue updates. This one covers the week of March 18-24.) Duque Pulls Ahead in Presidential Polls After handily winning a primary of right-wing candidates that accompanied March 11 legislative elections, Bogotá Senator Iván Duque has rapidly emerged as the frontrunner for the May 27 presidential elections. Duque, the candidate of far-right […]

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Last Week in Colombia’s Peace Process

(We’re catching up on overdue updates. This one covers the week of March 11-17.) Congressional Elections Colombians went to the polls on March 11, and elected a Congress that looks a lot like the one they elected in 2014. Right-of-center parties made hair-thin gains, mainly in the House of Representatives. Parties that remain mostly supportive […]

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Last week in Colombia’s Peace Process

Congressional Elections Are This Sunday Colombians go to the polls on March 11 to elect new members of a 108-person Senate and a 172-person House of Representatives. All will serve four-year terms. Regardless of the result, at least five from each house will be members of the political party formed by the former FARC guerrillas. […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

This post is several days overdue because of travel—it covers the week of February 4-11. Citing insecurity, FARC suspends election campaign The Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, the political party formed by the former Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) guerrilla group, announced on February 10 that it was suspending its campaigning for Colombia’s March 11 legislative […]

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Last week in Colombia peace process

This post is several days overdue because of travel—it covers the week of January 28-February 3. Wave of violence intensifies Violence involving guerrillas, guerrilla dissidents, or organized crime forced 2,560 people to flee their homes in January, according to CODHES, an NGO that tracks forced displacement. Of the displaced, 230 were forced out in mass […]

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Last week in Colombia’s peace process

In third week after end of ELN ceasefire, violence intensifies Talks in Ecuador between the government and the ELN made no progress more than two weeks after the non-renewal of a 100-day cessation of hostilities, which ended on January 9. Last week, events on the battlefield made the situation worse. In the early morning hours […]

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Last week in Colombia’s peace process

ELN and government negotiating new ceasefire? The frequency of ELN attacks appeared to slow in this, the second full week after a 100-day ceasefire ended between the guerrilla group and the Colombian government. The days since January 9 have seen at least 24 events, most of them small-scale guerrilla attacks on energy infrastructure or ambushes […]

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Last week in Colombia’s peace process

I’d like to post these all year without missing a week. Travel plans may complicate that, but I’m going to try. ELN ceasefire breaks off For 102 days, while peace talks proceeded in Quito, the Colombian government and ELN guerrillas mostly honored a cessation of hostilities. That period saw 33 possible ceasefire violations committed by […]

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Where some see a wave of terror, Colombia’s Defense Minister sees “skirts”

Throughout Colombia’s countryside, especially in areas of longtime influence of the former FARC guerrillas, leaders of social organizations are living in fear. Every few days, somewhere in the country, a land-rights claimant, a participant in a crop substitution program, a campesino organizer, or a leader of an ethnic community is murdered. It’s a huge threat to the […]

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Rescuing Colombia’s Post-Conflict Transitional Justice System

Remember back when Colombian officials said that the FARC peace negotiations sought to “put victims at the center” of the process? Colombia’s Congress just finished work on the legislation that would implement transitional justice, the process of punishing the worst human rights violators and making them provide reparations to victims. They did serious damage, putting together […]

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Ex-FARC reintegration is flailing in Colombia, a would-be OECD member state

The chief of the UN mission verifying parts of Colombia’s peace accord implementation has had a rare public disagreement with the Colombian government. On Tuesday, Jean Arnault urged officials to do more to keep former FARC fighters from slipping through the cracks. He pointed out some alarming things: “A very high percentage of ex-FARC members […]

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“Colombia doesn’t know which Trump it will have to face”

Here’s an English translation of a long and wide-ranging exchange with journalist Cecilia Orozco, which ran in Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper this morning. It was a good opportunity to explain (and vent about) the current state of U.S.-Colombian relations. If you prefer Spanish, haga clic aquí. “Colombia doesn’t know which Trump it will have to face”: Adam […]

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FARC analysis at WPR

Here’s a Q&A with the editors of World Politics Review about the future of Colombia’s FARC as a political party. Excerpt: The FARC’s best hope will be to start local, in the rural areas where it has been a factor in Colombians’ lives for decades. One advantage the guerrillas have over other parties is thousands of presumably […]

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With Glaring Omissions, a U.S. Ambassador Delivers a Dark View of Post-Conflict Colombia

Just posted to WOLA’s website: my response to U.S. Ambassador Kevin Whitaker’s aggressive critique of Colombia’s peace process, which appeared in an interview posted Sunday to the country’s most-circulated newspaper. “Last weekend marked the moment Kevin Whitaker truly became Donald Trump’s ambassador to Colombia.… His interview marks the sharpest reversal yet in U.S. support for the […]

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