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.

Post-Conflict Colombia

The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(1) In a decision announced late on May 17, Colombia’s Constitutional Court appears to have dealt a severe blow to implementation of the FARC peace accord. In a 5–3 vote, the magistrates did away with key parts of “fast track,” the special legislative authority the Court approved last December to allow swift passage of laws […]

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The FARC really appears to be abandoning coca—which may mean violence

This is a remarkable paragraph in a Semana magazine column from Daniel Rico, a former Colombian government counter-drug official who now analyzes the cocaine trade and security at the Ideas for Peace Foundation, a Bogotá think tank. In last year’s peace accords, Rico writes, “…with regard to narcotrafficking, the FARC committed itself to ‘put an […]

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“Peace Colombia” aid is still in the 2017 appropriation

The table of aid to Colombia following this paragraph comes from the explanatory statement for the State Department and foreign aid part of the 2017 budget bill (PDF). It reflects the deal struck in Congress on Sunday to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, averting a government shutdown. And here is […]

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Brookings post about coca and peace in Colombia

This just went up on the Brookings Institution’s “Order from Chaos” foreign policy blog. I’ll be talking about “drugs and peace” in post-conflict Colombia at a Brookings panel on Monday morning. Colombia’s peace accords point the way to a solution. But will they be implemented? The “illicit crops” part of the peace accord is more transactional […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

Ex-presidents and peace process opponents Álvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana had either a conversation or a brief contact with Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Good Friday. They were guests of one of the resort’s members, and the Miami Herald reports that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) may have helped arrange the meeting, or encounter, […]

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Response to Álvaro Uribe’s whopper-filled “Message to U.S. Authorities”

(This was just posted to WOLA’s colombiapeace.org site and will go up at wola.org in a little while.) Álvaro Uribe’s Questionable “Message to U.S. Authorities” About Colombia’s Peace Effort By Adam Isacson and Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli On Easter Sunday Colombia’s former president, Álvaro Uribe, wrote a blistering attack on Colombia’s peace accords with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed […]

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This is taking a while

Former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, a rightwing politician who is the FARC peace accords’ most prominent opponent, had a meeting in Florida on Friday with Donald Trump. (Uribe was joined by his predecessor, Andrés Pastrana, who also opposed the 2012-16 FARC peace talks despite spending much of his presidency on an unsuccessful 1998-2002 attempt to negotiate with the FARC.) […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

By now, the UN mission in Colombia has inventoried more than 7,000 weapons that over 6,900 FARC members have brought to 26 disarmament sites around the country. The FARC is handing these arms over to the UN in phases. FARC members concentrated at the disarmament site outside Puerto Asís, Putumayo, have offered to help with rescue and rebuilding efforts after […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

Colombia’s draft law creating a transitional justice system to try war crimes, two elements of which WOLA strongly critiqued last week, has not yet passed. The legislature failed to reach a quorum last Wednesday night. A new vote will be attempted the night of Tuesday the 28th. FARC and government representatives met in Bogotá over […]

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Podcast: Worrying about peace implementation in Colombia

I want this new blog to come with a podcast. I started the blog because so much of what I do all day is explaining: explaining what we’ve been learning, explaining what concerns us, and explaining what a better policy, strategy, or approach would look like. The blog forces me to be a better explainer […]

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Colombia’s New Transitional Justice Law Violates the Spirit of the Peace Accords

I just co-wrote, and WOLA just posted, a statement about a wrong turn for post-conflict Colombia. The hardest part of Colombia’s peace negotiations with the FARC guerrillas—it took 19 months to get there—was “transitional justice.” How do you hold human rights abusers accountable to their victims while still convincing them to turn in their weapons? The peace accords […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

Disarmament “There is now an inventory of 14,000 FARC weapons that will soon pass into the UN Mission’s hands,” President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted shortly after Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas announced that figure. Villegas added that around 11,000 of the arms that the FARC will “leave aside” are rifles. The UN verification and monitoring […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

Transitional justice With the right-wing opposition abstaining, the pro-government coalition in Colombia’s Senate passed, by a 61–2 vote, a law to create the “Special Jurisdiction for Peace” (Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz or JEP), the new transitional-justice system. Tribunals will judge ex-guerrillas and military personnel who carried out war crimes, as well as civilians who […]

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At WOLA’s website: Confronting Colombia’s Coca Boom

Looks like everything I’ve written over the last few days about Colombia’s coca bonanza is coming out today. This new analysis just got posted to wola.org. Here, I find 7 reasons why Colombia’s coca crop has increased so quickly. Suspending aerial herbicide fumigation and not quickly replacing it with anything else. Reducing forced manual eradication and […]

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