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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Public Security

Trust in security institutions across Latin America

All credit here goes to the Chile-based Latinobarómetro polling organization, which carries out an annual public-opinion survey in most of Latin America and the Caribbean. The 2018 poll (PDF) is a fascinating read. For an upcoming presentation, I wanted to know what the poll said about how Latin Americans are viewing the three government institutions […]

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Links from the past month about “Soldiers As Police” in Latin America

(All the coverage I saw last month was about Mexico.) Mexico Jorge Carrasco Araizaga, “Magistrados Reviven la Ley de Seguridad Interior” (Proceso (Mexico), September 27, 2018). Un tribunal colegiado de la Ciudad de México validó la entrada en vigor de la Ley de Seguridad Interior (LSI), aunque la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of September 16-22) UNODC Publishes Its 2017 Coca Cultivation Estimate The UN Office on Drugs and Crime published an executive summary of its 2017 estimate of coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia. The UN agency has usually produced this document, in complete form, in June or July of each year. Among the latest […]

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Good discussion today about the origins of Central America’s violence

We covered a lot of ground in an hour and a half. To the extent that we left the audience with a conclusion: Central America has taken some initial steps to get at the causes of violence. These steps are fragile and risk reversal. This fight is going to be long and complicated, probably requiring […]

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The Past Week in Colombia’s Peace Process

(Week of September 9-15) ELN Talks Remain Suspended In his August 7 inaugural speech, President Iván Duque said that he would take 30 days to decide whether to continue peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas. That period has expired, and Duque did not end the talks—but he has suspended them pending the […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of May 27 – June 2) First-Round Election Results: Petro vs. Duque As polls predicted, no single candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote in Colombia’s May 27 first-round presidential election. The candidates who will go on to a second round runoff on June 17 are rightist Senator Iván Duque and leftist […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of April 29-May 5) Dire Warning from Former Chief Negotiator De La Calle Humberto de la Calle, a respected former vice president and the Liberal Party’s low-polling candidate for May 27 elections, led the Colombian government’s team for all four years of peace talks with the FARC in Havana. On the campaign trail, he […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of April 22-28) Jesús Santrich Case Arrested FARC leader Seusis Pausias Hernández alias Jesús Santrich remains in Bogotá’s La Picota prison, where he is continuing a hunger strike that began after his April 9 arrest. He agreed to receive medical attention, but only from “trusted personnel.” Colombia’s judicial system—both the transitional system set up […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Still catching up. This is the week of April 15-21.) Ecuador Will No Longer Host the ELN Negotiations The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, announced April 18 that his country will no longer host the ongoing peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN. Government representatives and guerrilla leaders had held five rounds of […]

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Use of Deadly Force in Toronto, and At the Border

Watch this New York Times explainer video showing Toronto Police Constable Ken Lam de-escalating a situation, avoiding the use of deadly force, as he singlehandedly arrests Alek Minassian, the driver of a van that ran over dozens of pedestrians on April 24. Then contrast it to the 2012 shooting of a Mexican 16-year-old through the […]

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Colombia’s Dumbest Trafficker

In mid-March Jeremy McDermott, a longtime investigator of organized crime in the Americas, published a study at the site of InsightCrime, the organization he co-directs. He profiled the thriving new cohort of Colombian drug traffickers, which he calls the “fourth generation” of narcos, or just “the invisibles.” With the FARC’s and AUC’s exits from the […]

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This Week in Colombia’s Peace Process

(Week of March 25-31) “Dissident” Group Kidnaps Reporters on Ecuador Side of the Border The Pacific coastal border region between Colombia and Ecuador has heated up amid an offensive launched by a fast-growing dissident group made up mainly of former FARC members and militias who have rearmed. The “Oliver Sinisterra” group, named for a former […]

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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 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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