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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Transitional Justice

The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of September 30-October 6) Prosecutor’s Office Raids Transitional Justice System Headquarters On the afternoon of October 4 agents of Colombia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía, which investigates and prosecutes crimes in the regular criminal justice system) showed up at the offices of the new, separate transitional justice system created by the peace accords (Special Peace […]

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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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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

(This covers the week of August 26-September 1; as I was traveling in Colombia during the week of September 2-8, there will be no update for that week.) Peace Commissioner Lays Out Four “Adjustments” to FARC Accord In an August 27 interview with El Tiempo columnist María Isabel Rueda, President Iván Duque’s new high commissioner […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of August 12-18) Constitutional Court Upholds, Modifies Law Governing Transitional Justice System Colombia’s maximum judicial review body, the Constitutional Court, completed an 8½-month review of the law governing the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), which is the body that the peace accords set up to put on trial, and punish, those who committed war […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

Last Week in Colombia’s Peace Process (Week of July 1-7) Social Leader Killings Begin Getting Mass Attention At least four local social movement leaders were killed during the week: Felicinda Santamaría in Quibdó, Chocó Luis Barrios in Palmar de Varela, Atlántico Margarita Estupiñán in Tumaco, Nariño Ana María Cortés in Cáceres, Antioquia The latter two […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(This covers the week of June 24-30—a very eventful period. Sorry this is so behind schedule, but there’s no way around it with the present workload. Last week’s update is coming soon.) Congress Makes Big Changes To Transitional Justice System On June 27 Colombia’s Congress passed a Procedural Law for the Special Peace Jurisdiction (JEP), […]

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An early incident casts doubt on the incoming Colombian president’s independence—and the peace accord’s future

An incident late last week in Bogotá, getting reported as hearsay in Colombia’s media, raises serious concerns about the independence of President-Elect Iván Duque from his patron, the hardline former president and current Senator Álvaro Uribe. It also raises concerns that the peace accord with the FARC, which Duque and Uribe both criticize but Duque […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of May 6-12) ELN Talks Restart in Havana Government and ELN negotiators relaunched peace talks in Havana, Cuba on May 10, continuing a fifth round of negotiations that had begun in Quito, Ecuador on March 15. The process was interrupted on April 18 when Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, suspended the country’s hosting of the […]

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Records of paramilitary atrocities are “moth food” today

As many of you remember, in 2006 Colombia embarked on the so-called “Justice and Peace process” after 32,000 members of the paramilitaries (the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia or AUC) demobilized. (A top ex-paramilitary leader recently said that as many as 12,000 of those weren’t even paramilitaries, just people rounded up at the last minute.) At their […]

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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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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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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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