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.

Categories

Get a weekly update in your email




U.S. Aid

Lars Schoultz: “I Wrote This Book for People Like You”: Lars Schoultz takes on U.S. “uplifters” of Latin America

I’ve been reading Lars Schoultz’s scholarship on U.S.-Latin America relations since I was in college, and I was delighted that he would record a podcast. The longtime professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published an award-winning book in 2018, In Their Own Best Interest. In it, he takes to task U.S. policymakers […]

Read More

Government reports relevant to Latin America obtained in March

The State Department’s annual report on other countries’ counter-drug efforts, with some information about U.S. aid.2020 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (Washington: Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, March 2, 2020) <PDF from https://www.state.gov/2020-international-narcotics-control-strategy-report/>. Intricately detailed tables of the status of aid to Central America between 2013 and 2018, from a GAO performance […]

Read More

“Infographics” section added to colombiapeace.org

(Cross-posted at colombiapeace.org) We’ve just added a page with nine visualizations of data regarding peace, security, and human rights in Colombia. We’ll update these, and add more, as we make them. At the bottom of each are shortened links to the documents from which we drew the information. The current collection of infographics covers the […]

Read More

Government reports relevant to Latin America obtained in February

The State Department’s 2021 foreign aid request to Congress, with much 2019 aid numbers.Congressional Budget Justification Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Fiscal Year 2021 (Washington: U.S. Department of State, February 11, 2020) <PDF from https://www.state.gov/fy-2021-international-affairs-budget/>. The annual report to Congress from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (the successor to the […]

Read More

Current table of aid to Colombia

The Trump administration has issued its 2021 State Department and foreign aid budget request to Congress. It calls for a big increase in counter-drug aid to Colombia’s police and military, along with cuts in economic aid and non-drug military aid. Congress will reverse this, but in the meantime, here are the numbers from the past […]

Read More

80 Homeland Security Agents to Guatemala? New analysis at WOLA’s website

Here’s a short analysis posted to WOLA’s website (Español). It jumps off from last Friday’s Washington Post finding that dozens of CBP and ICE officers may be sent to Guatemala to work as “advisors” at the country’s border with Mexico. The piece is built around a listing of Homeland Security and Defense Department deployments to […]

Read More

On Colombia’s peace process, the U.S. government has moved from “support” to “opposition”

On March 10, Colombian President Iván Duque sent a shock wave through the country’s delicate peace process with the former FARC guerrillas. He sent several objections to Congress—sort of a line-item veto—about the law underlying the transitional justice system at the heart of the accord, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). All governments that have […]

Read More

Can Trump really stop all aid to Central America? Yes, but not really.

The New York Times reports: The State Department issued a statement late on Friday saying: “At the secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the president’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.” I’m not a lawyer, and […]

Read More

This isn’t an aid package

Today the U.S. and Mexican governments announced what looks like a bombshell: a monster $10.6 billion package of new U.S. aid to address the root causes of migration. $5.8 billion of it for Central America, $4.8 billion for Mexico. “US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico,” an AP headline gushes. Not so fast. […]

Read More

Last Month’s U.S. Government Reports Relevant to Latin America

Vice Admiral Craig S. Faller, Advance Questions for Vice Admiral Craig S. Faller, USN Nominee for Commander, United States Southern Command (Washington: Senate Armed Services Committee, September 25, 2018). Written answers to questions submitted by the Senate Armed Services Committee to the nominee to head Southern Command. CBP Has Not Ensured Safeguards for Data Collected […]

Read More

A huge setback for civil-military relations in Guatemala

I was disappointed to see Guatemala’s military—which had briefly taken a reformist direction—aggressively, enthusiastically supporting President Jimmy Morales’s crackdown on the CICIG anti-corruption body. WOLA has just posted a piece I wrote about that. What’s happened with Guatemala’s army since August 31 obliterates a few halting steps that it had taken toward being a credible, accountable […]

Read More

Snapshot of U.S. aid to Colombia right now

Thought I’d share a table of current aid to Colombia. Click it to expand it in a new window. In sum, it looks like Congress will once again refuse the deep aid cuts the Trump White House had requested for 2019. Aid will continue to follow the “Peace Colombia” framework that guided assistance in 2017 […]

Read More

What it takes to answer a simple question about U.S. military aid

This week, two people—a journalist and a congressional staffer—wrote me with variations on the same question: “How much aid is the United States giving the military and police in Honduras this year?” Seems like a simple question, but it’s not. Because U.S. government reporting to Congress is so poor, all I can give is a […]

Read More

USAID Colombia evaluation is out

I’m very happy that the U.S. Agency for International Development has posted our independent evaluation (PDF) of its “Colombia Transforma” program, which through 2018 has supported $43 million in “rapid response” efforts to implement Colombia’s peace accord. I worked on this evaluation earlier this year; regular visitors to this site know that this work had […]

Read More
Older Posts
Get a weekly update in your e-mail:




This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.