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.

U.S. Policy

My Latin America database now resides at “”

I’ve owned the domain for several years; I use it for side projects related to work. The largest by far is one I started in mid-2015: a “database of everything” related to U.S. defense and security relations with Latin America. This mammoth resource is just about complete. So I just took away the little “this site […]

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I’ll be on Colombia’s “Semana en Vivo” at 9:00 EDT / 8:00 Colombia

Today’s panel discussion at the TV talk show of Colombia’s weekly newsmagazine will ask, “Has World War III already started without us noticing?” (Or “¿Será que ya comenzó la tercera guerra mundial y no nos hemos dado cuenta?“) Sort of gives you a sense of how people around the world are viewing the Trump administration’s […]

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

(This was just posted to WOLA’s site and will go up at 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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What is the “Trump Effect” on Migration? It’s Too Early to Draw Conclusions

WOLA just posted a new commentary that I drafted, which seeks to put into context the shocking recent U.S.-Mexico border migration statistics. February and March saw the fewest migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border since available records began in 1999. The arrival of Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric clearly has something to do with that. But […]

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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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“Ground Zero” is safer than the rest of America

Here’s Attorney-General Jeff Sessions in the border city of Nogales, Arizona, on Tuesday: Here, along our nation’s southwest border, is ground zero in this fight. Here, under the Arizona sun, ranchers work the land to make an honest living, and law-abiding citizens seek to provide for their families. But it is also here, along this […]

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Numbers do show a “Trump effect” on migration

These statistics are from an upcoming WOLA memo analyzing sharp recent changes in undocumented migration to the United States. There was a lot of migration during the last quarter of 2016, especially children and families from Central America. And now there is a very sharp drop since mid-January. As that WOLA memo will explain, both phenomena—the […]

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A huge archive of U.S. policy toward Colombia—as it stood 10 years ago

Between 1999 and 2007, when I worked at the Center for International Policy (CIP), I made and maintained a huge online archive about Colombia. I was pretty intense about keeping a thorough record of what was happening. My Colombia page had copies of every report or document we wrote, everything I saw that a public U.S. official said […]

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Podcast: “The Thing”

Here I talk about a new tool we’ve made for monitoring military aid programs, and why it’s important. Did you know that the U.S. government now has 107 programs that it can use to aid foreign militaries and police forces? Neither did I, before we started working on what turned out to be a huge report, […]

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The past week in U.S. policy toward Latin America

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a strongly bipartisan resolution praising Central America’s anti-corruption efforts, like the UN-sponsored CICIG in Guatemala and the OAS-run MACCIH in Honduras. WOLA praised the resolution in a statement. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) introduced a bipartisan resolution reaffirming the “strategic partnership” with Mexico. The resolution—made […]

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