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

New Report: “A National Shame”

This is part three of a three-part WOLA series on the horror that the Trump administration and its “zero tolerance” policy unleashed at the U.S.-Mexico border this spring and summer—and what may come next. (Here is part one, on “zero tolerance” itself, and part two, on what happened at ports of entry.) All three are […]

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Migration at the border in July: the usual summer decline

Customs and Border Protection has released the number of migrants it apprehended in July. It looked like most of the past seven Julys—usually a month when, due to scorching temperatures along the U.S.-Mexico border, migration declines. The nearly seven years of data represented in this chart—the only span for which we have monthly information this […]

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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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Video: Hearing on “Peace and Victims’ Rights in Colombia”

Here’s video, and here’s my written testimony, from this morning’s hearing about “Peace and Victims’ Rights in Colombia” in the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. It was a great hearing, featuring three social leaders working on the front lines of peace accord implementation and inclusion in Colombia. My role was to talk […]

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New report on the border

We’re proud to release “The Zero Tolerance Policy,” the first installment in what will be (probably) 3 reports on the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. This one covers the incredible institutional train wreck that Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions caused when they decided in April that every person caught crossing the border improperly should be […]

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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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Southwest Border Data Shows ‘Zero Tolerance’ Didn’t Deter Migrants After All

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its June data about migrants apprehended at the border with Mexico. The reduction was laughably small for a month when Jeff Sessions’s cruel “zero tolerance” policy was in full swing. This post at WOLA’s website builds on Monday’s post here, which was based on a leak of preliminary […]

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“Zero Tolerance” Didn’t Deter Many Migrants

Much of the country, and the world, have been shocked by the cruelty of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance, arrest-everyone-and-separate-parents-and-children policy. In the face of criticism, administration officials have contended that the policy promised to “deter” potential future migrants from attempting the journey. That assertion would meet its big test in the number of migrants whom Border […]

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“Facebook live” coming up in <45 minutes

(Update 5:00PM: That was fun. I think we hit all our points concisely and it turned out really well.) From WOLA’s website: Update from the border: Facebook live 2:00 PM EDT WEDNESDAY, 27 JUNE 2018 WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/WOLA.ORG/ WOLA’s Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights Maureen Meyer and Director for Defense Oversight Adam Isacson just returned from a research trip to […]

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WOLA Podcast: What We Saw at the Border

Here’s a new podcast with Maureen Meyer and Adeline Hite, whom I accompanied last week at the Arizona-Mexico border. We cover a lot of ground in this 25-minute conversation about the things that most stood out to us on last week’s trip, which I documented in a few posts from the road: what “zero tolerance” […]

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