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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WOLA Podcast

WOLA Podcast on Venezuela: New Year, New Political Tumult

For Venezuela, 2020 began with new political turmoil, as the Maduro government maneuvered to take over the presidency of the opposition-majority National Assembly. Will this backfire for Maduro? Can the opposition maintain unity? Are negotiations toward new elections feasible? Is the U.S. government sending a coherent message? What about other international actors, like the EU […]

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WOLA Podcast: Protest and Politics in Post-Conflict Colombia

In this podcast, recorded this afternoon, I talk about Colombia with my longtime WOLA colleague Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli. She explains Colombia’s four-week-old wave of social protests, and we talk about the continuing challenge of peace accord implementation, and efforts to protect social leaders. She also covers what we saw and heard during October field research in […]

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WOLA Podcast: Bolivia’s Post-Evo Meltdown

Here’s a podcast recorded yesterday with Kathryn Ledebur, a longtime Bolivia expert and colleague who directs the Andean Information Network in Cochabamba, Bolivia. We discuss: The election process and the events leading up to Morales’s resignation. The disorder and violence following the election, and missed opportunities to achieve an institutional solution to the crisis. The role of […]

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WOLA Podcast: Resisting Repression in Nicaragua

I recorded this Tuesday morning with Julio Martínez of Nicaragua’s Articulación de Movimientos Sociales. Julio was an active participant in the 2018 protest movement against the Ortega regime; he got out and is now doing graduate work in New York. Here, we talk about civil society’s fight to stop human rights abuses and restore democracy […]

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WOLA Podcast: Alan García’s legacy in Peru

Here’s a great conversation with two colleagues who really know Peru, about where the country is today after the suicide of a two-time president facing accountability for corruption. Facing arrest in a corruption scandal, Peru’s two-time president Alan García shot himself to death on April 17. WOLA Senior Fellows Jo-Marie Burt and Coletta Youngers discuss […]

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WOLA Podcast: Taking a Chainsaw to Cuba Policy

I posted this to wola.org on Thursday: The Trump administration has gone full hard-line against Cuba, announcing severe new measures—including a once-unthinkable authority to allow owners of seized Cuban property to sue in U.S. courts. WOLA’s vice president for programs, Geoff Thale, explains why these new punishments and restrictions won’t bring “regime change” to the […]

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WOLA Podcast: Rebelocracy: Social Order in the Colombian Civil War

Ana Arjona on the findings of her award-winning 2016 study Here’s an interview with Ana Arjona, director of the Center for the Study of Security and Drugs (CESED) at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. Professor Arjona is the author of the […]

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WOLA Podcast on Guatemala’s “backlash of the corrupt”

Only a few years ago, Guatemala was making historic gains in its fight against corruption and human rights abuse. Since then, the country has suffered a severe backlash. A “pact of the corrupt” in Guatemala’s ruling elite keeps pushing legislation that would terminate trials and investigations for war crimes and corruption. A U.S.-backed UN prosecutorial […]

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WOLA Podcast: Security, Impunity, and Reform in El Salvador

This makes three podcasts in three weeks. I can’t believe it, either. Here’s the latest (which you can download directly here): An update from Cristian Schlick of El Salvador’s IDHUCA El Salvador is inaugurating a new president amid a severe security crisis. Tens of thousands of Salvadorans are abandoning their homes each year—most displacing internally […]

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WOLA Podcast: A Humanitarian Crisis, Not a National Emergency

Here’s a conversation with my WOLA colleague Maureen Meyer about the border, which we recorded last Thursday afternoon and posted last Friday morning. U.S. and Mexican border communities are contending with a surge of asylum-seeking children and parents, arriving by the thousands each day. The Trump administration portrays it as a “national emergency” and is […]

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WOLA Podcast: What next in Venezuela?

Here’s a conversation recorded yesterday with Geoff Ramsey, who works on Venezuela full-time at WOLA. I wanted Geoff to talk about how to help restore democracy in Venezuela without a military intervention—but also without vague “dialogues” that just buy time for Maduro. He gave me a lot to work with. We’re both fast talkers, so […]

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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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WOLA Podcast on the Venezuelan Forced Migration Crisis

I sat down this morning with Gimena Sánchez, who works on Colombia and the Andes here at WOLA, and Geoff Ramsey, who works on Venezuela. Geoff spent all of April in Venezuela, and in the Venezuelan border areas of Colombia and Brazil. Gimena was in Colombia at the same time, and both did fieldwork in the border city […]

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Things from the past two weeks

I mean to post a link or some other notice to this site whenever I publish something elsewhere. But it has been such a fertile time at work lately, things have gotten away from me and I’ve neglected this space. In order to catch up a bit, here’s everything I’ve been up to since September […]

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New WOLA Podcast on what’s up with Congress and the border

Here’s the blurb: The House Appropriations Committee just passed a budget bill that gives the Trump administration much of what it is asking for: more border wall, more border agents, and more deportation capacity. Meanwhile migration, especially of people fleeing violence in Central America, is creeping upward after a sharp post-inauguration decline. Get an update […]

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