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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At Key Questions About How the U.S.-Mexico Border Shutdown Will Impact Vulnerable Asylum Seekers and Migrants

Here’s an analysis we posted yesterday in response to the closure of the U.S.-Mexico border to “inessential” travel. As noted in yesterday’s podcast, such travelers apparently include threatened people seeking asylum or protection in the United States, who are being turned away. The result is a potential death sentence, once COVID-19 really hits, for people […]

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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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Restarting Aerial Fumigation of Drug Crops in Colombia is a Mistake

Colombia’s Constitutional Court met today to discuss the government’s plans to reinstate aerial spraying of coca. President Iván Duque was the first to address the high court; he asked the justices to “modulate” their past rulings to allow more spraying. I just posted an analysis of this to WOLA’s website. It addresses a series of questions: Why did […]

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Video and Audio of “Uncertain Times: What Lies Ahead for Colombia?”

Last week I sat down with my WOLA colleague Gimena Sánchez and with Lisa Haugaard, director of the Latin America Working Group, to talk about the state of Colombia’s peace accord implementation. All three of us had done recent fieldwork there. WOLA has posted the video to YouTube, here and embedded below. If you prefer […]

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Downloadable video and audio of our October 16 conference

Last week, WOLA posted to YouTube the five-plus-hour video of our October 16 conference, “Staying on Course: Security, Coca, Justice, and Accord Implementation in Colombia.” There, you can see the entirety of the outstanding panels in which visiting experts from Colombia talked about transitional justice, coca, and the security situation. Note that it’s in both […]

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9 Questions (and Answers) About the Central American Migrant Caravan

A new resource at WOLA’s website provides quick, fact-filled, documented and cited answers to these questions: Why are people leaving? And why are they leaving now? (Short answer: violence, corruption, climate, domestic violence, and economics.) Can Trump cut aid to Central America? (Short answer: no.) Why are people traveling as a caravan? (Short answer: safety in numbers.) […]

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Big Colombia conference is 9 days away: Tuesday the 16th

I’m really looking forward to having this group here. RSVP here, at WOLA’s website. Staying on Course: Security, Coca, Justice, and Accord Implementation in Colombia Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Root Room, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,  1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC Two years after Colombia signed a historic peace accord with the […]

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The “WOLA firehose” for September 2018

Here’s everything my colleagues and I published last month. “Court Finds Guatemalan Army Committed Genocide, but Acquits Military Intelligence Chief,” by Jo-Marie Burt and Paulo Estrada, September 28, 2018 “Video: Responding to Venezuela’s Exodus,” by Geoff Ramsey and Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, September 26, 2018 “4 Years on, No Accountability for 43 Forcibly Disappeared Students from Ayotzinapa,” […]

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The WOLA Firehose for August 2018

Here’s everything I know of that my colleagues at WOLA and I published this month. Publications A National Shame: The Trump Administration’s Separation and Detention of Migrant Families, by Adam Isacson, Maureen Meyer, and Adeline Hite, August 28, 2018. “Come Back Later”: Challenges for Asylum Seekers Waiting at Ports of Entry, by Adam Isacson, Maureen […]

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New Report: Lessons from San Diego’s Border Wall

This is just a blurb. The full report is here: HTML / PDF. I set about writing it at the beginning of the month after we returned from our Texas border trip. This was meant to be just a quick memo about the border-wall prototypes that got built outside San Diego, but blossomed into a […]

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