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.

Writing

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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Virginia “Ginny” Bouvier: An Indefatigable Voice for Peace and Inclusion

While I was away on vacation, the Latin American Studies Association’s LASA Forum published an obituary I wrote for a badly missed colleague, Virginia (Ginny) Bouvier, who passed away just over a year ago. Ever the optimist—and always curious about new ways to communicate—Ginny started a blog, Colombia Calls, in late July 2012, a month before […]

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Who are Colombia’s “Black Eagles?”

“The weeks following the [June 17] elections witnessed an upsurge in killings of social leaders,” reads last Friday’s UN Secretary-General report on Colombia. The killings have come alongside an even larger wave of death threats sent to political activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and social leaders in just about every corner of the country. Often, […]

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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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More findings from the Arizona-Mexico border

Hello from a plane returning from Tucson, where we spent all day yesterday and all morning today. It’s been busy: We went to Nogales, on the border, and spent time with the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), a Jesuit-run service and advocacy group that runs a shelter and dining facility on the Mexican side of the […]

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Notes from yesterday in Yuma

Good morning from Tucson, Arizona, where we arrived yesterday evening after a 220-mile drive through the desert from Yuma. We spent yesterday in Yuma and across the border in San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora. We met with Mexican migration authorities (INM and Grupo Beta), with the Casa de Migrante migrant shelter in San Luis, with […]

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Good morning from Yuma

Good morning from Yuma, Arizona, where we landed at about 4:00PM yesterday. We’re about half an hour’s drive from the Mexico border right now, and about the same distance from Arizona’s border with California. With this visit, since 2011 we on WOLA’s Border and Migration Program have now worked in seven of the nine sectors […]

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The “cages”

That’s me in the white shirt, in this 2014 Border Patrol photo reproduced in a June 6 Washington Post fact-check piece. The article’s author found fault with Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-Oregon) portrayal of the site we’re walking through, Border Patrol’s “Ursula Street” Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, as “hundreds of children locked up in […]

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Migration at the border in May was below average—except for kids and families

At 5:00 today, U.S. Customs and Border protection released its latest count of migrants it apprehended at the border. The Homeland Security Department’s release about the numbers, and some of the press coverage, seems certain to trigger another freakout from President Trump: The number of apprehended illegal border crossers increased slightly from the previous month […]

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Who won where yesterday in Colombia

Many thanks to GitHub user “infrahumano” for posting all municipal data about yesterday’s presidential election in Colombia. Crunching those numbers yields interesting results: Poorer and historically conflictive parts of Colombia went for former Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro. Wealthier parts of Colombia went for former Medellín mayor Sergio Fajardo. Parts of Colombia that are neither too […]

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My LASA presentation slides

If I were smarter, I’d have recorded my Latin American Studies Association panel discussion and shared the audio as a podcast, like Greg Weeks did. Instead, here’s the 36-slide presentation I used to explain the experience of U.S. support for Colombia’s peace process under the Trump administration. It’s below, or just download the 16mb PDF file […]

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