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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Writing from a long Miami airport layover

I’m back from Havana. This is the second time I’ve participated in an annual “series of conversations” between U.S. and Cuban scholars and diplomats—the last time was 2013. It was an honor to be on the list of invited Americans, most of whom—unlike me—are Cuba specialists. It was a lot of panels, and I learned […]

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There’s No Emotionally Satisfying Response to Trump “Caravan Rage”

As the latest Central American migrant caravan limps through Chiapas, the first of up to a dozen Mexican states lying between them and the U.S. border, Donald Trump has seized on them as his best hope for maintaining a Republican majority in Congress. He and others on the U.S. right have gone into overdrive with […]

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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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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of September 30-October 6) Prosecutor’s Office Raids Transitional Justice System Headquarters On the afternoon of October 4 agents of Colombia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía, which investigates and prosecutes crimes in the regular criminal justice system) showed up at the offices of the new, separate transitional justice system created by the peace accords (Special Peace […]

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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of September 23-29) Presidents Duque and Trump Meet in New York Seven weeks into his presidency, Colombian President Iván Duque had his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, outside the UN General Assembly meetings in New York. “It was a great meeting,” Duque later told the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth. “We are going […]

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Colombia’s peace accord “may erode to its barest essence”

Here’s my 250-word response to a question in today’s edition of the Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor publication, about the state of peace accord implementation in Colombia. Q: The U.N. Security Council on Sept. 13 extended the mandate of its mission overseeing the implementation of Colombia’s peace agreement with the FARC rebels. The council also called on […]

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New piece at Razón Pública

Many thanks to Hernando Gómez Buendía, Daniela Garzón, and the staff at Colombia’s Razón Pública for inviting me to submit a column about last week’s meeting between Trump and Colombian President Iván Duque. If you prefer Spanish, el artículo, titulado “La reunión de Duque con Trump: entretenida pero improductiva,” se puede leer aquí. Below is the version I wrote in […]

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A huge setback for civil-military relations in Guatemala

I was disappointed to see Guatemala’s military—which had briefly taken a reformist direction—aggressively, enthusiastically supporting President Jimmy Morales’s crackdown on the CICIG anti-corruption body. WOLA has just posted a piece I wrote about that. What’s happened with Guatemala’s army since August 31 obliterates a few halting steps that it had taken toward being a credible, accountable […]

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The Past Week in Colombia’s Peace Process

(Week of September 9-15) ELN Talks Remain Suspended In his August 7 inaugural speech, President Iván Duque said that he would take 30 days to decide whether to continue peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas. That period has expired, and Duque did not end the talks—but he has suspended them pending the […]

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August Border Statistics Show that Trump’s Policies are Not Deterring Migration

A new graphics-heavy analysis of the latest U.S.-Mexico border migration numbers, using some of the charts I threw together yesterday, is at WOLA’s website: These figures show that the Trump Administration’s cruelties of family separation and detention are doing nothing to change the underlying problem. People fleeing violence in Central America are not deterred from […]

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Charts: migration at the U.S.-Mexico border in August

This afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported on its apprehensions of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in August. While it was a slightly higher August than usual, it saw a jump in arrivals of children and families seeking asylum. The Trump Homeland Security Department lamented the increase in asylum-seekers, and blamed the rise on […]

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Day 7 in Colombia

Good morning from Bogotá. It’s day seven of our visit, and we’ve finished the field-work portion of the trip. Nothing left but two days of meetings here with experts, activists, government and UN personnel.   We spent Saturday through Tuesday in Colombia’s Pacific coast region, in the city of Buenaventura and then way up the […]

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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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The past week in Colombia’s peace process

(Week of August 19-25) ELN Still Hasn’t Released Captives and Hostages The ELN’s release of four soldiers, three police, and two civilians in its custody, believed imminent, still hasn’t happened yet. Guerrilla fronts in Chocó and Arauca captured the nine on August 3rd and 8th, and President Iván Duque (who was inaugurated August 7th) has […]

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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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