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Weekly adamisacson.com - Issue #5

The big event at work this week was WOLA's annual human rights award dinner, where we got a chance to
Weekly adamisacson.com - Issue #5
By Weekly adamisacson.com • Issue #5 • View online
The big event at work this week was WOLA’s annual human rights award dinner, where we got a chance to uphold Guatemala’s anti-beleaguered but persistent anti-corruption fighters.

Adam Isacson
One of my all-time heroes, @Ivan_Velasquez_ —investigator of #Colombia’s parapolitics scandal and head of #Guatemala’s @CICIGgt—accepts WOLA’s 2018 human rights award. Great to have him here. https://t.co/pcBZT04OB8
Otherwise, it was a week of meetings with officials and talking to journalists about Colombia, and writing things that, for the most part, will come out in a few weeks. Next week I’m giving a talk at Washington College up in Chestertown, Maryland, on Monday, then talking about the origins of Central America’s violence on a panel at the U.S. Institute of Peace on Tuesday. Come by and say “hi” if you’re in Washington.
Actually, there are a lot of events going on in Washington this coming week.
The last week of September is always a bit chaotic in Washington, and this week will be particularly special. Beyond the Kavanaugh Supreme Court circus, we still don’t know whether our president will shut down the government, whose budget year ends Sunday the 30th, if he doesn’t get his border wall money (spoiler: he won’t). And the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing with the nominee to be the next commander of U.S. Southern Command. And look at all these events coming up around town (I count 11):
Monday, September 24, 2018
  • 9:00–10:30 at the Wilson Center: A View from the White House: Latin America Policy Under the Trump Administration (RSVP required).
  • 9:00–4:30 at the Wilson Center: The Scientific, Social, and Economic Dimensions of Development in the Amazon (RSVP required).
  • 2:30–4:30 at the Inter-American Dialogue: A Conversation with Valdrack Jaentschke (RSVP required).
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
  • 8:30–10:30 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Brazilian Elections: Starting Over or More of the Same? (RSVP required).
  • 9:30 in Room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building: Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nominations – Abrams - Faller (Vice Adm. Craig Faller is the nominee for next commander of U.S. Southern Command).
  • 9:30–11:00 at USIP: What Drives Violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle? (RSVP requiredI’m a panelist here, come by and say “hi.”).
  • 10:00–12:00 at the Wilson Center: Admiral Eduardo Bacellar Leal Ferreira on the Evolving Role of the Brazilian Navy (RSVP required).
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Friday, September 28, 2018
  • 9:00–11:00 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Corruption, Crisis, and CICIG: What Next for the Rule of Law in Guatemala? (RSVP required).
Crazy, right? And look at what's happening in Colombia.
My Colombia peace process update covering last week is longer than usual because what’s happening is so momentous:
  • ELN Talks remain suspended
  • Former army chief appears before JEP
  • FARC party conference marked by no-shows
  • US officials visit amid speculation over renewed fumigation
  • Dissident leader “David” killed in Nariño
Also, in order to stay as up-to-date as possible, I posted an overview of Colombia’s peace process during the week before I traveled to Colombia (August 26-September 1). That one talks about:
  • Peace Commissioner Lays Out Four “Adjustments” to FARC Accord
  • FARC Conference Marked By No-Shows
  • Spain Offers To Accompany ELN Peace Talks
  • JEP Takes on a “False Positive” Case
  • Military Presents Report to Truth Commission
Here are five must-read articles by others from the past week
Brazil
Rather than a mandate for governing, elections held under these conditions produce the opening positions of a game played between the president and a fragmented congress, which Brazilians call presidencialismo de coalição
Colombia
These dissident guerrillas invited The New York Times to their camp, hidden among mountains north of Medellín, to tell the story of why they abandoned the peace deal
Guatemala
El Cacif pagó US$135 mil (Q1 millón) a dos lobistas en Washington para tener acceso e influenciar acciones del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Está en duda si ha sido para desprestigiar a la CICIG
Mexico
Corruption at the state level has been partly responsible for a lack of progress in prosecuting such deaths
U.S.-Mexico Border
For Mario, the encouragement to “operate in the gray” summed up the attitude of the Border Patrol — operating outside of the law. He described some of the actions of Border Patrol as “borderline inhumane”
And some electioneering. Support Beto!
(That’s me talking, of course, not WOLA, my employer, which is not affiliated with my personal site or this e-mail newsletter.) I’ve liked Beto O'Rourke since I met him in El Paso in 2011, and want him to be Texas’s next senator. I encourage you to support his scrappy grassroots campaign—and I think he can win. Imagine a member of Congress who asks you to recommend books to read so he can do his job better:
Beto O’Rourke Would Be a Great Texas Senator
Here's some music that's been in my headphones while I do all this.
"Shape Of My Hands" by Illuminati Hotties (2018). I like the indie pop that the North Carolina-based record company Tiny Engines has been putting out.
"Shape Of My Hands" by Illuminati Hotties (2018). I like the indie pop that the North Carolina-based record company Tiny Engines has been putting out.
"Fill In The Blank" by Car Seat Headrest (2016). I saw Will Toledo and his band put on an amazing show Wednesday night at Washington's 9:30 Club. It got me accustomed to staying up late for WOLA's human rights awards gala the next evening.
"Fill In The Blank" by Car Seat Headrest (2016). I saw Will Toledo and his band put on an amazing show Wednesday night at Washington's 9:30 Club. It got me accustomed to staying up late for WOLA's human rights awards gala the next evening.

Adam Isacson on Instagram: “#carseatheadrest”
"Pressure" by Flasher (2018). A DC band to watch.
"Pressure" by Flasher (2018). A DC band to watch.
"Talking Straight" by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (2018). This Australian band ended their U.S. tour with a show at DC's Black Cat Monday night. It was energetic, tight, and way better than I expected. (Yes, I went out a bit too much this week.)
"Talking Straight" by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (2018). This Australian band ended their U.S. tour with a show at DC's Black Cat Monday night. It was energetic, tight, and way better than I expected. (Yes, I went out a bit too much this week.)

Adam Isacson on Instagram: “Couldn’t get a clear shot because @rollingblackoutscf never stand still. Best live show I’ve seen in a while, and I’ve been getting out…”
"Less Than Thou" by The Beths (2018). Weird, I posted a song by a New Zealand band and an Australian band on successive days. That wasn't intentional.
"Less Than Thou" by The Beths (2018). Weird, I posted a song by a New Zealand band and an Australian band on successive days. That wasn't intentional.
And finally, links to all the Latin America security news I found noteworthy this week.
Some articles I found interesting: Friday, September 21
Some articles I found interesting: Thursday, September 20
Some articles I found interesting this morning
Some articles I found interesting this morning
Some articles I found interesting this morning
See you next week! It’s going to be a busy one. In the meantime, watch for a provocative article on WOLA’s website about U.S. aid to Guatemala’s military. Should post on Monday.
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