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Weekly - Issue #7

Weekly - Issue #7
By Weekly • Issue #7 • View online
Last week is finally over. I’m fine, I guess. I hope you are too. Washington was at its ugliest the past several days, except for the good people protesting outside the Senate. Meanwhile, I’m just here trying not to refresh 538’s “latest polls” page like a rat seeking a food pellet.

This summed up my mood by lunchtime Friday:
Adam Isacson
I wanted a burrito. But then I was like "No, a salad would be the right thing to eat." I got lettuce and a cucumber out of the fridge. But then I put them away and microwaved a burrito.

My point is: I totally Jeff Flaked my lunch just now.
Anyway, if you're in Washington on the 16th, mark your calendar and join us to take a close look at Colombia right now.
The big event we’re putting on is called “Staying on Course: Security, Coca, Justice, and Accord Implementation in Colombia,” and it’s open to the public. Video will be posted sometime after. Go here and RSVP.
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 FARC, Latin America’s largest guerrilla group, much is uncertain. Amid uneven implementation of the accord, armed and criminal groups—some made up of demobilized guerrillas—are filling territorial vacuums and encroaching on ethnic-minority communities. Murders of independent social leaders have reached epidemic proportions. A new president who had led opposition to the accord seeks to make adjustments. Complex transitional-justice cases are just getting started. Coca cultivation has reached new records. Negotiations with the ELN guerrilla group are stalled. Meanwhile, most messages from the U.S. government are about coca and the crisis in neighboring Venezuela—not consolidation of peace.
WOLA is pleased to bring to Washington a remarkable group of leaders, practitioners, and experts from Colombia. They will dive deeply into these and other current challenges in an all-day event, open to the public.
Light lunch, coffee, and simultaneous translation will be provided. Video will be available at WOLA’s website ( after the event.
I see five Latin America-related events going on elsewhere in Washington this week.
Wednesday, October 10
  • 9:00–11:00 at the Inter-American Dialogue: Mexico’s Security Crisis: What Lies Ahead for AMLO? (RSVP required).
  • 6:00–8:00 at the Wilson Center: AMLO and the Outlook for North American Free Trade (RSVP required).
Friday, October 12
  • 10:00–12:00 at the Wilson Center: Will Brazil Go Right or Left? (RSVP required).
  • 10:30–12:00 at CSIS: Venezuela as a Narco State (RSVP required).
  • 11:30–1:00 at the Wilson Center: Looking Out: New Survey Reveals Views in Argentina of Trade, Great Power Relations (RSVP required).
I wrote three analyses of Colombia this week.
And I’m also very far along on a huge (35-plus-pages) report based on our fieldwork along Colombia’s Pacific coast in early September.
First, a column at the Colombian website Razón Pública about what happened when Presidents Duque and Trump met outside the UN General Assembly. Short version: coca, Venezuela, and not much peace accord. The English is on my site, Razón Pública la presenta en español.
Second, a 250-word response to a question from the Inter-American Dialogue about what is to become of the peace accord with the FARC. I fear that the accord “may erode to its barest essence” under the Duque government.
Third, another big weekly update about what happened in Colombia’s peace process during the week of September 23-29. Topics covered include:
  • Duque and Trump meet in New York
  • “Missing” FARC leaders resurface, voicing security concerns
  • Forced displacement is up sharply
  • Bill introduced to create a separate transitional-justice chamber for the military
  • Venezuela is no longer a “guarantor nation” for the stalled ELN peace talks
Here are five of the best articles by others that I read last week.
Western Hemisphere Regional
Originally opened in June for 30 days with a capacity of 400, it expanded in September to be able to house 3,800, and is now expected to remain open at least through the end of the year
En las zonas analizadas, los frágiles equilibrios y acuerdos entre las facciones ilegales se han roto y se han renovado procesos de disputa
“This episode has gotten way out of hand with wild speculation and competing theories from specialists”
El Salvador
By pushing policies like these, the U.S. is fueling violence on one hand, while trying to solve it with the other through tertiary prevention
What was clear after the violence of that night was that Mexico’s government was willing to go to extreme lengths to maintain control
6 "longreads" about Latin America from the month of September.
Western Hemisphere Regional
The violence in Acapulco has created a dystopia where social norms have broken down
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras
Though a vast majority of these respondents were aware of the stricter US immigration policy regime, this awareness had no effect on their consideration of emigration as a viable strategy
Hoy, Chichi (170 000 habitantes) es una de las ciudades menos homicidas en la región más homicida del mundo –el Triángulo Norte de Centroamérica–, con una tasa de asesinatos inferior a la de Chile, Bélgica o Canadá. ¿Quiere saber por qué?
How prosecutors tied a brazen murder in an upscale Dallas suburb to one of Mexico’s most violent criminal organizations
La inseguridad, la erosión del tejido social y la impunidad han creado una espiral de violencia que ha hundido a la capital mexicana en el momento más sangriento de su historia
Corruption at the state level has been partly responsible for a lack of progress in prosecuting such deaths
Coverage from the last month about arms transfers and arms trafficking in the region:
Arms transfers in Latin America: Links from the past month
Everything that my colleagues at WOLA and I wrote during September:
The “WOLA firehose” for September 2018
Some of the music I was listening to this week:
“One That Suits Me” by Hop Along (2018).
“One That Suits Me” by Hop Along (2018).
“Sure” by Hatchie (2018).
“Sure” by Hatchie (2018).
“Spirit FM” by Bad Moves (2018).
“Spirit FM” by Bad Moves (2018).
“Punching Up” by Flasher (2018).
“Punching Up” by Flasher (2018).
“Scorpio Rising” by Soccer Mommy (2018).
“Scorpio Rising” by Soccer Mommy (2018).
Links to all the Latin America security writing and news coverage I found most of interest this week:
Some articles I found interesting this morning
Some articles I found interesting this morning
Some articles I found interesting this morning
Some articles I found interesting this morning
Some articles I found interesting this morning
And that’s it. The coming week is a four-day week for most Washington office drones. I don’t even know what Monday is called now (Columbus Day? Indigenous Peoples’ Day?), but WOLA’s building will be closed and I’ll be working at home. Got a big Colombia report to finish.
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