Cuban President Raul Castro and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos review troops during a welcome ceremony, Havana, Cuba, July 17, 2017 (AP photo by Ramon Espinosa).

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos traveled to Havana this month for a visit that regional outlets described as focused on economic cooperation. In addition, Santos again thanked Cuban President Raul Castro for having hosted the talks that led to a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In an email interview, Adam Isacson, a senior associate for regional security policy at the Washington Office on Latin America, explains how the talks led to warmer ties between Bogota and Havana, and how this could pose trouble for U.S.-Colombia relations given the Trump administration’s Cuba policy. WPR: Historically, what […]

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Latin American countries have consistently ratified international conventions to protect women. They are falling behind in implementation, though, despite some of the worst rates of gender-based violence and femicide in the world. Why aren’t these agreements being translated into policies? Protecting women against gender-based violence is too often overlooked as a global human rights issue. On the surface, Latin America may look like an exception. All of the region’s countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and 14 have ratified the convention’s optional protocol that permits a special U.N. committee […]

Victims of cholera protest outside United Nations headquarters during a U.N. Security Council delegation visit, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 22, 2017 (AP photo by Dieu Nalio Chery).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss Iraq’s prospects for reconstruction and reconciliation after the liberation of Mosul. For the Report, Jake Johnston talks with Peter Dörrie about the problematic legacy of the U.N.’s stabilization mission in Haiti, and why accountability for past errors is key to its future role in the country. If you’d like to sign up for the beta version of WPR’s Africa-only subscription, you can do so here. It’s free for the first two months. And if you like what you hear on Trend Lines, as well […]

Members of Haiti’s new national military force run during training at a former U.N. base, Gressier, Haiti, April 11, 2017 (AP photo by Dieu Nalio Chery).

Haiti began recruitment this week for a new army, an institution that was disbanded in the mid-1990s under then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The recruitment drive comes as the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti is being replaced by a smaller mission focused on rule of law. In an email interview, Geoff Burt, executive director of the Center for Security Governance and editor-in-chief of Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, describes the Haitian army’s troubled history and the challenges to making the new one both effective and apolitical. WPR: Why was Haiti’s army disbanded in 1995, and what security threats or other […]

A boy bikes past a U.N. soldier from Brazil on the road between Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes, Haiti, Oct. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

After 13 years and more than $7 billion, the “touristas”—as the United Nations soldiers that currently occupy Haiti are commonly referred to—will finally be heading home. Well, sort of. While thousands of troops are expected to depart in October, the U.N. has authorized a new, smaller mission composed of police that will focus on justice and strengthening the rule of law. But the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, is not just thousands of foreign soldiers “keeping the peace.” It is the latest and most visible manifestation of the international community’s habit of intervening in […]