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headshot_libreriaLaura Carlsen, Director, holds a B.A. in Social Thought and Institutions from Stanford University and a Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford. In 1986 she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the impact of the Mexican economic crisis on women and has lived and worked in Mexico City since. She has published hundreds of articles and chapters on social, economic and political aspects of Mexico and co-authored Confronting Globalization: Economic integration and popular resistance in Mexico. Before joining the Americas Program, Carlsen worked in Equipo Pueblo, as correspondent for Latin Trade magazine, editor of Business Mexico and freelance writer. She has been a gender and communications consultant with Just Associates (JASS) and the Nobel Women’s Initiative, and policy consultant and writer for  the International Organization for Migrations. She is a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, Huffington Post, Palabras al Margen and a regular commentator on CCTV and KPFK Sojourner Truth, and has appeared on Al Jazeera English, Univisión, Telemundo, BBC, CNN and numerous television and radio stations. She hosted the weekly TV program Interview From Mexico and currently hosts Hecho en America on Rompeviento TV. Her work has appeared in Counterpunch, the New Internationalist, New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other publications. She does frequent public speaking tours on Americas Program issues, including the drug war, immigration, economic integration and gender justice.

Regular Contributors

zibechiRaúl Zibechi, Uruguay, is an international analyst for Brecha of Montevideo, Uruguay, lecturer and researcher on social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de América Latina, and adviser to several social groups. He focuses on the South America region and issues of autonomy and grassroots movements. He writes the monthly “Zibechi Report” for the Americas Program.


Kent Paterson, US-Mexico, is a freelance journalist who covers the southwest of the United States, the border region and Mexico and director of Frontera Norte-Sur. He is an analyst for the Americas Program.

Alfredo Acedo, Mexico, is a Mexican journalist and director of communications for the National Union of Regional Autonomous Peasant Organizations. He writes on agriculture, food sovereignty and farmer organization, biodiversity and Mexico politics.

14805e9Nidia Bautista, (United States) is a freelance journalist and former managing director of the Program. She has extensive living and traveling experience in Mexico, including a field research project about the #YoSoy132 movement. She has led youth development projects in the US and Mexico and has organized with Latin American solidarity organizations like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. She first began working as an intern for the Americas Program in 2012 during a study abroad stint and currently writes about student protest, women and transborder social movements and is currently working toward a communications masters at NYU.


Orsetta Bellani was born in Italy and has been living and traveling in Latin America for decades. She has a degree in communications and international relations, and works as a freelance journalist.


Marco-Antonio-Martinez-Garcia1 Marco Antonio Martínez García, Mexico, is a reporter specializing in politics and environment topics. He graduated  from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has 12 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in the newspapers Reforma, El Economista, El Universal and El Centro. He has also collaborated with the Instituto Mexicano de la radio, and the magazine Chilango. He is coauthor of the book “Horas Infaustas. La tragedia del News Divine,” published in 2009.


william_hartung_resized-150x150William Hartung, USA, is director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and an Advisor to the Security Assistance Monitor.



Jessica Isla

Jessica Islas, (Honduras) Columnist,  is a journalist, author, and member of Feminists in Resistance in Tegucigalpa.


Talli Nauman Talli Nauman (United States) Columnist, is a journalist who has worked with the Americas Program for nearly two decades. She writes on environmental issues.


Tony Phillips, Argentina, is an Irish ecological economist living in Buenos Aires. He specializes in Ecological concerns for international finance and in Latin American regional integration. He is an analyst and translator with the Americas Program. He also edits the multilingual magazine: Tony  is a researcher and journalist on trade and multinational finance, and a translator and analyst for the Americas Program. Much of Tony’s work is published at Project Allende.

Victor-Quintana3-150x150Víctor Quintana (Mexico) Columnist, is a writer, adviser to the Democratic Peasant front of Chihuahua and professor-researcher in the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez.



Marta Sanchez Soler, Mexico, is a binational (Mexico-USA) migrant’s rights advocate and activist, founding member and executive director of Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano. She is a member of MIREDES International, Parlamento Migrante, Migrants Rights International, Red de Defensores de Derechos Humanos, LULAC, and promotes integration of struggles throughout the American Continent.

Alex Sierra R, (Colombia) Columnist, is an Anthropologist and has worked as a researcher and independent consultant on topics related to human rights, international development cooperation and public policies in Colombia. He has conducted work in the areas of armed conflict and among vulnerable communities in his country during the last 14 years.

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Nicole Rothwell (USA), Social Media assistant, holds a dual-degree in International Studies and Spanish from Seattle University. For the past five years she has worked with educational and international social justice nonprofits in NYC. She also organizes with the Venceremos Brigade, an international solidarity movement with Cuba.


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Simon Schatzberg, (United States) is a Wisconsin native who graduated from Knox College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2015. In 2012, he participated in the Mexico Solidarity Network’s study abroad program in Zapatismo and the Other Campaign.


Annette Ramos holds a masters in Spanish and Latin American literature, and is a freelance interpreter and translator. Her interests include current events throughout the Spanish-speaking world and enabling the dissemination and proliferation of alternative viewpoints.

Esther Buddenhagen is a retired psychiatric social worker and a retired back-of-the-book indexer who currently lives with her husband in Xico, Veracruz, Mexico.  She has diplomas in Spanish language and Mexican Studies from UNAM’s School for Foreigners, San Antonio, Texas branch.



unnamed-1Barbara Belejack worked as a journalist in Mexico for many years. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and helps develop library programs for Spanish-speakers in the New York area.



justin plus dog picJustin Coley currently works as an interpreter and translator throughout the Southeastern US, where he often facilitates conferences and social justice movement meetings with simultaneous interpretation. Additionally he has an MA in Anthropology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is an experienced field researcher and interviewer.


unnamedMaria Stella Dabancens has over 20 years of experience as a translator and editor. She has worked with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, UNIVISION, the National Commission for the Environment of Chile, among other organizations in the EU and Latin America. Currently she lives in the United States.


Duran_Elena (1)Elena Duran has worked in different capacities and her retirement years works as a volunteer in various activities. She’s lived in Chicago since 1964.



jmf_wall_4Jenny Marie Forsythe is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studies French and English translations of Spanish American histories.


cipPaige Patchin is a Ph. D candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. She is currently writing a feminist geography of empire, and has researched U.S.-Mexican security politics and the war on drugs in the past. She holds a Master’s in Geography, also from UBC, and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota.


00536c5Paula Villanueva De Miguel Originally from Spain, she graduated from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) with a BA in Translation and Interpreting. She is currently living in the United States, where she studies a MA program in Intercultural Communication and work as a part-time Spanish instructor at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

unnamedViviana Vitulich
 lives in Argentina. She is a Social Psychologist with experience in community mental health and psychological expert testimony. She lectures and teaches Citizenship Education to teens and coordinates group therapy aimed to observe, analyze and solve problems arising in the community. She writes newspaper articles and psychosocial analysis for various national and international media.



The Americas Program relies on a network of volunteer researchers from around the world. These individuals share of their time and expertise and make it possible for our small program to produce cutting-edge analysis on a weekly basis.

Laura Weiss

Nayeli Montero Rodriguez: Nayeli currently lives in Mexico City where she works in government. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in Mexico, and a Master’s in International Studies in Security from Birmingham University in the U.K. She was Program Assistant at the Americas Program in 2010 and continues to collaborate on research and writing and relations. She has worked and lived in Ireland and the United Kingdom and speaks English, French and Spanish.