headshot_libreriaLaura Carlsen, Director, (U.S.-Mexican) holds a B.A. in Social Thought and Institutions and a Masters in Latin American Studies, both from from Stanford University. In 1986 she received a Fulbright Scholarship 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 works with Just Associates (JASS) and has been a gender and communications consultant for the Nobel Women’s Initiative, and policy consultant and writer for  the International Organization for Migrations. She is a columnist for Desinformémonos, Foreign Policy in Focus, Counterpunch and Palabras al Margen, a panelist on KPFK’s Friday Round Table with Margaret Prescod, and a commentator on Americas Now!, Al Jazeera English, Univisión, Telemundo, BBC, CNN and numerous television and radio stations. She currently hosts Hecho en América on Rompeviento TV, and previously hosted the weekly TV program Interview From Mexico. Her op-eds have been published in Fortune,  The New York Times, USA Today, Le Monde and many other publications. She does frequent international public speaking tours on Americas Program issues, including the drug war, immigration, economic integration and gender justice in the region. Twitter: @lauracarlsenc


Alex McAnarney, Program Manager, (U.S.-Salvadoran) is a longtime Americas Program team member, with extensive experience working on human rights, social justice and migrant rights communication and advocacy strategies. She currently also works at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and previously worked at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) as Director of Communications where she developed and implemented online and press strategies and campaigns to advocate on behalf of victims of human rights violations across the Americas. Her work has been published in El País, El Faro and Al Jazeera, among other outlets. She received her M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago, where her thesis focused on the right to healthcare for Central American migrants in Southern Mexico, and her BSc in Journalism and B.A. in Literature from Florida International University.


Viviana Zúñiga Rojas, Multimedia Development, (Mexican) is a filmmaker, producer and director in projects of documentary and fiction genre. Her latest documentary “Here, we are” premiered at various film festivals and she is currently a producer on Tatiana Huezo’s new documentary film “The Echo”. Viviana is also a musician and singer of traditional music “Son Jarocho”.  Her work concentrates on aspects of women’s empowerment and identity based on rituals and ethnomusicology.


Aude Blenet, Fellow, (French-Mexican) holds a Masters in Human Rights Law and is a Doctoral Candidate at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She is a professor of Human Rights Law at the ITAM. She researches and writes on issues of global immigration for the Americas Program.



Peter Costantini, Migration Coordinator, (United States) is an independent analyst. Over four decades, he has published work on topics including migration, Latin America, labor, housing and economics, reporting from Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Haiti, Italy, Ireland, China, and the U.S. southwest border. Besides Americas Program, his work has appeared in Inter Press Service, Foreign Policy In Focus, MSNBC News, and many other publications, in English, Spanish and French. For his first twenty years in the workforce, he made his living doing blue-collar work, primarily in construction, shipyards and office-equipment repair. During part of that time, he was active in the Laborers International Union of North America. He also volunteered a second shift as a community organizer. After co-founding the Seattle Tenants Union, he served on the executive board of the National Tenants Union. He was involved in Central America solidarity in the 1980s and 1990s, and taught a short course on microprocessors at the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Managua, Nicaragua. For his last twenty years of gainful employment, he worked in the software industry as a program manager, technical evangelist, documentation manager, and programming writer. He is now retired and embedded as a volunteer with the immigration justice movement. He is a native of New York City, grew up mainly in New Jersey, attended Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio and the Université de Montpellier, France. Since 1973, he has made his home in Seattle.


Yasmin Khan




José Sampietro (Mexican) graduated in Politica Science from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Since 2019 he has worked with Fundación Semillas de Vida A.C. and the national campaign “Without Corn there is no Country” (Campaña Nacional Sin Maíz No Hay País). He concentrates on issues of building and strengthening community, campesino rights, food sovereignty and other political and social issues in Mexico and throughout Latin America.

Regular Contributors

Ariela Ruiz Caro, (Peruvian), is an economist from the Humboldt University of Berlin with a master’s degree in Economic Integration processes from the University of Buenos Aires. She is an international consultant on issues of trade, integration and natural resources in ECLAC, Latin American Economic System (SELA), Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL), among others. She was an official of the Andean Community between 1985 and 1994 and advisor to the Commission of Permanent Representatives of MERCOSUR between 2006 and 2008. She is a columnist for the Americas Program.



Diego González, (Argentinian) nació en Villa Adelina, Argentina. En 2006 arrancó un viaje rumbo a México y Cuba por tierra que duró casi dos años. En ese viaje cubrió las elecciones presidenciales en Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Colombia y Venezuela. Así se especializó en geopolítica. En 2008 se mudó a Bolivia, donde trabajó como freelance para diferentes medios. Pasó un par de años trabajando como periodista en Bonn y Moscú. Fue columnista de diferentes programas en Nacional Rock (FM 93.7) y Radio Nacional (AM 870) y trabajó en la Deutsche Welle (DW) alemana. Participó del documental “Mi patria desconocida” (Mein fremdes Land) para la televisión alemana y dirigió junto a Julia Muriel Dominzain el documental “Antes del golpe, diálogos con Evo Morales” y varias series de podcasts. Es sociólogo y periodista y da clases. Su instagram es diegon.ok



Carmen Rodríguez, (El Salvador-U.S.), is an accredited international correspondent in Washington DC,  writing on immigration, Central America, the impact of US policy in the region and violence against women.  She writes for La Prensa Gráfica, Anadolu de Turquía, Radio Mega Latino/Alberta, Canadá  and the Americas Program.  She has also contributed to canal Estrella TV Los Angeles, Canal 9 Buenos Aires and Latino Village in Buffalo, NY. She has written for the Americas Program since 2014.





Irma A. Velasquez Nimatuj, (Guatemalan) is a Maya-K’iche’ journalist and indigenous right activist who holds a Doctorate in Social Anthropology. She is a regular columnist for the Americas Program.




Jessica Islas, (Honduras)  is a journalist, author, researcher and co-founder of Feminists in Resistance in Tegucigalpa. She writes a column for the Americas Program on Honduras, democratization and gender issues in the region.




Talli Nauman, (United States) is a journalist who has worked with the Americas Program for more than two decades. She is a co-founder of the Mexican Network of Environmental Reporterswrites a regular column on environmental issues. Talli received a MacArthur Fellowship for her investigative journalism on gender equity in environmental protection in Mexico. A native of the Black Hills of South Dakota, she spent 16 years in Mexico, working in national and international periodicals and news agencies, promoting environmental journalism and cross-border citizen cooperation and now writes from South Dakota.

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Simon Schatzberg, (United States) graduated from Knox College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and is currently finishing his Masters in Journalism and Latin America at New York University. He was an Americas Program intern 2013 and currently works as a reporter and translator. He writes for the program on Mexican politics, U.S. policy and the drug war




Alfredo Acedo, (Mexican) is a journalist and researcher on issues of agriculture, environment and climate change. He was the director of communications for the National Union of Regional Autonomous Peasant Organizations and writes for the Americas Program on agriculture, food sovereignty and farmer organization, biodiversity and climate change from the border state of Sonora.




14805e9Nidia Bautista, (United States) holds a Masters in Communications from NYU and works in the Los Angeles area where she grew up as a freelance journalist. She was an intern and managing director of the Americas Program in Mexico City. Nidia has led youth development projects in the US and Mexico and has organized with Latin American solidarity organizations. She  writes for the Program about student protest, immigration, women and transborder social movements.




William Hartung, (United States) is director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and an Advisor to the Security Assistance Monitor. He is a columnist for the Americas Program on issues of military aid and policy.




Raúl 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 wrote the monthly “Zibechi Report” for the Americas Program.

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. She writes on indigenous and human rights issues for the Americas Program.

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 15 years experience in journalism, 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 writes on environmental issues and human rights for the Americas Progam.

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 a regular contributor to the Americas Program.

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. She has translated and written for the Americas Program for years.

Mariana Amezcua


Lindsey Hoemann/ translator, interpreter and political scientist based between Mexico City and Boston, focusing on language justice and migration. She has led workshops on migration, U.S. policy and human rights and is currently developing a popular education curriculum for capacity building among Náhuatl-speaking community interpreters. She holds an M.A. Political Science and a B.A. in Political Science, Spanish, and Latin American Studies.

Kelly Garrett

Esther Buddenhagen

Tom Buckley


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.

Tristan Tomás Huft Higgins studied his BA in Hispanic and Lusophone studies at the University of Sheffield, GB, taking part in a summer program on Brazilian politics and history at the Universidade Federal Minas Gerais. Now studying an MA in Anthropology at the University of Vienna, his research interests revolve around transnational processes and multilateral solutions to crises that act as push factors in migration. He researches issues of economic integration and food chains for the Americas Program.

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.