Laura Carlsen

Laura Carlsen

Laura Carlsen  is director of the Americas Policy Program in Mexico City, where she has been an analyst and writer for two decades. She is also a Foreign Policy In Focus columnist. Email: (lcarlsen(at)ciponline.org)

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 2:00pm
Who Gains from Colombia’s Vote for Permanent War?
In early October, the Colombian people voted NO to peace. Or to be exact, 50.2 percent of 37 percent of the eligible population voted no. In the referendum held on October 2, the majority of voters decided to scuttle the agreement between the government and FARC rebels, which had been reached after...
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 11:00am
Plan Colombia, Permanent War, and the NO Vote
The Colombian people voted NO to peace. Or to be exact, 50.2% of 37% of the eligible population voted no. In the referendum held Oct. 2, the majority of voters decided to scuttle four years of peace talks dedicated to ending 52 years of bloodshed. The vote came just days after the celebratory...
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Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 11:15am
Both Parties Are Playing the Mexico Card
Surprisingly, Mexico has taken center stage in this year’s U.S. presidential elections. While it has been cast mainly as the villain, the unexpected spotlight has sent politicians and activists on both sides of the border seeking to get their message out. If they’ve learned anything from the Trump...
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Friday, August 7, 2015 - 2:00pm
For Journalists in Mexico, Hunted Down for Speaking Out
Earlier this summer, Ruben Espinosa fled Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz after receiving death threats. His work as a photojournalist there had made him an enemy of the state’s governor, who presides over one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a reporter. On July 31, Espinosa was...
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Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 7:15am
Expect the Barometer to Rise in Mexico
After the polls closed in Mexico on June 7, embattled President Enrique Peña Nieto stepped up to claim a victory that he didn’t win. “In Mexico, democracy advances,” he declared triumphantly in a polished television address. He announced that the Mexican people had expressed their will through...
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 3:15pm
The 'Biden Plan' for Central America Treats Child Refugees as National Security Threat
When the crisis of unaccompanied minors migrating to the United States burst onto the front pages last summer, it seemed at last the U.S. government would come to grips with its legacy of disaster amid the current havoc in Central America. The United Nations documented that most of the children...
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 12:30pm
Obama Has Nothing to Gain by Propping Up Mexico’s Government
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is traveling to Washington, seeking to bolster his support in the United States as it rapidly unravels in his own country. But President Barack Obama has much to lose by propping up the faltering Mexican leader. Protests over the murder of six people and the...
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Friday, October 24, 2014 - 3:30pm
The Mass Shooting in Mexico
Following a week of accolades abroad , President Enrique Peña Nieto returned home to face the worst political crisis of his administration. Protests rage after local police forcibly disappeared 43 students of Ayotzinapa, a rural teaching college in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero. As the...
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 7:15am
There's Little Mystery to This Mass Grave: Mexico's Drug War Is Killing Children
Many countries prohibit deploying their military for domestic law enforcement: it’s a recipe for violent authoritarian abuse. But the Obama administration’s prohibitionist drug war is funding and encouraging abuse and brutal, corrupt, mass-grave-level murders throughout Mexico and Central America...
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In privatizing its lucrative oil industry, Mexico is banking on a boom of foreign-financed deepwater drilling and fracking. There are so many reasons that this is a bad idea, it’s hard to know where to begin. (Photo: woodleywonderworks / Flickr) Views
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 1:30pm
Mexico’s Oil Privatization: Risky Business
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has gone where no other Mexican president has dared to tread since the nation’s wildly popular oil nationalization in 1938. Late last year, he pushed through an historic measure to reprivatize much of Mexico’s energy sector. The constitutional reforms to grant...
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