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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Friday, November 09, 2012
Obama Must Rewrite His Foreign Policy Legacy
With a more than comfortable margin of 332 to 206 electoral votes, President Barack Obama held onto office last Tuesday. Now the big question for foreign policy is whether Legacy Obama will be a bolder advocate for peace than the disappointing Campaign Obama.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Public Security – The Greatest Casualty of the Drug War
In stops all around the country, the Caravan for Peace has found that convincing people that the war on drugs is destructive and wasteful is not the problem. The polls show the public came to this conclusion long ago and now close to a majority favor what used to be considered “radical” solutions like legalizing and regulating marijuana.
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Friday, May 18, 2012
Women: 50% of the 99%
What’s 50 percent of 99 percent? Hint: This isn’t a math quiz. To put the question in non-numerical terms: where are women in the global economic crisis?
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Friday, March 16, 2012
Honduras and the US: When Engagement Becomes Complicity
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Honduras on March 6 with a double mission: to quell talk of drug legalization and reinforce the U.S.-sponsored drug war in Central America, and to bolster the presidency of Porfirio Lobo.
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Thursday, December 08, 2011
Fiddling on Climate
The image of Nero fiddling as Rome burned—albeit apocryphal-- has stuck as the metaphor for willfully irresponsible government. Government representatives, gathered at climate change talks in Durban, South Africa, have been fiddling for the past week. Of the hundreds of closed-door sessions, official meetings and informational seminars, all that’s come out so far is cacophony.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011
NAFTA Is Starving Mexico
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) became the law of the land, millions of Mexicans have joined the ranks of the hungry. Malnutrition is highest among the country’s farm families, who used to produce enough food to feed the nation.
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Monday, September 12, 2011
Drug War Madness
In 1936, a church group commissioned a film "to strike fear in the hearts of young people tempted to smoke marijuana." But it was not until the 1970s that Reefer Madness — billed as “the original classic that was not afraid to make up the truth” due to its grotesque portrayal of the supposed dangers of marijuana — obtained cult status.
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Friday, July 15, 2011
The Audacity of "Free Trade" Agreements
Congress could vote any day now to strike a new blow against already-battered U.S. workers and the unemployed. Committees in the House and Senate recently marked up the Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The Obama administration is urging passage of all three relics of the Bush administration before the summer recess.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011
'Fast and Furious' ATF/Mexico Gun Scandal Heats Up
Operation Fast and Furious, the U.S. government arms sting that allowed guns to walk over the border into the hands of Mexican organized crime, made headlines here in Mexico over the past weeks after a Congressional hearing in mid-June brought out new allegations.
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Monday, June 06, 2011
Ending Rape in War
After curving through miles of Quebec’s countryside, the road to Montebello arrives at an enormous log cabin along the Ottawa River. Busloads of women pull up, from Rwanda, Colombia, the Congo, Mexico, Bosnia, Burma—women who think they can change the world. The plan isn’t to change the whole world. Just the most violent and despicable parts, parts that many of them—too many—have experienced firsthand. They carry with them experiences they seek to erase forever, if not from history, at least from any possible future.
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