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Laura Carlsen, Director   holds a B.A. in Social Thought and Institutions from Stanford University and a Masters degree 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 in Mexico City since then. She has published hundreds of articles and chapters on social, economic and political aspects of Mexico, co-edited Confronting Globalization: Economic integration and popular resistance in Mexico, and El Café en Mexico, centroamerica y el caribe. 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 done policy consulting with the International Organization for Migrations. She is a frequent commentator on CCTV, Al Jazeera English, Univisión, CNN and numerous television and radio stations and is the host of the weekly TV program Interiew From Mexico  and has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other publications. She does frequent public speaking tours on Americas Program issues and is in charge of building networks and editing and coordinating publications.

14805e9Nidia Bautista, Managing Director
 graduated with a B.A. in Politics and Latin American and Latina/o Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She has extensive living and traveling experience in Mexico, including undertaking political science courses at UNAM and conducting a field research project about the #YoSoy132 movement. She first began working as an intern for the Americas Program in 2012 during a study abroad stint and currently writes about student protest and transborder social movements.

Regular Contributors

Raúl Zibechi 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.

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.

Marco-Antonio-Martinez-GarciaMarco 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.

Talli Nauman, United States, is a U.S.-based journalist who has worked with the Americas Program for nearly two decades. She writes on environmental issues.

Jessica Islas, Honduras

Víctor Quintana, Mexico

William Hartung, USA

Alex Sierra, Colombia

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.

Kristin Bricker is a U.S. journalist based in Mexico and long-time member of the Americas Program team of investigative journalists.

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.

coffee-in-Paraguay-small 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.


Barbara Belejack

Viviana Vitulich

Elena Duran

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.



Carolina Sternberg is a Ph.D. candidate interested in urban geography, committed to understanding social inequalities in global cities. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, focusing on neoliberal governance in Latin American and North America. Currently, she is making progress with her dissertation entitled:  The Dynamics of Neoliberal Redevelopment Governance: A Comparison of Buenos Aires and Chicago.

Lívia Cavallini Dias is a Brazilian International Relations analyst, who has focused her studies in American political, economical and logistic issues, with an MBA in International Logistics & Commerce, who has worked in her specialization field in Brazil and in the USA. Nowadays she works as a Budget Analyst for an engineering project in a Brazilian multinational company, but her real interest and passion are still International Relations. Lívia is fluent in Portuguese, English and French, and can easily communicate in Spanish.

Sara Plaza Moreno
is a Spanish English teacher for children who was awarded a fellowship to study as an exchange student at the National University of Cordoba (Argentina). After finishing her studies she went back to Argentina and started working side by side with her husband reviewing, editing and translating conferences, articles and books in the field of librarianship, information management and indigenous knowledge. Travelling through South America together, they both wrote their experiences down and put them on the web [].  Settled back in Spain for now, she co-publishes “Land of Winds” [] a digital magazine on Andean music and culture, and keeps on contributing to their weblog, in addition to translating, editing and proofreading academic and professional documents.

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.

Frances Fernandes is a senior writer for the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. She has an honors degree in Spanish with Italian from London University, spent 30 years as a reporter and editor for Southern California newspapers and teaches at UCLA Extension.



Brandon Brewer holds a B.A. in Spanish and Media Arts from the University of Arizona, and an M.A. in Spanish from Bowling Green State University. He has lived abroad in Spain, Mexico and Brazil, and in 2008 received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Acapulco, Mexico. Currently, he is pursuing a Masters in Communication Disorders at San Diego State University.

Jenny Marie Forsythe holds a Master’s degree in Latin American Literature from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and is currently a Ph.D. student in Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles.


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.

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.

Ana Gálvez



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