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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

The Human Costs of Mexico's Drug War: Health Effects on Women, Migrants and Youth

On Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 6 PM, CSWGS was pleased to present Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy in Mexico City.  The lecture took place in the Anderson Family Commons of McNair Hall, in the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.


Since the Mexican government launched the war on drugs, deploying the military in 2006, more than 50,000 people have been killed – a staggering number. Behind the numbers lie human health costs beyond the mortalities, including injury, rape, torture and trauma. The most at-risk populations are those made most vulnerable by the same security policies that led to the war – women, migrants and youth. Their suffering remains largely invisible yet understanding these costs is essential to attending to these populations and building real security for all.Carlsen headshot

In addition to her work at the Center for International Policy, Carlsen is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus (www.fpif.org) and Huffington Post. 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. Co-editor of Confronting Globalization: Economic integration and popular resistance in Mexico, she has also published hundreds of articles and chapters on U.S. foreign policy and social, economic and political aspects of Mexico and Latin America. Before joining the Americas Program, Carlsen worked in communications and community development in Mexican organizations, and as an international journalist. She has also worked as a consultant for the International Organization for Migrations, the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Just Associates and other international organizations, and as a researcher and adviser to citizen movements for peace and justice.