Council On World Affairs: "The U.S. and Mexico: Drugs, Violence & Co-Responsibility"
1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Joy Olson is a leading expert on human rights and U.S. policy toward Latin America. Since 2003, she has led the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a nonprofit organization that promotes human rights, democracy, and social justice by working with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to shape policies in the United States and abroad.
Under Ms. Olson’s direction, WOLA is pioneering new approaches to human rights advocacy, focusing on the underlying causes of injustice, inequality, and violence.
Ms. Olson’s special expertise is in the area of military and security policy. She has been a longtime advocate for greater transparency of military programs in Latin America. She co-founded the Just the Facts project, which makes information about U.S. military policy in Latin America publicly accessible.
Ms. Olson has testified before Congress on Latin America policy issues ranging from human rights in Mexico to drug policy to the problems of poverty and inequality in the region. She is a frequent commentator in the media, including CNN, CNN Español, the BBC, the Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, and an array of national and international news outlets.
Prior to joining WOLA, Ms. Olson directed the Latin America Working Group (LAWG), a coalition of sixty non-governmental organizations working to promote peaceful and just U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America. Her many accomplishments include leading NGO efforts to increase U.S. funding for Central American peace accords implementation and a successful advocacy effort to lift the ban on food and medicine sales to Cuba.
Student Resource Information:
A Discussion on Security and the Military on the U.S.-Mexico Border
The Economist on Changing Drug War in Mexico
The Foreign Policy on legalizing drugs and Mexico cartels