Coletta Youngers is a leading expert on international drug control policy and drug policy related developments in Latin America. She has over twenty years experience working on human rights and political developments in the Andean Region and U.S. foreign policy toward the Andes.
Ms. Youngers is a consultant with WOLA's drug policy reform project, which promotes more effective and humane drug policies through dialogue and up-to-date analysis of developments in the region. She has helped coordinate a series of informal drug policy dialogues bringing together officials, academics legal experts and others to discuss ways to effectively move beyond the failed “war on drugs.” She is also WOLA’s lead coordinator of an investigation of the impact of drug laws on incarceration rates and prison conditions in eight Latin American countries. She serves an independent consultant with the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC).
Ms. Youngers is co-editor of Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: The Impact of U.S. Policy (2004), which was described in the Journal of Politics as, “a well-researched project that cogently discusses the international and domestic contexts and provides a comprehensive and reasoned account of problems in current U.S. drug policy.” Also published in Spanish, the book continues to be widely quoted in current research and is used by university professors across the country.
Ms. Youngers has published extensively and is frequently interviewed by English language and Spanish media, including articles or appearances in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN-Spanish, CBS-Spanish, NBC-Telenoticias, ECO-Televisa, and Univision.
She joined the staff of WOLA in 1987, specializing in human rights, democracy and U.S. policy toward Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia. Prior to joining WOLA, Ms. Youngers was a project manager at Catholic Relief Services and on the editorial staff of Latinamerica Press/Noticias Aliadas, both in Lima, Peru.
- B.A. University of the South, Political Science
- Studies at St. Johns College, Oxford University
- M.A. Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
- Thirty Years of Advocacy for Human Rights, Democracy and Social Justice (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Office on Latin America, 2006), 176 pages. Also published in Spanish.
- Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: The Impact of U.S. Policy (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004), 415 pages. Co-editor with Eileen Rosin.
- Violencia Política y Sociedad Civil en el Perú: Historia de la Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (Lima, Perú: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2003), 519 pages.
- Brecha -- December 21, 2012 -- Pagan Más los que tienen menos
- Associated Press – November 15, 2012 – Marijuana law introduced to Uruguay congress
- Andina – November 6, 2012 – Perú debe limitar actividades del Movadef en el exterior, sugiere WOLA
- Foreign Policy in Focus - April 18, 2012 - Drug-Law Reform Genie Freed From Bottle at Summit of the Americas
- Los Angeles Times - March 25, 2012 - Central American drug summit inconclusive
- NPR - June 5, 2011 - Stories Behind Peruvian Runoff Better Than Fiction
- The Washington Post - June 5, 2011 - Peru faces 'unhappy choice' in presidential election
- Time - April 12, 2011 - Peru Runoff: Coup Leader vs. Convict's Daughter
- Christian Science Monitor - April 11, 2011 - Leyes antidroga contribuyen a hacinamiento en cárceles de América Latina
- About WOLA
- Get Involved