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.
- The Huffington Post - April 4, 2014 - Uruguay Considers Using Medical Marijuana To Treat Cocaine Addicts In Prison
- AFP - March 25, 2014 - Piden a la CIDH impulsar políticas de drogas centradas en DDHH
- La Diaria - March 14, 2014 - María, no tenemos consenso
- Thomson Reuters Foundation - January 17, 2014 - Why is there a rise of women behind bars in Latin America?
- World Politics Review - December 5, 2013 - Shifts in Cultivation, Usage Put Bolivia's Coca Policy at the Crossroads
- VICE - August 27, 2013 - Less Coca in Colombia Means Nothing for Your Supply
- The New American - July 5, 2013 - South American Leaders Protest Rerouting of Bolivian Plane
- The Christian Science Monitor - July 5, 2013 - Faulty lead linked Snowden to Bolivian jet, European officials say
- ABC News Univision - July 3, 2013 - Snowden Situation Leads to New Conflict Between U.S. and LatAm
- The Christian Science Monitor - July 3, 2013 - Bolivia now has even less to lose in sheltering Snowden
- Inter Press Service - June 28, 2013 - U.S. Grip on Regional Drug Policy Weakening, Experts Suggest
- NBC News - May 30, 2013 - Experts say drug mules are easy to find, hard to catch
- Brecha - December 21, 2012 - Pagan más los que tienen menos
- Associated Press - November 15, 2012 - Marijuana law introduced to Uruguay congress
- Terra - November 7, 2012 - Carlos Rivera: "Conferencia de Kenji perjudicó a su padre"
- Andina - November 6, 2012 - Perú debe limitar actividades del Movadef en el exterior, sugiere WOLA
- Associated Press - June 21, 2012 - Uruguay mulls government marijuana sales
- Associated Press - June 20, 2012 - Uruguay "estaría retando a todo el sistema internacional de control de drogas"
- EFE - June 12, 2012 - La guerra global contra las drogas fracasó, según carta de líderes de A. Latina
- Fox News Latino - May 17, 2012 - After Incident, Hondurans Want DEA Ejected
- Foreign Policy in Focus - April 18, 2012 - Drug-Law Reform Genie Freed From Bottle at Summit of the Americas
- El Universal (Venezuela) - April 17, 2012 - Discord rife in the Western Hemisphere as OAS Summit ends without agreement
- Los Angeles Times - March 25, 2012 - Central American drug summit inconclusive
- La Jornada (Mexico) - October 6, 2011 - El otro frente
- CNN Mexico - October 4, 2011 - Los errores de las políticas antidrogas de América Latina
- El Espectador (Colombia) - September 13, 2011 - ¿Un nuevo aire?
- NPR - June 5, 2011 - Weekend Edition: 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
- EFE - December 9, 2010 - Leyes antidrogas agravan crisis en cárceles de América Latina
- AFP - December 9, 2010 - Leyes antidroga contribuyen a hacinamiento en cárceles de América Latina
- Associated Press - June 22, 2010 - El narcotráfico aumenta en el Perú "porque las autoridades antidrogas están mal equipadas y mal entrenadas"
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