Peter Laufer’s interviews, articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in a wide variety of publications, from the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle to Mother Jones and Penthouse.
To read the following articles in their entirety, please click the appropriate link.
“The Prisoner” by Peter Laufer
Just two months before I met Lori Berenson inside Huacariz maximum-security prison, on the edge of the northern-Peru city of Cajamarca, Peru’s Supreme Court upheld her 20 year sentence for aiding terrorists. It was Berenson’s second conviction. After her arrest in 1995, she was jailed for life, convicted by a secret military tribunal of being one of the leaders of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, known by its Spanish acronym MRTA. That conviction was thrown out two years ago, and she was retried by a three judge civilian court that convicted her of helping the MRTA plan a seizure of Peru’s Congress. Subtracting the time she has already served in Peru’s forbidding prisons, the 32-year-old New Yorker and former MIT student is due to be released two weeks after she turns 46.
“Reforming Immigration Policy Let the Workers Come” by Peter Laufer
Our immigrant governor stunned Californians last week by praising the work of the Minutemen, an armed citizens’ group patrolling the U.S.- Mexican border in Arizona. “They’ve done a terrific job,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared during an interview Thursday on a right-wing Los Angeles radio talk show. “They have cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants by a huge percentage.” Read more…
“Springtime in Prague” by Peter Laufer
Visitors to Prague just four years ago saw a city marked by beauty and calm; the striking preservation of ancient architecture, untouched by World War II; a window into the past, enhanced by the lack of western-style commerce. Read more…
“The Disgrace of the So-Called Minutemen” by Peter Laufer
No one disagrees that the U.S.-Mexico border is out of control. Virtually anyone who wants to come north across that line simply comes north. If they survive the crossing, they try to disappear into an America anxious to take advantage of their labor, and they usually succeed. But it’s murderous chaos on the border today: desperate migrants succumb to harsh weather, vicious bandits and the brutal extortion techniques of the smugglers they hire to help them gain access to the American Dream. The Border Patrol doesn’t only try to keep undocumented travelers out of the U.S., it often saves the border jumpers’ lives before it deports them. Read more…
“When Tourism is Not So Bad” by Peter Laufer
I grew up in Sausalito back when it was a Portuguese fishing village and an artists colony that drew curious tourists on the weekends. Downtown Sausalito looks ruined to me today: a Disneyland of souvenir shops, T-shirts and overpriced ice cream. Read more…
“My New Kentucky Home” by Peter Laufer
Route 77 is a small road, an east Texas highway that runs north from Brownsville to Corpus Christi, past the spring break resorts of the Padre Islands. There it connects to Route 37, which takes you to San Antonio. If you turn on Route 35, you’ll pass Dallas en route to Oklahoma, following a sagebrush express highway built to cut across nearly empty counties and link the far-flung commercial centers of the Southwest and heartland to one another. From Oklahoma City, you get a choice of destinations, each of them places where Middle America dwindles out into the countryside: west to the panhandle, north to Kansas, east to Arkansas or Missouri, and, eventually, Kentucky. Drive long enough on this route, and you begin to remember the value big interstate roads like these had in allowing farmers to bring their products to market more easily. Step off the road now and then, though, and you begin to notice something else: This set of ur-red state roads has become a main artery for immigration. Read more…
“What ‘Gorgeous’ Bodega Bay Is Missing” by Peter Laufer
BusinessWeek reader Peter Laufer says BW’s recognition of his California community failed to mention that it’s lacking one.
Europe magazine: “Minsk”
San Francisco’sThe City magazine: “The Russians Keep Coming”
Nevada magazine: “Neon Nevada”
Europe magazine: “On The Way to Moscow”
Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner Image magazine: “Prague’s Left Bank”
Penthouse magazine: “The View From The Top”
Penthouse magazine: “Resident Evil”
Pozor magazine: “Split Personality“