I'm an Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. I obtained a Ph.D. in Political Science at Brown University, a B.A. in Political Science from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and completed an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship.
My research interests include the relations between organized crime, violence, and the state in Latin America, as well as the interconnections between democracy, rule of law, and citizen security.
My book "The Politics of Drug Violence: Criminals, Cops, and Politicians in Colombia and Mexico" published in 2018 by Oxford University Press, presents a novel theory to explain variation in forms and levels of drug related violence.
Other recent publications include "To Kill and Tell? State Power, Criminal Competition, and Drug Violence." (Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2015), and "Drugs Around the Corner: Domestic Drug Markets and Violence in Colombia and Mexico" (Latin American Politics and Society, 2015).
I have also published in the Journal of Peace Research, Comparative Political Studies, and Crime, Law and Social Change (2009) and participated in edited volumes with pieces such as "The International Politics of Drugs and Illicit trade in the Americas" (with Peter Andreas), included in the Handbook of Latin American in the World, Routledge (2014).
My research has been featured in opinion pieces and academic blogs such as Political Violence at @glance.
I have been a Fulbright Fellow at the United Nations Secretariat and a consultant for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Development Program, and Global Integrity.
Prior to my graduate studies, in Colombia I worked for the Foundation Ideas for Peace (FIP) and for several research projects about the Colombian armed conflict.