I am a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. Broadly speaking, I study the links between organized crime and politics. For example, my dissertation explores oil theft by criminal organizations in Mexico, and argues that these organizations have used the illicit profit from this market to influence elections, perpetrate violence, and corrupt institutions. Through this line of work, I hope to contribute more broadly to our understanding of how powerful criminal groups influence democratic processes and affect the quality of government institutions around the world.
Prior to my PhD, I worked on drug policy at ONDCP, with refugees and immigrants at USCRI, and with unaccompanied immigrant minors in detention centers at the Young Center.
I have a M.A. in International Security from the Schar School of Policy and Government and Bachelor Degrees in Political Science and Spanish from Southwestern University.
Find my CV here.
- Oil, Organized Crime, and Political Competition in Mexico
- The Illicit Drug Curse: Drug Enforcement, Trafficking Routes, and Drug-Related Consequences (with Hernán Picatto)
Empirical studies of organized crime and criminal violence have been limited by a dearth of high-quality data on key attributes of violent criminal organizations including their structure, where they operate, what activities they engage in, and how they relate to one another. This project aims to fill this gap for Mexico and develop techniques that can be replicated in other countries.
We are combining methods and sources, from hand-coding data to scraping and processing archives to interviewing knowledgeable local actors. A public online platform will make updated data, procedures, and analyses transparent and available to all. Users will be able to download panel datasets on the activities and locations of criminal groups and their factions, disaggregated by source; visualize the evolution of their structure and relationships with other criminal groups through time; and read analyses comparing and validating our data with existing sources and methods.
This project is supported by the Center for U.S.–Mexican Studies at UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, and the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University.
Principal investigators and collaborators (alphabetical order):
- Marco Alcocer, University of California San Diego.
- Cecilia Farfán, University of California San Diego.
- Brian Phillips, University of Essex (UK) and CIDE (Mexico).
- Víctor Manuel Sánchez Valdés, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila.
- Patrick Signoret, Princeton University.
- Fernanda Sobrino, Princeton University.
TeachingDiscussion Section Leader
- POLI 30D - Introduction to Statistics (UG)
- GPCO 400 - Policy Making Processes (GR)
- POLI 134D - Latin American Politics (UG)
- POLI 134A - Comparative Politics of Latin America (UG)
- POLI 146A - US & Latin America: Political and Economic Relations (UG)
Get In Touch
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.