The Team

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Directors

Steven Dudley, co-director and co-founder, head of research for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean: Dudley is a senior fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies in Washington, DC. He is the former Bureau Chief of The Miami Herald in the Andean Region and the author of “Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia” (Routledge 2004). Dudley has also reported from Haiti, Brazil, Nicaragua, Cuba and Miami for National Public Radio and The Washington Post, among others. Dudley has a BA in Latin American History from Cornell University and an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded the Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 2007, and is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. In 2012 to 2013, he was a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Contact.

Jeremy McDermott is the Executive Director and co-founder of InSight Crime. He also leads the investigations and coverage of Panama, the Caribbean and South America (except Brazil) and manages the team, which is based primarily in Medellín, Colombia. McDermott has two decades of experience reporting from around Latin America. He is a former British Army officer, who saw active service in Northern Ireland and Bosnia. Upon retiring from the military he became a war correspondent, covering the Balkans, based in Bosnia, then the Middle East from Beirut, before being sent to Colombia to cover the conflict. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America. Before setting up InSight Crime he worked for many of Britain’s most prestigious media outlets, including the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and The Economist. He specializes in drug trafficking, organized crime and the Colombian civil conflict. He has an MA from the University of Edinburgh. Contact.

The Team

Chief Operating Officer – María Elena Ortegón has a degree in Business Administration (2006) and Public Accounting (2008), as well as a specialization in Business Law from the Universidad Externado de Colombia (2009). She worked as a manager in the hotel and real estate sector for seven years. She has worked for InSight Crime since March 2014. Contact

Administrative Coordinator – María Clara Salazar has a degree in Business Administration (2002) and a specialization in marketing from the Universidad EAFIT (2006). She worked as a marketing and sales manager for Productos Roma for three years and previously served as sales manager for Canal B2B for nine years. Contact

Project Manager – Héctor Silva Ávalos has 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and writer. He has worked in El Salvador as a reporter and editor for La Prensa Gráfica and as a collaborator for El Faro internet news magazine and for Plaza Pública in Guatemala. In 2014, he co-founded the online magazine Revista Factum. Silva Ávalos is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA) in El Salvador and has a MA in journalism from the University of Barcelona, Spain, and Columbia University. Silva Ávalos has been an InSight Crime collaborator since 2012. Contact

Project Manager – Ángela Liliana Olaya Castro has a degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Colombian history from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. She has experience investigating issues of armed conflict, conflict economies, human rights, international humanitarian law, historical memory, social structures and union violence. She has worked with InSight Crime since September 2016. Contact

Project Manager – James Bargent is a journalist who has covered Colombian organized crime and conflict for international media including the Miami Herald, the Independent, Sky News, Al Jazeera America, the Toronto Star and Vice News. He has worked with InSight Crime since 2012. Contact

Managing Editor – Josefina Salomón is a journalist based in Mexico City. She has reported on human rights issues in London, Hong Kong and across the Americas for more than 15 years for Amnesty International, La Nación (Argentina), Newsweek, Vice, BBC and The Guardian, among others. She joined InSight Crime in January 2018. Contact

Spanish Editor – Ronna Rísquez is an investigative journalist who graduated from Universidad Central de Venezuela. She has more than 20 years of experience in reporting violence, citizen security, organized crime, and human rights. She was an editor at El Nacional newspaper, and head of investigations at Runrun.es, where she created Victim Monitoring, a digital platform that won the 2018 Data Journalism Awards. Ronna was a finalist in the Gabriel García Márquez prize and was part of the team of journalists that worked in the Panama Papers investigation. Contact

Senior Investigator – Mayra Alejandra Bonilla has a degree in Government and International Relations from the Universidad del Externado in Colombia, a master’s degree in Geopolitics from the University of Paris-est Marne la Vallée, and a master’s in Violence and Conflict Analysis from the University of Versailles – Saint Quentin. She has worked as a criminal analyst at the Attorney General’s Office in Colombia and as a research assistant at the National Institute for Advanced Security and Justice Studies (INHESJ). She joined InSight Crime in May 2018. Contact

Researcher and Writer – Felipe Puerta is a graduate of Universidad EAFIT in Medellín (2014) where he studied Economics. He has worked for InSight Crime since June 2013. Contact

Writer and Researcher – Mimi Yagoub graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in French and Spanish. She has worked for a number of publications, and joined InSight Crime in October 2015. Contact

Writer and Researcher – Victoria Dittmar graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in International Relations and International Development, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Sociology at the University of Oxford. She has worked with InSight Crime since 2016. Contact

Writer and Researcher – Tristan Clavel graduated from the London School of Economics with a BSc in History and International Relations. He later studied Defense, Security and Crisis Management at the Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégiques in Paris. He has worked with InSight Crime since 2016. Contact

Writer – Parker Asmann graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with degrees in Journalism and Spanish, and a minor in Latin American studies. He was a freelance reporter for various publications before joining InSight Crime in 2017. Contact

Contributing Writer Patrick Corcoran is a writer based in Washington, DC. He writes for the Mexican magazine Este País, and lived in the country for several years. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and has a master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins. He has been working with InSight Crime since 2011. Contact

Translator Diego García has a degree in English and Spanish Education and an MA in Colombian Literature from the Universidad de Antioquia. He has an ABD degree in Romance Languages and Literature from University of Cincinnati, Ohio. García has been an independent editor and translator for several years and has worked with InSight Crime since January 2015. Contact

Translator – María Luisa Valencia has a degree in English and French and a specialization in Translation in Social Sciences and Literature from the Universidad de Antioquia. She has worked as an independent editor and translator for the past 10 years, and has been with InSight Crime since July 2015. Contact

Translator – Shannon Kirby has a degree in Spanish Language and Literature and English Literature from Mount Holyoke College, with additional studies in Italian. She has been a professional translator for over 11 years and has worked in both the United States and Colombia. Shannon joined InSight Crime in 2018. Contact

Administrative Assistant – Diana Álvarez has a degree in Tourism Management and worked for seven years in the real estate and hotel industry in Colombia. She has worked with InSight Crime since March 2015. Contact

Graphics Manager – Elisa Roldán holds a degree in graphic design, advertising and communications from the University of Medellín (2012). She has worked in advertising graphic design, editorial design and textile design for the last five years. She joined the InSight Crime team in December 2016. Contact

Graphic Designer – Ana Isabel Rico graduated from EAFIT University in Medellín, Colombia, where she obtained a degree in product design engineering. She has worked for InSight Crime since August 2017.

Graphic Designer – Juan José Restrepo has a degree in Graphic Design from UPB university in Medellin. He worked in Infographics for a local newspaper for four years before joining InSight Crime in May 2018. Contact

Researcher – Beatriz Quintero has a degree in Government and International Relations from the Universidad Externado de Colombia. She earned a master’s degree in International Security from the University of Saint Andrews. She has worked with InSight Crime since August 2014. Contact

Researcher – Luisa Maria Acosta Forero obtained a degree in Economics in 2016 from the Universidad Externado de Colombia, where she is studying for a master’s degree in Government and Public Policy. She has worked for InSight Crime since June 2015. Contact

Researcher – María Fernanda Ramírez has a degree in Government and International Relations from the Universidad del Externado in Colombia, and she is currently studying a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Hamburg. She has worked for InSight Crime since March 2017. Contact

Researcher – Javier Lizcano Villalba has a degree in International Relations from the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. He has experience investigating and writing about international conflict and peace. He has worked for InSight Crime since March 2017. Contact

Researcher – Laura Alejandra Alonso García has a degree in Government and International Relations and a master’s in International Affairs and Conflict Resolution from the Universidad del Externado in Colombia. She worked as a consultant for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and as a researcher for Fundación Paz y Reconcilliación. She works for InSight Crime since June 2018. Contact

Researcher – Juan Diego Posada has a degree in Political Science from the Universidad Nacional in Colombia, and a degree in journalism from the Universidad de Antioquia. He has worked as a freelance journalist, as well as for newspapers like El Colombiano and Blu Radio. He works for InSight Crime since March 2018. Contact

Research Assistant – Mónica Betancur has a degree in Political Science from EAFIT University in Medellín. She worked in several research projects at the university and was an English teacher for two years. She works for InSight Crime since March 2018. Contact

Research Assistant – Kelly Grant graduated from King’s College London where she earned a master’s degree in Conflict, Security, and Development. Before joining InSight Crime in 2018, she worked as a freelance researcher on a number of security-related projects. Contact

Research Assistant – Bjorn Kjelstad graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with degrees in Latin American Studies and Spanish. He joined InSight Crime in January 2018. Contact

Research Assistant – Juan Camilo Jaramillo studied Political Science at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota. He has worked in research projects related to armed actors, organized crime and peace negotiations. He works for InSight Crime since March 2018. Contact

Research Assistant – María Paula Chaparro has a degree in Government and International Relations from the Universidad del Externado in Colombia. She has taken courses at American University in Washington and worked for The William Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies before joining InSight Crime in March 2018. Contact

Social Media – María Paola Martínez is a journalist from Universidad de Los Andes in Venezuela. Before joining InSight Crime in 2018, she worked for Runrun.es. Contact

Board of Directors

Eric Hershberg, Director CLALS: Hershberg is the Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and Professor of Government at American University. From 2007 to 2009 he was Professor of Political Science and Director of Latin American Studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU), in Vancouver, Canada. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has taught at New York University, Southern Illinois University, Columbia University, Princeton University and the New School. Prior to arriving at SFU he served for 15 years as a Program Director at the Social Science Research Council in New York City.

Hershberg’s research focuses on the comparative politics of Latin America and on the politics of development. His current research projects analyze democracy and emerging development strategies in South America, and the power of elites in Central America. He has served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation, the World Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency.

Alejandro Hope, Director of Security, IMCO: Hope is the Director of Security at the Mexican Competitiveness Institute (Instituto Mexicano para La Competitividad – IMCO). Prior to his current position, Hope served various management positions at the Center for Investigation and National Security (Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional – CISEN) between 2008 and 2011. Between 2001 and 2008, he worked as a consulting partner at Group of Economists and Associates (GEA), a consulting firm specializing in economic and political analysis. He has a degree in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and is a PhD candidate in the same subject.

Arlene Tickner, Universidad del Rosario: Tickner is a professor in the Political Sciences, Government and International Relations Faculty of the Universidad del Rosario, Colombia. Her research focuses on Colombian foreign relations, US-Colombia relations, hemispheric and Andean security, and the sociology of knowledge in the field of International Relations. She is a columnist for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador and a regular panelist on Caracol Radio’s political analysis show, “Hora 20.”

Strategic Partners

American University | The Center for Latin American and Latino Studies

The Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University in Washington, DC, engages scholars and practitioners to promote cutting-edge research to enrich understanding of Latin America and of Latino communities in the United States.

Research: Creating and disseminating knowledge is at the core of the Center’s scholarly and institutional agenda. CLALS supports collaborative research projects organized around five thematic clusters: development and inequality, democracy and justice, cultures creativity, environment society, and hemispheric relations.

Training: CLALS is committed to advancing American University’s primary goal of ensuring the highest quality training for our students, offering extensive coursework in Latin American and Latino Studies and specific degree and certificate programs around these topics.

Partnerships: In designing and implementing projects, CLALS establishes dynamic partnerships with academic institutions, think tanks, non-governmental and community organizations, and governmental and international agencies throughout the United States and Latin America. Center projects are supported through funding from extramural donors and agencies as well as by University resources.

Learn more about CLALS here.

Major Funders

Open Society Foundations – OSF

The Open Society Foundations work to reinforce human rights and democratic governance in Latin America and the Caribbean. The OSF’s activities focus on addressing violence and state responses to organized crime, promoting transparency, and ensuring international support for open society goals.

Learn more about OSF here.

International Development Research Centre – IDRC

Located in Montevideo, Uruguay, IDRC’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean coordinates their activities in 33 countries.

IDRC funds research projects that reflect the diverse needs of Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, and South America. Three core goals underlie their work in the region:

  • upholding democracy, human rights, and accountable government
  • reducing vulnerability to disease, natural disasters, and degrading natural resources
  • increasing opportunities for equitable economic growth and access to social safety nets and services

A number of countries in the Americas are emerging from prolonged internal conflict or civil war. IDRC’s support in the region recognizes that research is needed to expand the range of practical solutions to enduring problems, to encourage innovation, and to promote long-term growth in the region.

Learn more about IDRC here.

The British Embassy in Bogotá

The United Kingdom’s Embassy in Colombia works to establish a broader and deeper relationship with Colombia with stronger links both bilaterally and in multinational fora.

The embassy has further expanded its work to support UK interests and identify opportunities for UK businesses in new areas such as infrastructure, science and innovation, higher education, among others. The embassy provides consular assistance to British nationals in the country. Bogotá is the largest UK visa operation in South America and now has become a hub to UK Border Agency spokes across Central America.

Learn more about the embassy here.

Swedish International Development Agency – Sida

Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with a mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through their work and cooperation with 33 countries around the world, Sida contributes to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development (PGU).

Learn more about Sida here.

 

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