PhD in Government
Specialty: Mexico's Politics and Economics; State-Level Policies
Viridiana Rios is CEO of México ¿Cómo Vamos? a Mexican think tank specialized in (a) linking the work of Mexican academics to policy makers and the press and (b) following economic indicators at the subnational level. Rios is also fellow at The Wilson Center, recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and writes a weekly column at Excelsior.
Her academic research was awarded 2014's American Political Science Award to the best doctoral dissertation wrote in the last two years, and Harvard's Merit Fellowship for Outstanding Research in 2011. She was also selected as one of the top 12 young experts and was profiled at Harvard Gazette as one of the 15 Harvard's stellar graduates of 2013. She regularly publishes her work and opinions about México as guest writer for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and political magazines like Nexos
She was senior policy adviser to current Mexico's Minister of Finance and to former Mexican President's Spokesman. She also worked and researched at he Center for US-Mexico Studies (UCSD), the Trans-border Institute, the United Nations, USAID, The World Bank, Mexico's Security Council, and Mexico's Ministry of Social Development.
Leads to Violence Against the Press in Mexico in Journal of Conflict Resolution (Forthcoming), with Holland
The presence of large criminal organizations does not lead to violence against the press unles these are fighting each other.
|How government coordination controlled organized crime in Journal of Conflict Resolution (2015)||Mexico's organized crime has become increasingly violent and injurious due to a lack of coordiantion between different levels of governemnt.|
|Violence Causes Forced Migration in Mexico in Latin American Research Review (2014)||About 264,000 Mexicans migrated out of their communities fearing drug-related violence; estimates by city|
|Politics and Violence in Indigenous Mexico in Latin American Politics and Society (2014); with Eisenstadt||Ethnic-rights regime for electing local governments increase violence in Mexico|
|Why Did Mexico Become so Violent? inTrends in Organized Crime (2013)||Drug-related violence increased because of law enforcement operations, and competition between drug cartels.|
|How and Where Mexican Criminal Organizations Operate in CKIM (2012; with Coscia||An algorithm that uses Google to track Mexican drug cartel and creates maps of criminal activity|
|Title: How government structure encourges criminal violence: The causes of Mexico's Drug War||
Abstract: Mexico's drug war was a war between criminal organizations, ignited by a state that enforced the law in a decentralized political environment.
Awared Prize to Best Public Administration Doctoral Dissertation by APSA (2014)
Book Chapters and University Press:
|The Assasination of Journalits and Mayors in Mexico's Drug War (2012; in Spanish)||Journalists and mayors are being assasinated the most in areas where drug cartels are battling for turf|
|Drug-related Violence in Mexico (2012; with Molzahn and Shirk)||Trends of Mexico's Drug War through 2011; historical estimates of drug-related homicides (pg 22).|
|Drug-related Violence in Mexico (2011; with Shirk)||Numbers, trends and events of Mexico's Drug War through 2010|
|Drug-related violence in Mexico, mid-year report, mid-year report (2010; with Duran-Martinez and Hazard)||Number, trends and events of Mexico's Drug War June 2010|
|Four Rule of Law Policies to Make Mexico Grow||Wilson Center, October 2013||The binding constratint to Mexico's grow is lack of rule of law|
|Marihuana: 6 Myths (Spanish)||Nexos, October 2013||Legalizing marihuana in Mexico won't reduce violence, may increase consumption and will not affect the number of prisoners|
|Zeta Branding (Spanish) with Dudley||Nexos Online, September 2013||Zetas criminal organization has cuttting-edge business techniques that had allowed them to conquer crime markets like no other Mexican cartel|
|What Sleeping at a Public Protest Taught Us (Spanish)||Nexos, September 2013||Teachers camped at Mexico City's central square for three months, I joined them one night|
|Who is Killing Mexican Journalists? (Spanish)||Nexos, August 2013||Not all traffickers kill journalists, only those that fight each other for turf and are new in the business|
|Who Started the Mexican Drug War?||Kennedy School Review, 2013.||Traffickers became violent before Mexico started prosecuting them, not because of prosecution|
|Why Mexico's Zetas Expanded Faster Than Their Rivals (with Dudley)||InsightCrime, April 21, 2013||An study of Zetas' market strategy|
|What Google can tell us about drug cartels' modus operandi (Spanish)||Nexos, December 2012||This is the story of how I tracked drug cartels using Google to discovere that criminals (a) share territories, (b) operate selectively and (c) spread out since 2004|
|Keys to reducing violence in Mexico||Harvard Review of Latin America, Winter 2012||Reducing violence requires reforming Mexico's judicial system to develop targeted policies and promote civic engagement|
|Who becomes a drug dealer and why? (English version here)||Este Pais Online, August 2009||Income, tastes and outside options determine who becomes a drug dealer in Mexico.Income, tastes and outside options determine who becomes a drug dealer in Mexico|
|Mexico's perception of violence is media-driven (Spanish)||Nexos, January 2011||Mexico is less violent than we think. Perceptions do not match reality because homicides are done to attract media attention.|
|Assassins on the 'Cheap'||ISN, October 2010||Hired assassins are willing to work for suppressed wages because murder-for-hire has proven to be a gateway to more lucrative criminal activity.
|Weekly Column at Excelsior (Mexican National Newspaper)||Excelsior, Weekly from January 2014|
|How to Win the Mexican Drug War||The Washington Post, April 12, 2013|
|Drug Legalization Could Create More Crime||The New York Times, May 30, 2012|
|Doing the Math on Mexican Drug Wars||The New York Times, January 25th, 2010|
|More journalist murdered in Mexico that in Iraq (English version here)||Este País Online, February 1, 2010|
|Poverty and corruption have many ways to kill: Haiti is not a coincidence (English version here)||Este País Online, January 15, 2010|
My research at the press:
|Harvard Gazzette: "Harvard´s stellar graduate"|
|Fox News: "Harvard student tracks drug cartels"||Foreign Policy: "Tracking Mexico's cartels with Google"|
|LA Times: "Mexico before and after Calderon's drug war"||New Scientists: "Destroying drug cartels the mathematical way"|
|Univision: "Google news ayuda a localizar patrones del narco"||El Universal: "Concentran 29% de los municipios actividad del narco"|
|Times of India: "Google used to track drug cartels"||The Huffington Post: "The drug legalization debate"|
|Using Google to track Mexican criminal organizations (with Coscia)||Our algorithm reads all that has ever been published online and give us a profile of how different criminal organizations operate.|
|Why are Mexican mayors getting killed by traffickers? Corruption Dynamics in Mexico||
The decentralization of corruption and rising competition between cartels have increased the probability of political violence againts Mexican politicians.
|To be or not to be a drug trafficker: Modeling occupational choices of criminals||The attractiveness of trafficking as a profession comes from the large variance of salaries within the market even if average salaries are low.|
|The economic impact of Mexico's drug trafficking industry Mexico||A cost-benefit analysis of drug trafficking operations within Mexico until 2006; cash flows, employment generation, the costs of drug abuse, and law enforcement are analyzed.
Advanced Microeconomic TheoryApplied EconometricsAdvanced Quantitative MethodsAdvanced Quantitative ResearchMathematics for Social ScientistsGeographical Information SystemsSurvey DesignContract TheoryPolitics and EconomicsSocial EconomicsInequality and Social PolicyEconomic DevelopmentComparative PoliticsComparative Politics in LAPolitical Theory