They are the winners of the LASA Research Grants Program

November 12, 2018

In 2018, LASA's Executive Council approved the creation of a grant to support research by doctoral students enrolled in Latin American universities. Two candidates were chosen to receive grants:

Victória Monteiro da Silva Santos (International Relations, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Santos' proposal, "Criminal/political violence in Latin America and the politics of drawing lines," inquires into how the lines between criminal and political violence are drawn in the arena of public policy by activists, researchers, and government officials in the context of the "war on drugs." Using interview and documentary sources, she looks at how such decisions influence distinctions made between the military and the police, between international and public security, and between international and domestic law in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.

Manuel Vladimir Caraballo Acuña (Social Anthropology, El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico). Caraballo's project, "Evaluando esmeraldas en la formalización minera colombiana: Hacia una economía cultural de cualidades," examines how the economic formalization of the mining economy in Colombia is implemented through an ethnographic study of transformations in emerald mining. Examining practices in mines, commercial centers, and laboratories, he inquires into how an informal economy is being transformed into a formal one through the redefinition of the quality of emeralds, as well as the practices and actors involved in the emerald economy.

The selection committee was made up of four members: Cristián Opazo (Letras, Universidad Católica de Chile), Joanne Rappaport (Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown University), Wagner Romão (Political Science, Universidade Estadual de Campinas), and Gabriela Vargas-Cetina (Anthropology, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán). The committee considered eighteen proposals from students enrolled in universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico.

About the Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional Association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 12,000 members, over 65 percent of whom reside outside the United States, LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

If you wish to interview a LASA Executive Council member, you can contact the LASA communications office at (412) 648-7929 or