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Steven Dudley

Former Fellow


    September 5, 2012 — May 24, 2013

    Professional affiliation

    Co-Director, InSight Crime

    Steven Dudley is the co-founder and co-director of InSight Crime and a senior research fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies in Washington, DC. In 2020, Dudley published his second book, MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang (HarperCollins), a winner of the Lukas Prize for work-in-progress. Dudley 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. He holds 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 a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

    Wilson Center Projects

    “Old Cartels and New Gangs: the Disintegration of the Underworld and its Impact on the Region”

    Full Biography

    Steven Dudley is the Co-Director of InSight Crime, a joint initiative of American University in Washington, D.C., and the Foundation InSight Crime in Medellin, Colombia, which monitors, analyzes and investigates organized crime in the Americas. Based in Washington D.C., Dudley works with a team of eleven investigators and various contributors throughout the region to give the public a more complete view of how organized crime works in the Americas, as well as its impact on public policy and communities from the Rio Grande to Patagonia.

    Dudley is a longtime reporter, investigator and consultant who specializes in: breaking down security issues on-the-ground in conflict situations; studying trends and tendencies of organized crime; analyzing political crises; reporting on corporate social responsibility, environmental subjects, human rights issues; investigating international and local justice systems.

    He is an expert on Latin America, where he lived for over 15 years, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He is the author of a book on Colombia's civil war. 

    His current projects include studies on the atomization of criminal groups in Mexico; how religious organizations can play a role in lowering levels of violence in El Salvador and Colombia; how organized crime impacts human rights in the Americas; and the relationship between elites and organized crime in Central America and Colombia.

    He has also done a documentary film on a drug lawyer;  researched, analyzed and written policy briefs on extradition cases; investigated and documented drug trafficking trends in Central America for other think tanks; and investigated human rights abuses in Honduras.