My name is Isabel Laterzo and I am a Political Science PhD Candidate studying Comparative Politics and Quantitative Methodology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I hold an M.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in International Relations from Claremont McKenna College.

My research focuses primarily on the ways in which crime and violence influence politics. I am also interested in trust in institutions, primarily the police, and topics that bridge the connection between behavioral and institutional political science research. My research is based in Latin America with a focus on Chile, Mexico, and Brazil.

My current projects focus on the following: factors that influence citizen preferences for punitive security policies; the mixing of punitive and social-policy oriented security policies in subnational political campaigns; improving methods for determining crime and crime underreporting rates; subnational responses to COVID-19; and participation of youths and young adults in criminal organizations. My work has been published in the Revista Latinoamericana de Opinión Pública. My research and studies thus far have been supported by UNC Chapel Hill’s Department of Political Science, UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas, the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA), the U.S. Department of State, and USAID.

Outside of my research, I am passionate about educational access and equity. Currently, I am an academic mentor for students in prison, through UNC’s Correctional Education Program (CEP). Apart from this work, I spend most of my time outside with my dog or exploring the Research Triangle area by foot or bike.