Ryan Berg

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United States
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American Enterprise Institute (AEI); the Catholic University of America (CUA)

United States
Research Profile

Ryan's research interests, reports, and op-eds address violence and insecurity stemming from transnational organized crime (TOC), mostly in Latin America. In particular, he focuses on Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico. He endeavors to cover wide-ranging themes, such as prisons as accelerators of violence and crime, drug and weapons trafficking in the region, and the illicit governance exercised by non-state actors. He also possesses linguistic and research knowledge of the Balkans, having lived in the region for some time.

Balkans, Central America, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela
English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Slovenian

• “The Amazon Basin as an Emerging and Contested Terrain for TOC,” forthcoming peer-reviewed article co-authored with Marcos Alan S.V. Ferreira.
• “Weapons Trafficking in Mexico: Assessing the Magnitude of the Problem,” AEI Research Report, forthcoming summer 2020.
• “Brazil's Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) Takes Flight," UVRN, July 18, 2020, https://urbanviolence.org/brazils-primeiro-comando-da-capital-takes-flight/.
• “Restoring Democracy in Nicaragua: Escalating Efforts Against the Ortega-Murillo Regime,” AEI Research Report, July 2020.
• “The Governance Competition in the Americas: 'Criminal Charity' During COVID-19 Will Have Decade-long Consequences," The SAIS Review of International Affairs, June 9, 2020, https://www.saisreview.org/2020/06/09/the-governance-competition-in-the-americas-criminal-charity-during-covid-19-will-have-decade-long-consequences/.
• “COVID-19 is Increasing the Power of Brazil's Criminal Groups,” LSE Latin America and the Caribbean blog, May 28, 2020,
• “Reports of the PCC's Demise are Greatly Exaggerated," Americas Quarterly, April 27, 2020.
• “Breaking Out: Brazil’s First Capital Command and the Emerging Prison-Based Threat,” AEI Research Report, March 2020.
• "In Mexico, AMLO's Presidency Turned One," Foreign Policy, December 16, 2019.
• "Brazilian Organized Crime is All Grown Up," Foreign Policy, August 15, 2019.
• "Venezuela is Armed to the Hilt," Foreign Policy, May 2, 2019. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/02/venezuela-is-armed-to-the-hilt/.
• “Fortalecendo a cooperação entre o estado e o setor de desenvolvimento para combatir o narcotráfico.” (“Strengthening Cooperation between the State and Development Sector to Combat Narcotics Trafficking.”) White paper in Portuguese produced for Banco do Empreendedor, Dec. 2017.