Undegraduate Thesis, Lafayette College

Following 9/11, US operations in the Middle East overshadowed counterterroism efforts in South and Central America. A notable and overlooked relationship from that era was that of the US and Colombia. Given my econometric experience, my background as a Latam-focused poli-sci student, and good data availability, exploring counterterrorism spending in Colombia had the makings of a good project. With the guidance of my advisors Brandon Van Dyck and Olena Ogrokhina, I decided to use regression analysis to evaluate Colombia defense spending.

What began with interpreting municipal homicide patterns became an investigation centered around national transfers. Where the state of Colombia provided police infrastructure, the presence of FARC or ELN (Columbian guerilla groups) fell. That was at least mostly true for western Colombia. The East, still rural and isolated from commercial centers, would still see FARC operate as a state proxy force. Download here.