The issue of migration to the United States from Latin America has overshadowed the war on drugs, which has been underway for decades with little signs of progress. What are the roots and the bureaucratic logic behind today’s dominant drug policies in Latin America? Is it time to reconsider punitive drug policies that disrupt supply chains and punish drug possession?
Dr. Evan Ellis is a research professor of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, with a focus on the region’s relationships with China and other non-Western Hemisphere actors, as well as transnational organized crime and populism in the region.
Dr. Ellis has published over 330 works, including five books: the 2009 book China in Latin America: The Whats and Wherefores, the 2013 book The Strategic Dimension of Chinese Engagement with Latin America, the 2014 book China on the Ground in Latin America, the 2018 book Transnational Organized Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the 2022 book China Engages Latin America: Distorting Development and Democracy?
Dr. Ellis previously served on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff (S/P) with responsibility for Latin America and the Caribbean (WHA), as well as International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) issues.
In his academic capacity, Dr. Ellis presented his work in a broad range of business and government forums in 27 countries and four continents. He has given testimony on Latin America security issues to the US Congress on various occasions, has discussed his work regarding China and other external actors in Latin America on a broad range of radio and television programs, and is cited regularly in the print media in both the US and Latin America for his work in this area.
Dr. Ellis has also been awarded the Order of Military Merit José María Córdova by the Colombian government for his scholarship on security issues in the region.