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Olimpia Valdivia

Olimpia Montserrat Valdivia Ramírez is a second-year Ph.D. student at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies program at UT Austin. She is from Guanajuato Mexico, holds a B.A. in Social Anthropology, and a MA. in Asian and African Studies from El Colegio de México. Her broad areas of study are youth and violence, migration, and refugees. Currently, she is developing a transnational and qualitative dissertation research project regarding the experiences of Central American adolescents who have backgrounds as gang members (Mara Salvatrucha MS 13 and 18th Street) as they leave their home countries and traverse the increasingly arcane asylum process through Mexico. The goal of this project is to analyze how those minors experience structural violence in their home countries, how their gang affiliation and such an environment of generalized violence negatively affect their human rights and allow them to migrate in search of protection.