Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Sociology professor named 2024 Distinguished Scholar by research foundation

Bella Juarez
Javier Auyero posing with his book, “Portraits of Persistence” at his office in Patton Hall on Friday.

A UT sociology professor studying police and drug dealers in Argentina received the 2024 Distinguished Scholar Award on Feb. 6 from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, a research organization dedicated to understanding the causes and deterrence of violence.

Javier Auyero, one of 14 award recipients this year, received $39,000 from the foundation. Auyero said he primarily uses court documents and transcripts of wiretapped conversations to better understand collusion between Argentinian law enforcement, drug trafficking and traffickers.

“I’m reading conversations throughout the different states in Argentina, in which cops and dealers talk with one another, and I tried to understand: ‘How does collusion happen?’” Auyero said.

Auyero said he focused on the topic and region because of the prevalence of violence in Latin America, which connects back to collusion between law enforcement and criminals.“As our grantees always do, the 2024 Distinguished Scholars are investigating violence in its varied forms,” said Joel Wallman, director of research at the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, in a press release. “We are pleased to make this important work possible.”

Nyeleti Honwana, a program coordinator for the foundation, said this year they received 160 applications for the grant and chose to fund ten projects.

Auyero said he applied for the grant when he worked with a former graduate student and realized the pair’s research focusing on specific case studies of police and drug dealer collusion could be expanded.

“I started getting piles and piles and piles of material, and that’s how I decided I think I might have something else to say that is not there,” Auyero said.

He said he intends to give some of the money to the University so he can teach fewer classes, giving him more time to work on researching collusion. Additionally, Auyero said he would pay Argentinian journalists for their time to uncover more transcripts.

Auyero said this is his third time receiving the research grant and the distinction for his research is extremely validating.

“I was going to do this (research project) with the award or without the award,” Auyero said. “This is what I love to do. So there’s really no difference, but at the same time, it’s great to be like, ‘Oh, people who know the stuff are telling me this is the path forward.’”

More to Discover