Mayra Ortiz Ocaña is a PhD student in political science at the University of Notre Dame. She has a BA in Law from the Law School at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She is a Kellogg Institute for International Studies PhD Fellow. Her research agenda examines the intersection of institutional weakness, criminal justice, human rights, social movements, and violence in Latin America.
She is part of Documenta desde Abajo (Document from below), an interdisciplinary project which is currently working on a database about violence and how local populations mobilize to protect their individual and collective rights against it in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Before coming to Notre Dame, she used to work as a researcher at the Observatory on Disappearances and Impunity in Mexico (ODIM) where she conducted research on criminal investigations and judgments on enforced disappearances in Mexico and, contextual analysis regarding disappearances in the northeast of Mexico.
At Notre Dame, Mayra intends to explore how the creation of specialized prosecution offices on human right related crimes have affected the investigations regarding those crimes, and how the demands of victims and victims' families influence institutional creation and criminal prosecution.