Ignacio Cano got his joint PH.D in sociology and social psychology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) in 1991. From 1991 to 1993 he worked in attention to refugees and war-stricken populations in El Salvador, Central America and he was a member of the United Nations Truth Commission for El Salvador. He later developed post-doctoral research at the universities of Surrey (UK), Michigan, Arizona (USA) and Lancaster (UK), mainly centred on research methodology and programme evaluation.
From 1996 onwards, he has been based in Rio de Janeiro, carrying out research at NGO´s and at several universities on topics related to violence, human rights, public security and education. Since 2000, he has held a permanent position on research methodology at the department of social sciences of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, where he is now an associate professor.
He is a founder and current coordinator of the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence (LAV) of the same university. Over the last 15 years, he has published on different issues related to public security and human rights and he has been a consultant and an evaluator for various projects related to these areas in several countries in the region.