Michael Lettieri holds a Ph.D. in History with a focus on modern Latin America from UC San Diego.
He has researched political culture and authoritarian politics in 20th-century Mexico, journalism and threats to freedom of expression during the drug war, and gender-based violence.
From 2015 to 2018 he served as a researcher at the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute where he managed programming on cross-border relations, community outreach, and peacebuilding in Mexico.
He is currently a fellow at UC San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and a lecturer in the International Studies program where he teaches about violence, human rights, and civil society efforts to address crime in Mexico.
His current projects include a study of foreign media coverage of the drug war, and an effort to develop new digital tools for documenting disappearances in partnership with local activists in Sinaloa.
He has written extensively about the intersections between democracy, security policy, organized crime, and violence.