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The Mexico Violence Resource Project is housed at UC San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies. It was founded in 2020 by Cecilia Farfán-Mendez and Michael Lettieri with the goal of bringing together researchers, policymakers, journalists, and activists for thoughtful discussions around the topic of crime and violence in Mexico.

The project publishes special projects and investigations, opinion essays, research briefs, and maintains an index of key data on violence.

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Submissions and Collaborations

We are a community-driven project and welcome collaborations from both scholars and individuals outside academia. We publish two main types of content: research briefs and perspectives essays: 


Research briefs synthesize and explain findings from research on important topics related to violence in Mexico. They vary in length according to how much research exists and strive to make expert knowledge accessible for all.

Perspectives essays are short argumentative pieces between 1,000 to 3,000 words. They provide a space for reflecting on questions such as how we cover, study, and explain violence in Mexico. They provide a platform for proposing new interpretations of violence and interjecting nuance into discussions.

For our open call for contributions click here for English, and here for Spanish. To learn more about our editorial guidelines click here for English, and here for Spanish. Submissions are welcome in both English and Spanish.

Occasionally we also publish special collaborations in partnership with researchers and news outlets. Please contact us directly at for more information or to pitch ideas.

About Our Logo

Our goal is for Mexico Violence Resource Project to serve as a companion for those seeking a better understanding and exchanging ideas as we attempt to understand the complexities of contemporary Mexico.

We worked with Dante Aguilera Benítez a member of the Taller de Gráfica Popular Juan Panadero in Culiacán, Sinaloa. The Nahua-inspired iconography uses Miquiztli that symbolizes silence, emptiness, and death, Xoloitzcuintli, the dog who protects the living and guides the souls of the dead through the underworld, and the Talhtolli that means speech. 

During the design process, and rooted in our experiences working with victims, we found profound metaphorical resonance in this symbology and the duality of life and death that it represents.

Managing Editors

Dr. Cecilia Farfán-Méndez is head of security research programs at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her research examines when and why DTOs pursue additional criminal enterprises, the methods used in money laundering, and their different propensities for violence.


Dr. Michael Lettieri is a Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego and a co-founder of the Mexico Violence Resource Project. His work has examined democracy, freedom of expression, gender violence, and the social impacts of security policies.

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