Leonardo Castañeda is an investigative journalist at the ACLU of New Mexico with a focus on immigration. Prior to joining the ACLU, he was a reporter at The Mercury News and East Bay Times in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he covered the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, economic inequality, and the way large landowners had shaped the development of Silicon Valley. He was part of reporting teams that provided an in-depth look at the Bay Area’s response to the COVID pandemic, which revealed how health officers failed to protect the region’s most vulnerable Latino residents.
Before The Mercury News, Leonardo worked at inewsource, a nonprofit investigative news organization in San Diego, Calif. There he reported on government accountability and campaign finance and was the lead data reporter on a collaborative project mapping the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Originally from Mexico City, he grew up in San Diego and graduated from San Diego State University with degrees in journalism and economics.