Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Latin America" ...

  • Bribery Division

    The Bribery Division, an international investigation into Latin America’s largest construction company, reveals fresh evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars in suspicious payments linked to major infrastructure projects. Brazilian multinational Odebrecht has been implicated in a cash-for-contracts scandal that the U.S. Department of Justice has described as “the largest foreign bribery case in history.” The Bribery Division investigation unveils dramatic new information in taking readers inside the belly of the beast: Odebrecht’s Division of Structured Operations, a specialized unit created for the primary purpose of managing the company’s graft. A team of more than 50 journalists across the Americas, led by ICIJ, examined more than 13,000 Odebrecht documents from a secret communication platform used by the Structured Operations unit. The team’s sprawling expose revealed Odebrecht’s cash-for-contracts operation was even bigger than the company had acknowledged to prosecutors and had involved prominent figures and massive public works projects not mentioned in the criminal cases or other official inquiries to date.
  • Dirty Gold, Clean Cash

    "Dirty Gold, Clean Cash" was an extensive Miami Herald investigation sparked by a federal court case into how organized crime groups, including narco-traffickers, are using destructive illegal gold mines in Latin America to launder money through precious metals -- metals which ultimately end up in the hands of unsuspecting American consumers as jewelry, electronics and bullion. The trade has a crucial logistical hub in Miami. The series required extensive on-the-ground reporting in Peru and Colombia, a challenge for a local paper like the Miami Herald but one which the paper was prepared for because of its longstanding commitment to foreign reporting.
  • Inequality Calculator

    The Inequality Calculator is an application based on the massive data analysis of the income of citizens of 16 countries that reveals, in an interactive and comparative way, the enormous income gaps that exist between the poor and multimillionaires of Latin America and the Caribbean. The INEQUALITY CALCULATOR is based on an algorithm that divides a household's monthly income among its members and compares this with the country's population ordered from poorest to richest in 10 groups, or deciles, plus the group of multimillionaires. The result of these calculations will provide the user with an estimate of the time he or she would need to work to attain the average monthly income of a multimillionaire and will also allow comparison to the country's other income groups. The timeframe—some will need to work for several centuries to achieve this income—will highlight, in an amusing but direct fashion, the insuperable gap that separates the ordinary citizen and the multimillionaire.
  • Los Nuevos Narcotesoros

    Univision News’ Investigative Unit, presents an in-depth report on the devastating consequences of illegal mining by organized crime in Latin America, taking viewers inside a criminal world where mafias that formerly only trafficked drugs are now exploiting the mineral resources of Mexico, Colombia and Peru to finance their operations and expand their power. Taking its cameras from the Mexican states of Michoacán and Guerrero to different regions of Colombia and the Peruvian Amazon, “Nuevos Narcotesoros” delivers a compelling account of how violent criminal organizations are taking over the extraction of gold and iron ore and victimizing entire communities by extorting, torturing and killing miners who do not conform to their demands, as well as gaining control of local governments through violence and bribery.
  • Panama: Dam Promises or Dam Lies?

    Panama is embracing its role as one of Latin America’s fastest growing economy by undertaking massive infrastructure projects, such as the expansion of the Panama Canal and a metro in Panama City. However, as these projects develop Panama is on the brink of exceeding their electricity capacity. To address the national crisis the country is investing in the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam in Western Panama. The completion of the dam is expected to result in cheaper and more sustainable energy by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. However, not everybody is optimistic about the prospects of the dam. Standing in the way of the project is Panama’s largest indigenous group, the Ngäbe-Buglé. Even though the dam is not being built inside their semi-autonomous region, they say its reservoir threatens their way of life.
  • ICIJ: Plunder in the Pacific

    "Plunder in the Pacific," an eight-country investigation, revealed how Asian, European and Latin American fleets have devastated what was once one of the world’s great fish stocks. Jack mackerel in the South Pacific has decreased from around 30 million tons to less than three tons in just two decades. We found that national interests and geopolitical rivalry for six years blocked efforts to ratify a regional fisheries management organization that could impose binding regulations to rescue jack mackerel from further collapse. Bound only by voluntary restrictions, fleets competed in what amounted to a free-for-all in no man’s water.
  • Truthout on the Border

    The true intent of United States Foreign Policy in regards to the war on drugs in Mexico and Latin America is hidden behind many pantallas (screens in Spanish). In ten installments, posted in the first half of 2012, the Truthout on the Mexican Border series exposed the unofficial intentions of the US war on drugs in Latin America and its deadly impact. By connecting the dots in ten successively posted articles, the war on drugs appears to be a screen behind which goals of US military and economic hegemony can more easily be achieved in Latin American nations. Many Mexicans know that when it comes to corruption, drugs and crime in their nation, las pantallas usually prevent them from knowing the truth. The same is true of the US war on drugs, which has resulted in deaths and disappearances that are estimated to reach between 60,000 – 120,000 in the six year rule of Mexican President Felipe Calderón (ending on November 30, 2012). Truthout regularly covers US foreign policy and its impact in Latin America. The Truthout on the Mexican Border series was written to create a comprehensive understanding of what is behind the diplomatic and political screens – weaving in such seemingly diverse topics as US immigration and gun policies to understand the dark underside of US hemispheric intentions in Mexico and Latin America.
  • Plunder in the Pacific

    "Plunder in the Pacific," an eight-country investigation, revealed how Asian, European and Latin American fleets have devastated what was once one of the world’s great fish stocks. Jack mackerel in the South Pacific has decreased from around 30 million tons to less than three tons in just two decades. We found that national interests and geopolitical rivalry for six years blocked efforts to ratify a regional fisheries management organization that could impose binding regulations to rescue jack mackerel from further collapse. Bound only by voluntary restrictions, fleets competed in what amounted to a free-for-all in no man’s water.
  • Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation and Youth Violence Are Changing

    Journalist Sarah Garland investigates how two of the most dangerous Central American gangs have made their way into the suburbs of Long Island. Garland also tells the story of several young people whose lives have been affected by gangs or gang violence. Her five-year investigation involves conversations with police, gang members and school officials. That information reveals a different opinion than that of the Department of Homeland Security, who believes the gangs to be a problem on the level of Al Qaeda.
  • In Iowa Meat Plant, Kosher 'Jungle' Breeds Fear; Injury, Short Pay

    Nathaniel Popper, reporting for the Forward (NY) investigated a Kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, where he uncovered dangerous working conditions, low pay, and anti-unionization pressures that raised questions about the ethics of the Jewish owners of the plant towards their largely immigrant workers.