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 "Puerto Rico" ...

  • Puerto Rico After the Storms: Recovery and Fraud

    U.S. taxpayer are footing the biggest bill ever for a natural disaster, $91 billion, going to a government mired in corruption and under FBI investigation. We are the only news program that we know of to tackle and extensively report on how much has been promised and how little has actually been received in the wake of hurricanes Maria and Irma. We travelled to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, learning there has been a great deal of misreporting and misunderstanding about these numbers, which were not easily accessible. To get at the true amounts, we obtained and examined federal and territory documents, pressed the governor’s office, and interviewed officials responsible for the aid including Puerto Rico’s top hurricane recovery official and FEMA’s top official in Puerto Rico. During our visit, there was a popular uprising against the government followed by the governor's resignation, and additional FBI arrests of U.S. and Puerto Rican officials and contractors.
  • FRONTLINE / NPR: Blackout in Puerto Rico

    FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the humanitarian and economic crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, examining how the federal response, Wall Street and years of neglect have left the island struggling to survive.
  • Blackout in Puerto Rico

    NPR and FRONTLINE’s groundbreaking series Blackout in Puerto Rico was the first to reveal the government’s systemic failure to provide help after Hurricane Maria – prompting immediate action from Congress – and the first to explore a more devastating secret: the role of Wall Street that doomed hundreds of thousands of Americans to darkness.
  • Maria’s dead

    On September 20, Puerto Rico was devastated by the strongest hurricane that has hit the island in the last century. In the weeks after the storm, the government insisted there were only a few dozen deaths, but reporting on the ground by the Center for Investigative Journalism suggested there were hundreds. Officials also refused to provide overall mortality statistics that could help measure the impact of the storm. Given the lack of a reliable official death toll, we put together our own database with information collected from family members through an online survey, reporting, and tips. We verified those deaths by matching the victims’ names with government death records CPI eventually obtained through a lawsuit, and through nearly 300 phone interviews with victims’ relatives. We analyzed that material, as well as historic demographic data, to detect changes in mortality trends after the storm.
  • Hurricane Maria’s dead

    On September 20, 2017 Puerto Rico was devastated by the strongest hurricane that has hit the island in the last century. In the weeks after the storm, the government insisted there were only a few dozen deaths, but reporting on the ground by the Center for Investigative Journalism suggested there were hundreds. Officials also refused to provide overall mortality statistics that could help measure the impact of the storm. Given the lack of a reliable official death toll, we put together our own database with information collected from family members through an online survey, reporting, and tips. We verified those deaths by matching the victims’ names with government death records CPI eventually obtained through a lawsuit, and through nearly 300 phone interviews with victims’ relatives. We analyzed that material, as well as historic demographic data, to detect changes in mortality trends after the storm.
  • Opportunity of Exploitation?

    These stories deal with how a company, Maxi Staff Inc., used promises of good pay, great housing and the chance to escape poverty and high unemployment to recruit laborers for Puerto Rico to work in U.S. meat processing plants. The stories revealed how, once they were in the United States, the laborers' dreams turned to dust and they found themselves in an unfavorable economic situation. The company charged recruits for the recruits' flights to the U.S. They were put in substandard and unsanitary housing. Workers made less money than they had originally been told, often making less than $100 for a 40-hour week. Recruits who fell ill or got injured on the job were fired and evicted from their housing with 48 hours notice.
  • Anchors Away: The Navy's Sordid History in Puerto Rico Explains a Lot About Vieques

    Gonzalez, co-host of Pacific Radio's news program, Democracy Now, writes that the dispute over bombing on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques may become President George W. Bush's first foreign policy crisis. Vieques, where the Navy has run a bombing practice range for 60 years, "is the most glaring example today of an imperial arrogance that has been part of the (U.S.) Navy since American sailors first began patrolling foreign waters in the early 19th century." In late 1999, President Clinton signed an agreement that ended live bombing on Vieques and gave a three-year transition period for the Navy to find another practice site. It also called for a complete Navy pullout by May 2003 if the Puerto Rican people called for it in a referendum. Later, on Gonzalez' radio show, Clinton reportedly said he supported giving the training site back to the people of Puerto Rico. But opposition in Congress and in the military has prevented that from happening, Gonzalaez writes.
  • Governor's Travels

    WSMT-TV's "investigation found the governor of Tennessee and his family had taken more than 50 free flights on corporately owned jets over a three-year period. These flights include a trip to a Puerto Rico resort, a trip to a golf resort in California, vacation travel to Wyoming and frequent transportation to the governor's vacation home in Florida. Companies with large state contracts donated many of the trips. The governor also spent hours in the company of lobbyists, including one lobbyist from U.S. Tobacco and another from a nursing home chain coming under scrutiny from state regulators. None of the governor's trips were ever publicly disclosed."
  • Vieques: In Whose Defense, At What Expense

    "The series explored the depth of passion and history that brought the Navy into conflict with Puerto Ricans on the island of Vieques. The story revealed the contradictions and emotional basis of both the Navy's and the anti-Navy protestors' positions. Neither the protesters nor the Navy can support their hardened positions on the facts now available.
  • He Says He Wants a Revolution

    Boston Magazine profiles Bob Rabin, leader of anti-U.S. government demonstrations in Puerto Rico.