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 "drug war" ...

  • The drug war at Alabama

    This series investigated the uniquely intrusive and harsh tactics the University of Alabama and local law enforcement agencies have employed in their efforts to address drug use and abuse on campus at UA. The first installment was the first in the nation to expose a university engaged in mandatory drug-testing of fraternities. The second looked at an infamous 2013 drug raid that targeted low-level student marijuana offenders and had lasting negative impacts many students' lives. And the third piece focused on the use of UA students as confidential drug informants, including the first-person story of one student who actually served as an undercover informant for the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.
  • Synthetics & The New Drug War

    NBC Washington created the most comprehensive site available anywhere on the Internet about synthetic drugs following a record-breaking year in the DC region for overdoses and violent crimes connected to these ever-changing chemical cocktails. While the rest of the nation grappled with the opioid epidemic, EMS crews in our region responded to 10x as many emergency calls for synthetic overdoses compared to heroin overdoses, heart attacks and strokes this year. By combining ten different investigations with multiple interactive features, including the first-of-its kind "synthetic drug dictionary," NBC Washington helped parents, teachers, policy makers and the police themselves understand how dangerous these drugs really are and why law enforcement just can't seem to catch up in this new drug war. http://data.nbcstations.com/national/DC/synthetic-drugs/
  • Rápido y Furioso

    In this special edition of the newsmagazine program “Aqui y Ahora” (“Here and Now”), Univision news reports on the drug trade’s violent impact in Mexico, an aspect of the story that is often lost. We are submitting this report for your consideration in the FOI category. Although the hundreds of classified us and Mexican government documents weren’t obtained through a FOI request, we believe our process of gathering and comparing comprehensive information from two different governments, resulted in a story that did “open records and open government” in a unique and revealing way that could not be achieved by simply filing a FOI request.
  • The Deadliest Place in Mexico

    The Juarez Valley, a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande, was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the Juarez cartel moved in to set up a lucrative drug smuggling trade. “The Deadliest Place in Mexico” explores untold aspects of Mexico’s drug war as it has played out in the small farming communities of this valley. The violence began in 2008, when the Sinaloa cartel moved in to take over the Juarez cartel’s turf. The Mexican government sent in the military to quell the violence — but instead the murder rate exploded. While the bloodshed in the nearby City of Juarez attracted widespread media attention, the violence spilling into the rural Juarez Valley received far less, eve as the killings began to escalate in brutal ways. Community advocates, elected officials, even police officers were shot down in the streets. Several residents were stabbed in the face with ice picks. By 2009, the valley, with a population of 20,000, had a murder rate six times higher than Juarez itself. Newspapers began to call the rural farming region the “Valley of Death.” This investigation uses extensive Freedom of Information Act requests, court documents, and difficult-to-obtain interviews in Spanish and English with current and former Juarez Valley residents, Mexican officials, narcotraffickers and U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials, to reveal that many of these shocking deaths were perpetrated with the participation of Mexican authorities. It shows scenes of devastation — households where six members of a single family were killed, without a single police investigation. It uncovers targeted killings by masked gunmen of community activists and innocent residents for speaking out against violence and repression facilitated by corrupt military and government officials. And it gathers multiple witnesses who describe soldiers themselves, working in league with the Sinaloa cartel, perpetrating violence against civilians. "The cemeteries are all full. There isn't anywhere left to bury the bodies," one former resident said. "You'll find nothing there but ghost towns and soldiers."
  • 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.
  • Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields

    The story chronicles a city in collapse. The author shows how the violence in Juarez, Mexico is not simply perpetrated by drug organizations or law enforcement, but is now part of the fabric of the city and its citizens.
  • Blood Trade: Memphis and the Mexican Drug War

    A man in Memphis plays a crucial role in funding a violent Mexican drug cartel that ships cocaine and marijuana around the U.S. In an unprecedented investigation, the reporter travels with Mexican sources involved in the drug cartel, giving American readers the chance to see the Mexican side of the story.
  • Failed Drug Wars

    The war on drugs has cost the United States $1 trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. Yet, the drug use and violence is even more rampant that is was forty years ago. The AP reports from the front lines of the drug war in Mexico to determine why the U.S. is still losing this battle.
  • "Failed Drug War"

    The AP launched an investigation to determine whether or not the policies put into place by the U.S. War on Drugs were working. By using 40 years worth of FOIAed federal health surveys and drug strategies, and by interviewing members of Congress involved in the voting on drug policies, the AP concluded that the drug war has failed. Some sources interviewed for the story suggested that the problem has actually intensified.
  • "Mexico Drug Wars"

    AP reporters investigate how repercussions of the Mexican drug wars have mowed over the border and have settled on U.S. soil. They also reveal that the U.S. is the biggest supplier of weapons to the "gangsters" and also offers drug lords a lucrative market.