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 "Central America" ...

  • Trapped in Gangland

    The Central American gang MS-13 accounts for 1 percent of U.S. gang murders. But when Donald Trump became president, he seized on the gang’s violence on Long Island to promote tougher immigration policies. This series, co-published with New York magazine, Newsday, The New York Times Magazine and This American Life, showed how Trump’s bungled crackdown on MS-13 burned informants, deported young immigrants suspected of gang involvement on flimsy evidence, and failed to prevent further murders. Based on a year and a half of difficult and dangerous reporting, ProPublica reporter Hannah Dreier’s stories persuasively depicted how an entire subculture of Latino teenagers came to be trapped between the gang and the government.
  • Mexico's Crackdown on Central American Migrants

    In January and February 2015, In These Times reporter Joseph Sorrentino interviewed dozens of Central American migrants along one of Mexico's main migration routes. He found that a Mexican government initiative to more aggressively police and deport migrants had forced them to take slower and more dangerous routes, leaving them easier prey to robbery, rape, extortion, kidnapping, assault and murder by gangs and narcos. Mexico's stepped-up border enforcement was the result of U.S. pressure on Mexico to halt the "surge" of Central American children reaching the U.S. border.
  • Between Borders: American Migrant Crisis

    Each week, hundreds of young people—teenagers and children—attempt to flee the gang warfare that has gripped large swaths of Central America, heading north, crossing thousands of miles in hopes of obtaining asylum or settling with relatives in the United States. From October 2013 through July of this year, nearly 80,000 unaccompanied minors arrived at our southern border. In this powerful documentary for The New York Times, Pulitzer Center grantees Brent and Craig Renaud trace the journey from the violent streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras through Guatemala and across the Suchiate River aboard flimsy rafts to Mexico. From there, some try to hop “the Beast”—a slow-moving freight train. Others hitchhike or simply make the long trek on foot. No matter the method they choose, the risk of arrest by authorities, abuse by human traffickers or abduction by drug cartels is a constant danger. As the debate on immigration takes center stage in the Republican presidential primary campaign, the Renaud brothers look at the causes and conditions that compel children to stake their lives on this dangerous journey. “Between Borders: American Migrant Crisis” shows us the reality of the so-called “illegals” who seek safe shelter in America. http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/americas/100000003901101/central-america-child-migrants.html http://pulitzercenter.org/education/meet-journalists-renaud-honduras
  • Hidden Threat: The Kissing bug

    This investigation by KXAS-TV and The Dallas Morning News revealed kissing bugs may pose a much more significant threat to human health in Texas than the CDC has ever indicated. The bugs carry a dangerous parasite, a silent killer that can lead to heart failure and death. They have already infected hundreds of thousands of people in South America, Central America and Mexico. But, our team of reporters and producers discovered kissing bugs have also infected at least ten people in Texas. A fact revealed for the first time exclusively in the first report. Hundreds of dogs in the state are sick and many are dying. Even more concerning, the human and animal toll may be much higher than the numbers show, because few people or dogs are ever tested for the disease. This series was also the first to demonstrate how the nation’s blood supply may be at risk from kissing bugs and a lack of regulations to prevent the spread of the parasite through blood transfusions. Our reports had an immediate impact, alerting thousands of people to the presence of the bugs and the dangers they bring. Hundreds of Texans responded by sending bugs to the state lab for testing and other news organizations across the country picked up our reports taking our findings to an even wider audience. https://youtu.be/a2xykL8ixSs
  • Who’s to blame for El Salvador’s gang violence?

    While countless news outlets rushed to cover protests against the flood of Central American migrants crossing into the United States this past summer, NewsHour Weekend took a different approach. They launched an investigation into why an estimated 230,000 Central Americans felt the need to flee countries like El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Their investigation, which focused on El Salvador, revealed that the current mass exodus of Salvadorans has actually been thirty years in the making. It was fueled by a combination of American foreign policy decisions in the 1980’s and an act of congress in the mid 1990’s. The story ultimately raises questions about United States culpability in the current predicament.
  • Crossing Alone

    When the influx of children from Central America across the southern border made news last summer, the national media descended on Texas. But Houston Chronicle reporter Susan Carroll was already investigating the federal government's sprawling - and secretive - shelter network for unaccompanied children. She found the small agency tasked with their care unaccountable and overwhelmed. Children were being subjected to sexual and physical abuse, and their attackers were escaping federal prosecution.
  • 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.
  • Rep. Weller's Land Deal

    Illinois Rep. Jerry Weller failed to disclose the extent and the true cost of his property investments in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, an apparent violation of House ethics rules. Weller's misstatements about his real estate activity were particularly extensive in 2005, when he served as a key Congressional advocate of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite With His Mother

    Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario turns into book form her award-winning story about Enrique, a young boy traveling from Honduras through Mexico to reunite with his mother who left him for a job in North Carolina. Enrique is just one of many children who make the long journey to the United States from Central America to be with parents who left to find work and send money back to their families. Enrique is just one of many children who make the long journey to the United States from Central America to be with their parents, who usually left to find work and send money back to their families.
  • MS-13: An International Franchise

    The series provided a comprehensive and detailed examination of Mara Salvatrucha's (MS-13's) growth, criminal activity, mobility and international coordination. Key findings were that a series of high profile murder investigations arching from Central America to Texas to the Washington DC area were linked to a single LA cell of the gang. Also the series was able to demonstrate how a major U.S. strategy for combating MS-13 - deporting members to their home countries- helped spread the gang across Central America and to new areas in the U.S.