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GIJN Webinar — Digging into Disappearances: How to Follow the Trail of Missing People


Editor’s note: This webinar has now taken place. You can see the recording on GIJN’s YouTube channel.

Millions of people go missing every year. Some vanish of their own accord, but many are victims of organized crime, security agencies, and criminal states. Journalists play a key role in investigating these disappearances, but the work is difficult, dangerous and often harrowing. In the final webinar of the GIJN series, Digging into Disappearances, we will hear from four senior journalists who have investigated notable missing persons cases related to criminal organizations and criminal conduct. They’ll do a deep dive into specific cases in Mexico and the Philippines, and share their tips and strategies.

  • Alejandra Xanic is a Mexican investigative journalist and one of the founders of Quinto Elemento Lab (Fifth Element Lab) which works with and mentors Mexican journalists. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the Investigative Journalism category for her joint work with David Barstow on Wal-Mart’s use of multi-million dollar bribes in Mexico, published in The New York Times in 2012. Xanic has covered topics related to drug trafficking, state corruption, political assassination and human rights.
  • Ginger Thompson, is the Deputy Managing Director and Chief of Correspondents at Pro Publica. She is a multi-award winning journalist with an in-depth understanding of the U.S.- Mexico border and the communities on both sides. She has also reported on the consequences of U.S. policies in Latin America, particularly those involving immigration and the fight against drug cartels. Thompson worked with Alejandra Xanic on the investigation into a mass disappearance in the Mexican town of Allende, linked to drug cartels.
  • Clare Baldwin is an American journalist. As a special correspondent for Reuters in the Philippines, she won a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2018, along with colleagues Andrew Marshall and Manuel Mogato, for reporting on the killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2019, she was part of the Reuters staff awarded the Pulitzer for a series of articles exposing the military units responsible for the expulsion and murder of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.
  • Andrew Marshall is a British journalist and author. In 2012 he joined Reuters news agency as Southeast Asia Special Correspondent. He won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting along with colleague Jason Szep for reporting on the violent persecution of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar. He won his second Pulitzer, the 2018 prize, also for international reporting, along with Clare Baldwin and Manuel Mogato, for exposing the methods of police killing squads in Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

This webinar will be moderated by David E. Kaplan, Executive Director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. Kaplan investigated criminal organizations for over 20 years for major media. His books include Yakuza, on the Japanese mafia, and Fires of the Dragon, on the murder of Chinese-American journalist Henry Liu.

The webinar will also be offered in French and Spanish.  

This series, Digging into Disappearances, also includes the following webinars:

This series is in partnership between the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Resilience Fund of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.


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