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Photo: Rafael del Río


Global Shining Light Finalist: The Country with 2,000 Graves (Mexico)

Photo: Rafael del Río

In the run-up to the 11th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg this September 26 to 29, we’re featuring one Global Shining Light Award finalist per day. The winners, chosen from 12 outstanding investigative projects, will be announced at the conference.

The Shining Light Award, first given out at our 2007 Global Conference, uniquely honors investigative journalists in developing or transitioning countries whose work was done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions.

The finalists were selected by an international panel of judges from a record 291 projects. All the stories were published in 2017 or 2018. The award is sponsored by the Global Investigative Journalism Network, an association of 182 organizations in 77 countries.

This year, given the broad range of work submitted, we divided the submissions into two categories: large outlets (with ten or more staff) and smaller outlets (with fewer than 10 staff). We hope you’ll agree that this year’s finalists showcase extraordinary journalism by some extraordinary journalists.

Small Outlets Category: The Country with 2,000 Graves,” by the collective “A donde van los desaparecidos” and Quinto Elemento Lab (Mexico).

Team: Alejandra Guillén, Marcela Turati, Mago Torres, David Eads, and team.

Click image to view interactive map.

This year-and-a-half-long investigation by a collective of independent Mexican journalists shows how a decade of drug war policies led to the disappearance of tens of thousands of people and a multiplication of clandestine burials around the country. They found that almost 2,000 clandestine graves were discovered between 2006 and 2016 — or one grave every two days.

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