How should journalists investigate what has happened to people who have disappeared? What is the best way of dealing with their families, the organized crime groups often involved in the cases, and corrupt officials? Mexican investigative journalist Marcela Turati and Óscar Martínez from El Salvador, both specialists on reporting on transnational organized crime, shared their tips during GIJN’s Spanish language webinar.
For our series on journalists’ favorite tools, we spoke to award-winning Mexican journalist Marcela Turati, co-founder of Quinto Elemento Lab, about the resources she uses to investigate disappearances in Mexico’s drug war. While information from victims’ families is paramount, she also shared insights on the value of open source tools, bank records, social media mining, and collaboration with nonprofit forensic teams in tracking the patterns behind the crisis.
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.
Reporting of organized crime and missing people is complex and nuanced, and journalists must be both careful and deliberate in their approach. GIJN’s new guide rounds up case studies and examples of published investigations, relevant organizations to be aware of during the research stage, and tips for on-the-ground reporting.
Millions of people disappear every year, according to the International Commission on Missing People, and organized crime is involved in many of these cases. The violence associated with drug trafficking in particular, but also wildlife smuggling, resource theft, human trafficking, and other criminal rackets, plays a key role in many of the disappearances. Journalists act as both a deterrent to this kind of criminal conduct and as public-minded investigators, particularly where the rule of law has broken down.At its most sophisticated, organized crime is transnational, highly organized, and often systemic. It features in everyday life, infiltrating systems and groups that are essential to society. Disappearances are often a byproduct of this criminal activity.
In this GIJN webinar, Digging into Disappearances: Organized Crime and Missing People, on Tuesday, September 8 at 9:00am EST, we bring together two senior investigative journalists who will share their strategies and tips on how to investigate a disappearance, how to manage sources, victims and authorities, as well as raise some of the broader considerations of investigating criminal organizations.