Digging into Disappearances: A Guide to Investigating Missing People and Organized Crime

বাংলা | Español

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.

What We’re Reading: On the Pandemic Frontlines, Gov’t Responses to COVID-19, and the Global Autocratic Crackdown

This week’s Friday 5, where we round up our favorite reads from around the world in English, we found a helpful database that’s tracking government responses to COVID-19 with the help of 400 researchers, a multimedia project on how eight journalists from around the world are coping with reporting during the pandemic, and a piece on how autocrats are cracking down on independent news sites.

Helping Our Colleagues at Rappler

Investigative reporting is getting harder and harder as autocratic governments crack down on media and government-friendly oligarchs use the courts to silence independent voices. The Philippine online news organization Rappler and its CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa are experiencing this firsthand, as Ressa was convicted last week on baseless “cyber libel” charges.

Cuando los autócratas amenazan: así se defiende el periodismo alrededor del mundo

English

El periodista de investigación ruso, Ivan Golunov, dice que nunca se ha fumado un porro, pero el 6 de junio de 2019 fue arrestado y acusado de tráfico de drogas. Su popularidad en las redes sociales se disparó durante los cinco días que estuvo detenido, superando, incluso, al presidente Vladimir Putin. Solo después de haber sido liberado, Golunov se enteró de que sus colegas habían activado una campaña masiva de solidaridad periodística, sin precedentes, tanto a nivel nacional como internacional, que no solo lo hizo famoso sino que dio resultados: los fiscales retiraron todos los cargos contra él. 

Con Facebook, Twitter o YouTube, los autócratas creen que pueden ignorar a los intermediarios tradicionales de la información:los periodistas.El caso de Golunov es solo uno entre muchos, alrededor del mundo. Los reporteros, especialmente los más independientes, críticos e investigativos, son blanco frecuente de la intolerancia hacia la disidencia de los gobiernos autocráticos. Este tipo de regímenes son más viejos que el periodismo y la democracia, y sus métodos son bien conocidos.