The Mafia’s Shadow in the Americas, a cross-border investigation on the impact of organized criminal gang activity on human rights in Latin America, was recently nominated as one of six finalists for the 2013 Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting, an annual prize given by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Independent online news organizations in four Latin American countries collaborated to produce the investigation in 2012 with funding and support from Internews and InSight Crime. InSight Crime provided central editorial support while Internews took charge of project management and research.
The two-part series drew attention to the plight of people fleeing violence and coercion from Colombia, those taken into slavery by drug lords in Mexico, and women sold into the sex trade in El Salvador, among other issues. Journalists from Animal Politico in Mexico, Plaza Publica in Guatemala, El Faro in El Salvador, and Verdad Abierta in Colombia participated.
A panel of four international judges will select two first-prize winners, one a US-based news outlet and one international. Other finalists include investigations by the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and a Swedish public television station. The winners will be announced on October 14 at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. First-prize winners will receive $5,000, while the other finalists will each receive $1,000.
Read more about the Internews-supported investigation of modern-day slavery in Latin America and the opportunities and challenges that the collaboration presented.