Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Mexico: New Investigative Journalism Unit Exposes Corruption

Knight Fellow Ana Arana worked with reporters and editors at the daily El Universal and the magazines Gatopardo and Expansión. She helped them build a new joint investigative unit and databases to produce exposes such as a story on illegal land transfers.


  • At El Universal, reporters produced a series on corruption in soccer club management. One story revealed how a land deal for a soccer stadium came at the expense of peasants in the state of Hidalgo.
  • After the story was published, a community in the state of Pachuca cancelled a similar deal, saving low-income homes from demolition.
  • Expansión exposed drug companies that unfairly criticized an entrepreneur who was building needed pharmacies in poor communities. The story became the most-read piece on the magazine’s Web site.


  • Random House plans to publish a book based on a Gatopardo story that showed how Colombian and Mexican drug lords are connected not just by their common business, but by marriages among their children. The story was produced by an investigative team under the direction of Knight Fellow Ana Arana.

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