In 2009, a fire at a nursery school in Hermosillo, Mexico, claimed the lives of 49 children and injured more than 40 others. In response, the Mexican government dedicated millions of dollars to helping the victims and their families. But that money seemed to disappear before it reached them.
That is, until investigative reporter Alan Aviña asked the right questions. His investigation revealed that a state official had hired family members to assist her in stealing about $500,000 from the government’s response to the fire. The impact: Mexico’s Institute of Social Services (IMSS) barred the corrupt official from holding public office for the next 12 years.
To bring that corruption to light, Aviña used skills he had learned as a participant in the Mexico Border Investigative Reporting Hub (the Border Hub). ICFJ runs the five-year program in partnership with the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers with support from USAID.