Corruption is one of the main obstacles to economic development, overcoming poverty, and the strengthening of democratic institutions. During the last 15 years, the levels of corruption in many countries in Latin America have reached record highs. At the same time, the misuse of public funds has coincided with a revival of authoritarianism in some countries of the region, which has made public corruption an unsustainable phenomenon.
Authoritarian governments have focused on increasing their control over democratic institutions in order to undermine independent media and reporters in particular, through either using the judiciary to prosecute journalists, intimidating them physically and, in some cases, acquiring media outlets through proxies using complicated financial networks hidden in tax heavens. This has had a detrimental effect for reporters, newspapers and electronic news outlets, who have experienced constant threats to their attempts to expose the growing public corruption in Latin America through investigative journalism.
Consequently, many countries in region are witnessing a growing censorship of the press and are subject to increasing threats and intimidation when it comes to promoting serious investigative reporting. Additionally, the major media groups in the region have significantly reduced the amount of resources devoted to investigative journalism.
We believe this situation makes it even more necessary than ever the need to create and promote new projects, organizations and support networks; not only to promote further investigation of corruption in Latin America, but also to promote greater international awareness on the unprecedented phenomenon of public corruption in Latin America.
The role of investigative journalism in this context can be decisive in order to expose some common situations in the hemisphere, such as the mismanagement of public funds, the abuse of power and the links with criminal enterprises. An organization that promotes investigative journalism and helps protect investigative reporters in their work is a powerful tool not only to expose and understand the causes and consequences of this growing phenomenon, but also to promote transparency, accountability and public integrity.
Our mission is to use investigative journalism as a tool to expose corruption and abuse of public power in the region, as well as to increase public awareness and involve private citizens in the discussion of these problems.
We want to expose cases of misuse of public funds or illegal activities by public officials in Latin America, using journalistic investigation and the publication of investigative reports on all broadcasting platforms, through the joint efforts of a network of Latin American journalists, and through partnerships with media outlets and organizations that promote the values of transparency and integrity in the management of public resources.