InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley has written a guide to covering drug trafficking based on his decades of experience working in the world’s leading region for the drug trade. The chapter is part of an extensive series on reporting on organized crime published by the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), an international association of news outlets that we are a part of.
Dudley’s chapter offers ways to approach the drug trade that goes beyond kingpins, such as investigating distribution chains, elites who provide cover for trafficking operations and violence fueled by drug sales. The chapter also provides an overview of sourcing and a series of examples of exemplary work in the field, including an article written by Dudley on Guatemala’s former interior minister, who, among other crimes, protected a known drug trafficker and money launderer using state resources. The guide ends with tools and tips for covering the drug trade, one of the world’s most lucrative illicit activities.
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