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Another first

24 April 2013

Siglo 21 was a small, scrappy newspaper with a young and untried staff back in 1992 when cub investigative reporter Alejandra Xanic convinced her father to chauffeur her around the back of a PEMEX plant and give her a boost over the wall, checking out reports of gas leaks into the sewage lines in Guadalajara… a story ignored by the tame press of the era until the lines DID explode on 22 April… to the shock of everyone, except the PEMEX technicians who had warned Xanic of the problem, and the few readers of Siglo 21.

Although Siglo 21 never survived as an independent publication, it’s short existence was a factor in convincing the Mexican media of the need to take a more critical attitude towards “official” pronouncements, and to do their own investigation.  Xanic herself moved on to working for several national publications, and for the foreign media.

PulitzersNow associated with the Center for Public Integrity, her work in uncovering, and unraveling,  an explosive situation of another sort … and one that while not producing as many immediate fatalities probably was much more damaging to the economy in this country (and not just in one locality) was recognized last Monday when, together with U.S. reporter David Barstow, her investigation into WalMart’s expansion into Mexico through bribery for the New York Times made her the first Mexican woman to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Sources:  Washington Post, Guadalajara Reporter)

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