Inaugural Gavin MacFadyen Investigative Fellow Appointed

    The CIJ is very happy to announce that the inaugural Gavin MacFadyen Investigative Fellow is Mexican investigative journalist, Irving Huerta.

    Huerta will work with the CIJ and Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths University on investigations into human rights abuses around the world through 2017. This new fellowship seeks to keep alive the spirit of Gavin through supporting investigations that hold power to account and shine a light on injustice.

    Huerta has a long history as an investigative journalist, working on stories about corruption, money laundering, and public administration breakdowns in his home country and the Americas.

    He is a former member of the Special Investigations Unit leaded by the journalist Carmen Aristegui, which persistently disclosed wrongdoing at the highest levels of the Mexican government, such as the 'white house' scandal (‘la "casa blanca" del president Peña Nieto’) and, afterwards, its connection to an offshore scheme uncovered in the Panama Papers.

    The unit used to air its stories in the radio station Noticias MVS, until they joined the whistleblowers’ platform Mexicoleaks, and suddenly the media owners decided to fire the entire team. The journalists considered that move as censorship directed by the Presidency, in retaliation for publishing the 'white house' scandal.

    In order to keep publishing long-term investigations, the Special Investigations Unit regrouped in the website, where their work received different prizes, like the 2016 Knight International Journalism Award (ICFJ), 2015 IPYS Award, and the 2015 Gabriel Garcia Marquez Award.

    In September 2016, Huerta moved to London to pursue a PhD degree in the Politics Department at Goldsmiths University, with a research project on investigative journalism and its impact on policymaking in Latin America.

    Gavin MacFadyen was the founder-director of the CIJ until his death in October 2016.

    Over his long career as an investigative journalist, he produced and directed more than 50 documentaries, many for Granada Television’s World in Action, in countries as diverse as Ecuador, Guyana, South Africa, Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand, the USSR, the US, Sweden, India and Turkey. His investigations covered topics including industrial accidents, neo-Nazi violence in the UK, Chinese criminal societies, the history of the CIA, Watergate, election fraud in Guyana, the Iraq arms trade, child labour, nuclear proliferation, and Frank Sinatra’s connection to organised crime. He was banned from Apartheid South Africa, the Soviet Union, and attacked by British Neo-Nazis, because of his investigative documentaries. The volume and quality of his body of work is unparalleled.