Best of 2012: International journalism



The year in projects from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

By The Center for Public Integrity

In 2012, ICIJ explored the developing black market for coltan, a mineral used in an array of electronic devices. Reporters in six countries combed government and court records and interviewed mining experts and brokers. The reporters also followed miners as they prospected for coltan in South America’s Amazon, in the border between Venezuela and Colombia, where they face cross-border smugglers and must deal with violent drug traffickers and paramilitaries.

Miners weigh the stones with their hands to recognize coltan. The mineral is almost black and weighs more than a regular stone.

Joseph Poliszuk/ICIJ

The trade in human body parts has flourished even as concerns grow about how tissues are obtained and how well grieving families and transplant patients are informed about the realities and risks of the business.

After years of intensive fishing, jack mackerel stocks in the southern Pacific have declined dramatically. Some experts say the only way to save the fishery is to impose a total ban for five years.

Periódico El Ciudadano

Anonymous buyers, using tax shelters and hiding behind offshore secrecy, are taking over more and more blocks of luxury housing in the UK, particularly in London.