Border fence in El Paso, Texas, with a view of Ciudad Juárez. Photo: Gary John Norman via Alamy Stock Photo

Ecuador Investigative Team


Christian Sánchez


Christian Sánchez Mendieta has worked for 10 years as a reporter for El Mercurio, the most influential news organization in Cuenca, in the southern mountain region of Ecuador. He reports on migration, politics, the environment and security issues.

Sánchez is active on Twitter and has a following of more than 21,000 people on that platform. He posts on a consistent basis (3-4 times a day) and alerts people about breaking news events.

He has a master’s degree in digital marketing and e-commerce.


Andrés Mazza


Andres Mazza has been a journalist for the past 11 years. His first reporting job was with United Press International. Since 2019, he has been working at the daily newspaper El Mercurio in Cuenca, Ecuador, covering various topics, mainly cultural and educational.

Before joining El Mercurio, Mazza worked as a reporter for Radio Cuenca.

Mazza holds a bachelor's degree in social communication and advertising from Universidad del Azuay.

Mexico Investigative Team


Rocío Gallegos


Rocío Gallegos is a journalist in Ciudad Juarez, on Mexico's border with the United States. She is co-founder and editorial director of La Verdad, an independent investigative journalism online media organization, and co-founder of the Red de Periodistas de Juárez (Juarez Journalists’ Network), an association that promotes the professionalization of journalists.

Rocío has worked as a reporter, editor and information coordinator during the two periods that have most marked Ciudad Juárez: the murders of the women of Juárez and the violence of the war against drug trafficking.

She has been the only woman to serve as editorial director of El Diario de Juárez (Sept. 2013 - Feb. 2018). She received the 2011 Knight International Journalism Award, the 2011 Maria Moors Cabot Prize, along with the editorial staff of El Diario de Juárez, and the 2012 Zenger Award for Press Freedom.

Rocío holds a degree in communications from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at El Paso.


Gabriela Minjares


Gabriela Minjares is a journalist based in Ciudad Juárez, México, with 25 years of experience covering politics, public administration and corruption, as well as investigating border issues such as migration and violence with a social and human rights perspective.

Co-founder and current president of the Red de Periodistas de Juárez (Juarez Journalists’ Network), a nonprofit organization that promotes the professionalization of journalism in Ciudad Juárez. Co-founder and co-director of the independent online media organization La Verdad, Periodismo de Investigación.

Gabriela has reported on and directed the news coverage of 13 elections from 2000-2018, including the final stage of the U.S. presidential elections in 2016 while in Miami and New York. She also was a reporter, editor and temporary coordinator in the news department at El Diario de Ciudad Juárez newspaper from 1996 to 2018.

She holds a master's degree in investigative journalism from Florida International University (FIU) and a bachelor's degree in communication sciences from the School of Political and Social Sciences of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua (UACh).



Eileen Truax

Project Editor

Eileen Truax is a Mexican journalist with over 25 years of experience. She began her career in Mexico City, and in 2004 moved to the United States, where she specialized in covering migration and politics. 

Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Vice, El Universal (Mexico), Proceso, El Faro, Gatopardo and 5W, among others. She has covered four presidential elections in the United States and has published three journalistic books with editions in English and Spanish: Dreamers, la lucha de una generación por su sueño americano (Dreamers, a Generation's Fight for Their American Dream); Mexicanos al grito de Trump (Mexicans at the Shout of Trump); Historias de triunfo y resistencia en Estados Unidos (Stories of Triumph and Resistance in the United States); and El muro que ya existe_Las puertas cerradas de Estados Unidos (We built the Wall. How the US keeps out asylum seekers from Mexico, Central America and Beyond). Her texts have been included in seven other collective books, and she is editor of Una Lucha Compartida (A Shared Battle), a biographical text about feminist activist Lucha Castro.

Eileen is content director for the International Congress of Migration Journalism in Mérida, Spain. She has given workshops and lectures at more than 30 universities in Mexico, the United States and Spain, and for organizations such as DW Akademie, Thomson Foundation, European Press Prize, and Domestika. She is a fellow of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship for Journalists at the University of Michigan (2019-20), and the Carter Center's Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (2020-22). She currently teaches in the Master's program in Narrative Journalism at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), where she is also a student in the PhD program in Media, Communication and Culture.

Project coordinator


S. Lynne Walker

Executive Director of InquireFirst

S. Lynne Walker is a Pulitzer Prize finalist who spent much of her career reporting from Mexico, where she served as Mexico City bureau chief from 1992 to 2008 for San Diego, Calif.-based Copley News Service.

Her four-part series on a small Illinois town transformed by immigration was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. She was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York in 2005 for her outstanding coverage of Latin America.

From 2008 to 2016, Lynne served as Vice President of the Institute of the Americas, a nonprofit organization on the University of California, San Diego, campus.

As president and executive director of InquireFirst, a nonprofit journalism organization she launched in 2016, Lynne continues to travel to Latin America to work with colleagues on new ways to produce in-depth reporting on science, health and environment. She has conducted Spanish-language journalism workshops in Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.

Lynne is co-founder of Historias Sin Fronteras Fronteras (Stories Without Borders) and directs the grant project Montañas y Selva: Voces de los Andes Amazónicos, both of which support the work of science, health and/or environmental journalists in Latin America. In addition, she directs Bajo la Lupa, an initiative to support investigative journalists.

Web design

luis J Jiménez

Luis J. Jiménez

Web developer

Luis J. Jiménez is a photojournalist who is refocusing on web design and presenting news on multiple platforms. Since 2015 he has worked with InquireFirst as the developer of websites including and, as well as y Montañas y Selva: Voces de las Andes Amazónicos.

His experience as a photojournalist ranges from covering Mexico’s armed Zapatista uprising to presidential elections to the tequila industry and Day of the Dead celebrations.

His work has appeared in U.S. newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, the San Diego Union-Tribune  and U.S. News & World Report.

His coverage of rural poverty in México was selected as a finalist in the photojournalism category of World Hunger Year’s Harry Chapin Media Awards.

Luis earned an Associate of Science degree in Web Design from San Diego Mesa College in 2019 and an Associate of Arts degree in French from San Diego Mesa College in 2021.


Jessica X. Valenzuela

English translation

Fermín García-Fabila



This project is a collaborative investigation by El Mercurio in Ecuador and La Verdad Juárez