How ICIJ revealed the World Bank’s broken promises

“You’re falling for their tricks and you have too much love for your life!”

ICIJ reporters are no strangers to controversy, but this scolding from a Honduran peasant leader is one of the most memorable rebukes that our staff has received.

It came after ICIJ staff reporter Sasha Chavkin questioned the wisdom of heading to an embattled peasant community in northern Honduras after an army commander threatened his safety if he decided to make the trip. One of the leaders of the community made crystal clear his views on Chavkin’s moment of hesitation.

In the latest episode of ProPublica’s podcast “The Breakthrough,” Chavkin describes ICIJ’s reporting in Honduras, the World Bank’s crafty public relations tactics, and the massive data journalism endeavor that provided the backbone of ICIJ’s Evicted & Abandoned investigation.

The project found that an estimated 3.4 million people were physically or economically displaced by World Bank financed development projects over a decade, and that the bank regularly failed to follow its own rules for ensuring that displaced communities were properly resettled and protected from harm. Listen to the podcast here:

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