Alejandra Xanic is a Mexican investigative journalist whose reports have revealed corruption and public health threats in her country.
She began her journalism career as a reporter in a public radio station and later, in 1991, for the newly founded Siglo 21, one of Mexico’s first newspapers with an investigative reporting unit. There, her stories ranged from long-form features on marginalized rural communities and the social exclusion of deaf people to more in-depth investigations on the use of the Mexican passenger trains in drug trafficking and the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio.
Her coverage of a gasoline spill in the sewers of a neighborhood in Guadalajara, the country's second-largest city, revealed the dangers facing citizens there. Yet, the area was not evacuated; a blast later killed about 250 people.
In 2013, Xanic and New York Times reporter David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing how Wal-Mart of Mexico was aggressively using bribery to dominate the market. Their reporting revealed Wal-Mart’s corrupt business practices to the public, which forced the company to create and release a report detailing their efforts to prevent future use of bribes and corrupt measures.
Xanic and three other investigative reporters founded Quinto Elemento Lab in 2017, a non-profit organization that promotes investigative journalism around Mexico through funding and mentoring investigative projects, conducting in-house investigations, and training investigative editors. She is also an active trainer and journalism teacher.