In their own words: Chimayó April 1, 2021 In their own words: Albuquerque March 24, 2021 Pine Ridge or Bust March 22, 2021 Busy signal March 11, 2021

Hitting Home: The story of five towns

Event: “Getting the Picture, Telling the story”

Charter schools target New Mexico’s at-risk students

Some focus on careers, others on college prep. The question is, do they work?

Sara Tafoya never pictured herself as one of New Mexico’s at-risk students. She came from a supportive, college-educated family in Albuquerque, had once earned good grades, and entertained dreams of going to college and becoming a physical therapist.

But in her sophomore year, Tafoya “attracted bad situations,” skipping classes – sometimes for weeks at a time. By the time she found out she was pregnant at age 15, she faced a hurdle that typically derails a girl’s education.

Native communities harnessing the power of data

Marriages and births. Allies and enemies. Wild game, migration patterns, the number of days of rainfall.

Like indigenous peoples around the world, they are today reclaiming their place as data researchers.

Where trust counts: The census and NM’s border cities

It's an uphill fight for the state's fast-growing south

In the last 10 years, so much has changed in Sunland Park and elsewhere along the border that observers are girding themselves for what may prove to be a damaging undercount in the 2020 census.

Underfunded, undercounted: New Mexico at risk in 2020 census

The state’s residents are notoriously hard to count — in 2000, the census undercount amounted to nearly 2 percent or about 35,000 people missed. Here’s why that matters.

For contracts, New Mexico increasingly looks elsewhere

Searchlight analysis finds growing reliance on out-of-state vendors

A Searchlight investigation finds billions of taxpayer dollars have flowed out of state since 2013 due to government purchases that are not filled — or cannot be filled — by New Mexico companies.

Here’s how we learned where New Mexico’s vendors are located

Legislators, auditors and business groups have tried for years to answer the question: Where does the state of New Mexico spend its money when it pays independent contractors for goods and services?

The data don't exist in an easy-to-grasp form, so we decided to create and share it.

New Mexico is ignoring its own rules on vendor transparency

New Mexico is over a year late in following a law that compels greater transparency in vendor contracts.

Legislators have been pressing the state to clarify where contract dollars flow.

New Mexico lawyer faces death threat over work for immigrants

‘Credible’ threat followed Fox News broadcast

What happened to Allegra Love and her colleagues, experts say, is a terrifying example of the open threats and unrelenting hostility that immigrant advocates have begun to face nationwide.

Brain Drain: Graduates leaving New Mexico behind

No state can afford to lose high-quality, educated workers, the key ingredient for a thriving economy.

Mississippi’s gains may hold lessons for New Mexico

There’s always New Mexico.

How does a state climb off the bottom rung in measures of child well-being? Can New Mexico take a cue and move up a few notches itself, by next year?

Empowering the public

Searchlight New Mexico is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative and public service journalism in the interest of the people of New Mexico. Our mission is to deliver high-impact investigative reporting to inspire New Mexicans to demand action on systemic problems that plague our state. We believe that great reporting can motivate all New Mexicans to confront racial and economic inequities, government corruption and negligence, and abuses of power.


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Dedicated to investigative reporting and innovative data journalism, your donations help make a difference.


Support investigative journalism

Dedicated to investigative reporting and innovative data journalism, your donations help make a difference.


State of hope. State of mind.

Download Searchlight New Mexico 2020, and learn more about what Searchlight New Mexico is doing in the community.

Download Our 2019 Report