Sarah Stillman is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a visiting scholar at N.Y.U.’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Her recent reporting on labor abuses by U.S. military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted congressional reforms and received a National Magazine Award, a Michael Kelly Award, and other national journalism prizes. She is currently reporting on immigration and criminal justice issues, and her recent work on young informants in the war on drugs received the George Polk Award for Magazine Journalism.
Stillman traveled across fourteen states of Mexico to report on the mass kidnappings of migrants there, and on the work of the Catholic church to curb the violence. For three weeks, she joined a group of nearly forty Central American women as they searched for their disappeared children and husbands, traveling some 2,800 miles and sleeping in migrant shelters run by the church. Along the way, the women visited morgues, hospitals, prisons, and drug rehabilitation centers, searching for clues about their loved ones with the help of religious allies.
Stillman's reporting explored the unprecedented violence against migrants that has transformed Mexico over the course of the drug war. But she also sought to document the growing number of brave voices within the church who have risked their lives to speak out, and the voices of migrants' mothers whose stories have, for too long, been largely invisible.