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Searchlight New Mexico is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative reporting and innovative data journalism.

In a landscape of shrinking media resources, our mission is to focus high-impact journalism on topics of local, regional and national interest in order to allow the public to see into the remote recesses of government and to expose abuses of power.

We believe great reporting empowers people to demand honest, effective public policy and to seek appropriate remedies.

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Searchligt New Mexico Magazine

© 2019 Searchlight New Mexico.  |  All rights reserved. For republishing terms, see Guidelines. 

Images by Don Usner


Coronavirus in New Mexico

In the last two weeks, the landscape around us has changed and we are changing with it. COVID-19 has gone from being a distant problem to one that threatens our very livelihoods and well-being. As more confirmed cases of the infection crop up across New Mexico each day, we must reevaluate the focus of Searchlight. As of this week, coronavirus is our focus.

We want to hear how COVID-19 is affecting you

Submit a tip, personal experience or story to Searchlight. We will never identify you without your permission.

Our lives now

This week, we introduce a daily photo essay called Our Lives Now. Searchlight photographer Don J. Usner is traveling around New Mexico, documenting life as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. Each day, look for a new image.  

April 2, 2020  |  By Nick Pachelli

The new and improved phone system for New Mexicans to file for  unemployment crashed under an unprecedented load of callers. 

April 1, 2020  |  By Dahr Jamail

Cases of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation are climbing as it reports seven times more cases than any other tribe. 

March 30, 2020  |  By Rachel Mabe

The City of Santa Fe took a new approach to curbing the spread of COVID-19 among residents who are homeless. 

March 24, 2020  |  By Ed Williams

Foster parents are caught between conflicting directives when it comes to visitation during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

March 24, 2020  |  By Amy Linn

New Mexico is home to 19 pueblos, 3 Apache tribes and a large swath of the Navajo Nation. How will they cope with the outbreak of COVID-19?

March 23, 2020  |  By Ike Swetlitz

Searchlight spoke with five inmates in the Santa Fe jail: they just want to keep clean and safe from COVID-19, but they can't seem to get enough soap.

March 18, 2020  |  By Ike Swetlitz

Searchlight spoke to immigration attorney, Allegra Love, to see how migrant detention centers in New Mexico will be impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.

March 18, 2020  |  By Christian Marquez

After staff attended a conference in New Orleans, Searchlight New Mexico was notified of possible exposure to COVID-19. Christian Marquez has been under quarantine since.

More stories from Searchlight

March 27, 2020  |  By Ike Swetlitz

New Mexico has reached a settlement in a years-long lawsuit that accused the state of failing to protect many of its most vulnerable children.

March 11, 2020  |  By Christian Marquez

After decades of growth driven by oil and gas, Farmington's population is falling as the industry fades in the San Juan Basin.

March 4, 2020  |  By Ike Swetlitz

On Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham attempted to inform Sheila Lewis that she was no longer chair of the parole board.


It didn’t quite go as planned.

February 25, 2020  |  By April Reese

The imminent closure of the San Juan Generating Station is building unease for the community as it faces giving up fossil fuels under the state’s energy transition. 

December 31, 2019  |  By Sara Solovitch, Images by Don J. Usner

Executive Director Sara Solovitch and Photographer Don Usner sat down to talk about the best photos from Searchlight New Mexico. The images selected best captured the work that we do.  Here's what they chose. 

OCTOBER 15, 2019  |  By Ike Swetlitz

Jamari Nelson's mother pulled him out of his first-grade class at a public school in Albuquerque after he was screened in a "threat-assessment." Nelson, who is diagnosed with autism, is one of many children in special education swept up into a system originally intended to identify those who might commit mass-violence. 

AUGUST 27, 2019  |  By April Reese

Multiple studies support the notion that exposure to nature can be beneficial for the mental and physical well being of youth. The Outdoor Equity Fund - first of its kind in the nation - aims to introduce troubled New Mexico youth to the great outdoors by funding outings through programs like Families and Youth Incorporated. 

AUGUST 20, 2019  |  By Nick Pachelli

A chill in the air 

The problem of teen suicide

In 2017, Aurra Gardner was among 46 New Mexican youths between 10 and 19 who ended their own lives, and one of 16 who did so with a firearm. New Mexico has the fifth highest youth suicide rate in the country — approximately 16 per 100,000 residents, double the national average.