The WikiLeaks cables not only uncovered extensive Washington influence in the region, it also ushered in a new age of investigative journalism.

After Julian Assange invited a group of leading Latin American journalists to London and gave them thousands of internal documents from the US State Department, the media and political landscape in Latin America was forever changed. From confirmation of the United States’s deep involvement in the drug war in Mexico and its efforts to alienate Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, to national governments conspiring with foreign multinationals to alter safety regulations, the cables revealed a corrupt world of diplomacy, long suspected, but rarely glimpsed.

Peter Kornbluh, guest editor of this week’s double-issue about WikiLeaks and Latin America, speaks with Associate Editor Liliana Segura about how “cablegate” rocked the region, and has inspired a new generation of investigative journalists.

—Max Rivlin-Nadler