During the three days she spent in Detroit investigating the water shut-off crisis, there were a number of times when Catarina de Albuquerque’s jaw literally dropped.

A United Nations human rights expert on issues involving water and sanitation, Albuquerque would sit, mouth agape, astonished by what she was hearing from residents and their advocates.

“I heard testimonies from poor, African American residents of Detroit who were forced to make impossible choices — to pay the water bills or to pay their rent,” Albuquerque said Oct. 20 during a press conference to announce what she and fellow U.N. Special Rapporteur Leilani Farha had learned while in Detroit.

By Curt Guyette, Investigative Reporter