Chilean journalist wins Unesco press freedom prize

The Chilean professional was acknowledged for her long career in the printed press and for her work denouncing the military regime that ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990.

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) distinguished the Chilean journalist Mónica González with the “Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize,” an award that she will receive next 3 May in Brisbane, Australia, in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day.

This is a crowning achievement in the professional career of the Chilean journalist from the Universidad de Chile, who has a long track record in the printed press and is one of the journalists who undertook the most investigations into the government of General Augusto Pinochet, especially with regard to human rights issues and the financial transactions by the military officer who ruled Chile between 1973 and 1990.

Her reporting and her work also allowed her to work for important Chilean magazines like Cauce and Análisis, in addition to being deputy director of the magazine Cosas, deputy director and editor of the newspaper La Naciónand founder and director of the magazine Siete+7. Since 1995 she has been the Chilean correspondent of the Argentine newspaper Clarín and she has been director of the CIPER since its creation in 2007.

“I was in my office when I received an email from the Unesco. They called me from Paris right after that to let me know. I am very happy,” González said from Santiago. “It’s a special prize because your peers award it to you. In addition, they do not just reward you for a single job. It’s an acknowledgment for an entire career,” she added.

The prize, which the Unesco awards every year, is named after Guillermo Cano, in honor of the director of the Colombian newspaper El Espectador who was murdered by hitmen from drug gangs in December 1986. It has been awarded since 1997 and in addition to prestige, it provides US$ 25,000.

In the past, other renowned reporters have received the acknowledgment of this prize, including the Russian Anna Politovskaya, who was murdered in 2006 and received this recognition posthumously in 2007, the Cuban Raúl Rivera, and the Mexican Lydia Cacho, among others.

Thus, once again a Chilean receives an important international decoration, following the path of the medical professional Gonzalo Torres, who will soon receive an award from US President Barack Obama for his contributions to neuroscience.

This post is also available in Spanish