‘Chicago Tribune,’ ‘Dallas Morning News’ Writers Win Latin American Coverage Awards

By: E&P Staff

Gary Marx, the Chicago Tribune Latin American correspondent who was recently kicked out of Cuba, and Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, are two of the winners of the prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Prize for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Also winning the award administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for the past 68 years are Maria Teresa Ronderos, the editorial advisor for Semana Magazine in Colombia, and Jose Vales, Latin American correspondent for the Mexico City daily El Universal.

Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger will present the prizes at a dinner and ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in New York City. Each prize winner will receive a medal and a $5,000 honorarium.

In honoring Corchado, the awards committee said “he covers a deadly beat that scares off most other journalist,” the narcotics trafficking crime and extreme violence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“In this savage climate, Corchado has refused to back down, instead continuing to produce exclusive stories about drug dealers, police and government corruption, the epidemic disappearance of women, and the spread of organized crime among Mexican drug cartels into Dallas and Houston,” a Columbia statement said.

The awards committee noted that earlier this year Marx was told by Cuban authorities that his press credentials would not be renewed and he would have to leave the island because his stories were deemed too “negative.”

“But in the view of the Cabot Prize Board, Marx’s reporting was devoid of the ideological side-taking that often taints journalistic stories about Cuba,” it said. “He was just telling the story of Cuba to his reader — the good and the bad — and telling it honestly and skillfully.

Ronderos was called an “exemplar of the highest standards of ethics, professionalism, and dogged reporting in another of the world’s most dangerous countries to practice journalism,” Colombia.

Vales, the committee said, “provides readers in the Americas with a steady diet of stories about important Latin American issues and scoops about corruption and human rights abuses from his post in Buenos Aires.”

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