January 22, 2021

«The death rate of journalists in Mexico, Colombia or Brazil is scandalously high»

«The death rate of journalists in Mexico, Colombia or Brazil is scandalously high»


Alma Guillermoprieto is a "victim of journalism", Someone who discovered that in journalism" she felt as comfortable as with two old shoes "and that she claims, after so much chronicle by Latin America as a reporter for" The Guardian "and" The Washington Post ", that" Indispensable qualities of this work are curiosity, work capacity and stubbornness ". But Alma Guillermoprieto, that next Friday will receive the Princess of Communication and Humanities Award in Oviedo, recognizes that "Every person has to understand what their way of being a journalist is, because each of us is different and if I tried to make chronicles like others, it would be disastrous. Everyone does their journalism. It is what this craft has of art ". The author of "At the foot of the volcano I write to you", where her chronicles are compiled, she acknowledged that she is not interested in power or politics and explained that she understood the repercussion of her work when, after covering the insurrection against Somoza, she climbed one of those double-decker buses and an old woman sits next to me and tells me who I am and where I come from. I answered that I write in "The Guardian"; Then she asked me what I was writing and when I told her, she replied that she had been reading to me all these days. At that moment I realized that I have readers and that the responsibility is with the people who read me. "

Guillermoprieto, who has acquired a commitment to the Ibero-American countries, with their people and their rugged histories, has denounced the scourge of structural inequality and the failure of the educational model in these societies on many occasions. "Centuries of colonial status and the violent way in which we arrived at independence and the subsequent wars that followed have made it difficult to create certain institutions. One of those that have always been lacking is Justice. We did not achieve that and the system has been overtaken by reality and we do not have another more modern one. The deficiency of an effective, neat, and not corrupt judicial system has impeded the control of corruption and this corruption has influenced educational models. I'm thinking of Mexico, for example. It combines corruption, lack of justice and economic backwardness. The Spanish inheritance of memorization learning has also limited independent and free thinking. "

Although for her another of the most pressing priorities is the adequacy of newspapers to new forms of dissemination. "We entered into such a level of terror, with social networks, the internet and the destruction that it provoked in traditional media, that we have lost the ability to see this world of the internet calmly. I do not believe that social networks end with journalism. They offer a potential to do journalism in a new way, but if we do not create different forms and new ways of digital journalism, we will be responsible for our own destruction. " He added: "The economic model of online journalism is about to be created. There are experiments, but there must be some, because we are inserted in capitalism and the means provide an indispensable service. You will find ways to make it sustainable. It is necessary to emphasize, for that reason, the difference that exists between a blog, the tweets and a diary: In the written press there are four reporters who are dedicated to investigate something. "

The journalist, therefore, wanted to denounce a sad reality: the distance that separates the exercise of their profession in the Anglo-Saxon world and in Latin America: "There is a very important economic difference, which, in turn, generates many more differences. The journalism of the United States, badly that well, can finance great investigations and reports. The salary difference is unparalleled and this also leads to the training of journalists. When they ask me about the great reporters I do not mention, for example, those in Colombia, but because they do not have months to go to report. In addition, they kill us. In the United States, that happens rarely. The death rate of journalists in Mexico, Colombia or Brazil is outrageously high. "

Regarding the realities of Colombia or Venezuela, Alma Guillermoprieto was precise: "I have not been to Venezuela since Chávez was named president. To evaluate a ruler you have to look at your heirs. What has happened in Venezuela is horrible. I do not need to say it. It will be difficult to rebuild the country, because Chavismo destroyed the oil industry, which brought most of the country's income. " From Colombia, the reporter expressed her doubts that she could consolidate the peace and commented on the violence of the gangs: "All these guys have post-traumatic syndrome. While paranoid symptoms and are prone to violence. In Colombia there is a national post-traumatic syndrome. I live with the hope that peace will be consolidated and that Colombia can turn this page of its history. It has been exciting to get peace and hopefully it will not break down. "

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