Over the last two decades, Mónica González, a Chilean journalist and author, has established a reputation as one of the top investigative reporters in Latin America. She has consistently broken news on a range of human rights cases, including the 1973 coup in Chile and the subsequent murder of Chilean exile Carlos Prats in Argentina. She has also revealed a number of scandals involving former dictator Augusto Pinochet and his family.
As a result of such revelations, González was repeatedly accused of slander during the Pinochet regime and was jailed three times. Through her aggressive reporting, thousands of court documents on the international operations of the Chilean secret police have found their way into the public eye. Beyond their journalistic importance, these documents have served to prosecute cases currently pending against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
González's achievements are all the more notable in light of Chile's limited free press. While the press is no longer restricted as it was under Pinochet, there are few opportunities for crusading journalists such as González. Because of this, González has turned to the foreign press, including Argentina's leading newspaper, Clarín. She has also published four books. Her most recent one, La Conjura: Los Mil y un Días del Golpe (The Conspiracy: The Thousand and One Days of the Coup), documents the events leading up to the coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende in 1973.
Jorge Ramos, news anchor for Univision Network, has played a unique role in fostering understanding in the Americas. Frustrated with the restrictions on professional journalism in his native Mexico, Ramos came to the United States to pursue his career. For the past 15 years he has provided Hispanics around the world with news from home and abroad. At present, thirty-five million Hispanics in 13 countries including one million in the United States alone watch Ramos every evening on Noticiero Univisión as he takes on some of the hemisphere's most important leaders, including former Mexican P resident Carlos Salinas, Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
For his probing interviews and distinguished reportage in times of both war and peace, he has won seven Emmy awards. Not content to rest on his broadcasting laurels, Ramos has ventured into other media. He provides commentary on a daily radio show aired in the U.S. and Mexico. He also writes a syndicated column in 35 newspapers around the world. Ramos has also published four books, most recently La Otra Cara de América (The Other Face of America).
With his high standards for thorough and ethical reporting, Clóvis Rossi, editor and columnist for Folha de S. Paulo, has served as a role model for several generations of Brazilian journalists.
Rossi became editor at O Estado de S. Paulo at the age of 22, then moved on to become editor-in-chief just a few years later, leading him to joke that he had conducted his career in reverse. His true love is reporting, he said, and he wanted to return to the action. In 1980, he went to Folha de S. Paulo to become a reporter, where he has stayed for the last two decades.
Today, he is one of Brazil's most influential columnists, but he still takes pride in doing his own reporting for regular news stories. Throughout his 38-year career, Rossi has made a point of looking beyond Brazil's borders to cover events throughout the Americas, from Chile's military coup to the wars in Central America. His reporting has also focused on the question of human rights in Brazil and throughout the region.
For more than a decade, Sebastian Rotella, South America bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, has applied aggressive reporting and the gift of storytelling to a wide range of issues in the hemisphere, helping to bring Latin America alive for his readers. His penetrating analysis of life along the US-Mexican border, captured in his book Twilight on the Line, has aided in the understanding of US-Mexico affairs. More recently, Rotella has explored one of the biggest problems facing Latin America today, that of troubled justice systems that undermine the region's tenuous democracies.
In the past year, Rotella has provided revealing coverage on the unraveling of Alberto Fujimori's regime in Peru and the longstanding alliance between Fujimori's spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, and the CIA.