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								 TUESDAY, SEPT. 16, 1997

Winners of Cabot Prizes for Reporting on Latin America Announced by Columbia University

Columbia University has announced it will award the 1997 Maria Moors Cabot Prizes to five journalists for contributing to inter-American understanding and advancing press freedom. It will also award a special citation posthumously to a Colombian editor who was assassinated in March after writing editorials against drug cartel leaders. More than 250 journalists have received Cabot honors since their inception in 1939. The 1997 awards will be presented in ceremonies on the Columbia campus Oct. 16. The Cabot Prizes are the oldest international awards in the field of journalism. Individual journalists are traditionally honored for a sustained body of work covering events in the Western Hemisphere. The five 1997 Cabot Prize gold medal winners are: Jose de Cordoba, senior special writer for The Wall Street Journal, who has reported the past 11 years on subjects ranging from the U.S. invasion of Panama to feature stories about the lives of ordinary Panamanians. He has produced a memorable body of work with depth, style and sensitivity to give his readers a better understanding of the people of the Americas. Jorge Fontevecchia of Argentina, editor of the weekly news magazine Noticias de la Semana and founder of Editorial Perfil, who has maintained the highest professional standards in journalism - courage, independence and initiative - over the past 23 years through the publication of 80 magazines that vary from events on and for women, sports and politics, the latter specifically in Noticias, one of few independent voices in Argentina. He was forced into exile by the military dictatorship and returned with the help of Carlos Menem, who later was elected president and whose sharpest critic in today's Argentine press is Mr. Fontevecchia's Noticias. Julia Preston, correspondent in Mexico for The New York Times, who has written penetrating stories about turmoil and war and emotionally powerful portraits of people. Her career has spanned the Contra war in Central America and the struggle for democracy in El Salvador and throughout the continent. Hernando and Enrique Santos Castillo, who are brothers and who have been the managing and editorial force running Bogot˝'s eminent daily El Tiempo for four decades. The newspaper, despite constant threats by the government and drug cartels, has become a bulwark in the struggle for democracy in Colombia with uncompromising, hard-hitting reporting and writing. A special citation will be awarded posthumously to Gerardo Bedoya Borrero, editorial page editor of El Pais of Cali, Colombia, who was assassinated in March of this year. His editorials called for the extradition of drug cartel leaders to face justice in countries where they are charged with committing crimes. In his final editorial he wrote that he preferred intervention in the internal affairs of Colombia by the United States to that of the drug cartels. Rodrigo Lloreda Caicedo, editor of El Pais, will receive the award for Mr. Bedoya. Lloreda, former vice president of Colombia, senator for 16 years, governor, foreign minister from 1982 to 1984, education minister and ambassador of Colombia to Washington in 1984-86, was a candidate for the presidency of Colombia in the last election. He also is past president of the National Association of Colombian Dailies (Junta Directiva de la Asociaci÷n Nacional de Diarios Colombianos, or ANDIARIOS). The five prize winners will receive the Cabot medal and a $1,000 honorarium. Medalists' news organizations will receive a bronze plaque. The presentation will take place at a formal dinner ceremony Thursday, Oct. 16, in the Rotunda of Low Memorial Library on the Columbia campus in New York City. Tom Goldstein, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, will present the winners to University President George Rupp, who will confer the prizes. The Cabot Prizes are awarded annually by the Columbia Trustees on recommendation of the Journalism School dean and the Maria Moors Cabot Advisory Board, which is composed largely of former Cabot Prize winners. Director of the advisory board is Frank N. Manitzas, former Latin American bureau chief for ABC News and himself a Cabot medalist. The prizes were established by the late Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston as a memorial to his wife. Further information on the winners follows: Jose de Cordoba, 44, correspondent for The Wall Street Journal since 1986, is based in Miami, covering the Caribbean and Latin America as well as South Florida. He was born in Havana and earned a B.A. in Latin American studies in 1977 from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., and an M.S. in 1981 from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. De Cordoba, the oldest of four children, left Havana in 1960 with his parents. His early years were divided between New York and Puerto Rico. After college he began work in news at the Hudson Dispatch in New Jersey and was in Venezuela with his family while trying to decide between law and journalism as a career. He had been accepted into the law school at Columbia University but while on vacation in Colombia (he drove from Caracas to Bogota) he covered the signing of the peace treaty between the M-19 guerrillas and the government in the town of Corinto. The result for the young stringer: front page in The Washington Post. He immediately pulled his application from the law school and went to journalism. After years of stringing from Caracas, where he also worked full-time for the Caracas Daily Journal, Mr. de Cordoba was hired as a reporter for El MiamiHerald (now El Nuevo Herald) and joined The Wall Street Journal in 1986, covering the southern hemisphere. Jorge Fontevecchia, 42, is from Buenos Aires and what he calls "a Gutenbergian family." It is not just a family that has profited from the printing press; the Fontevecchias have been leaders in the struggle to bring the truth to the public. He began his publishing career at the age of 20 in 1975 with a sports magazine special edition. Profits from that venture led to new publications and a partnership with his father Alberto, an expert in graphic arts, publisher of sports and outdoor magazines and owner of an important linotype composition company. Their enterprise, Editorial Perfil, led in 1976 to the launching of a news weekly, La Semana. Its professional look and dynamic reporting suffered the wrath of the military dictatorship during the next seven years, the time of the "dirty war." La Semana's distribution was forbidden six times and the publication was closed in 1982 by the military. In 1979, Mr. Fontevecchia was kidnapped by the military and thrown into a clandestine detention field - the type that was to be denounced by international human rights organizations with reports of 10,000 dead and "disappeared" from 1976 to 1983. In 1983, he eluded a government decree ordering his arrest, escaping to exile through the Venezuelan embassy. That year he moved to New York City where the first of his three children was born, and he returned in 1984 to Argentina with the restoration of a civilian, elected government. La Semana today is Noticias de La Semana ("News This Week"), the magazine with the widest circulation in Argentina. Together with Editorial Perfil, Noticias has remained under attack by elements seeking to thwart a free press. Bombs hit its printing plant in 1992 and 1995. This year the violence escalated with the murder of Editorial Perfil photographer Jose Luis Cabezas, who was handcuffed and set afire in his car. Noticias and Editorial Perfil continue to publish. Julia Preston, 46, has been a correspondent in Mexico for The New York Times for the past two years and has been covering Latin America since her graduation cum laude from Yale University in 1976 with a B.A. in Latin American studies. She covered the wars in Central America, first as a free-lance reporter for National Public Radio, The Baltimore Sun and The Boston Globe, which named her its Central America bureau chief in 1984. Two years later, Ms. Preston joined The Washington Post and headed its coverage in the isthmus until she was named its South America correspondent in Rio de Janeiro. Then for two years, she covered the United Nations and was given the 1994 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for humanitarian reporting before moving to Mexico with The New York Times in 1995. Her husband is Sam Dillon, a 1992 Cabot Prize winner. Enrique and Hernando Santos Castillo will share the Maria Moors Cabot Gold Medal just as they have shared duties in their careers with El Tiempo, a family institution. Both were formally educated as lawyers and were trained on the job as journalists. Both have spent a half century at El Tiempo. Their careers began in the mid-1940s,and they moved through various editorial positions on El Tiempo. Enrique, 80, and Hernando, 75, on two occasions shared the title of editor-in-chief. Both have shared honors from Spain and Colombia. Enrique also founded and was first president of the main journalists association in Colombia, the Cârculo de Periodistas de Bogot˝. Hernando was prominent as a columnist on Detras de las Noticias ("Behind the News"), and he is chairman of the board of El Tiempo. Enrique is the editor-in-chief. Gerardo Bedoya Borrero, 55, was fatally shot six times at close range by an unknown assailant on March 19, 1997. His editorials in El Siglo and El Pais of Cali, Colombia, had crusaded against the drug cartels and corruption in government. In his final column, he had written "I prefer the pressure of the United States to the pressure of the narcos. I prefer the influence of the gringos‰ to the influence of the narco-traffickers. I prefer the intervention into our internal affairs by the gringos‰ to that of the drug cartels." Mr. Bedoya also served as a member of Congress in Colombia and as ambassador to the European Community. 9.8.97 19,172