Category: Journalism

Covering Central America in the 1980s: A Memoir in Words and Photos

The wipers slapped across the rain-smeared windshield as we sped through downtown San Salvador. Nelson Ayala clutched the steering wheel to keep us on the road through the torrential downpour. It was already two hours past dark, and it felt way too late to be out on the streets in this part of town. Suddenly, a body appeared in the headlights just ahead of us, sprawled on the pavement. …

Memoryscape: A Documentary Film Explores Memory

Walking up to 12,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes took two entire days. With Ramiro Niño de Guzmán, a Quechua-speaking human rights leader, I set out for his childhood home in Checcasa, along the same path that the army had taken when it attacked his village in 1988, accusing his family of being Shining Path insurgents. His brothers were tortured and killed, his sisters raped and dismembered….

Keeping the Silence, Breaking the Silence: The Role of the Published Word

As editor of the English-language Buenos Aires Herald, I lived through the worst years (1976 to the end of 1979) of the dictatorship in Argentina, and I was constantly astonished by the way the general population accepted military rule. It is true that the media silenced themselves in complicity with, or out of fear of, the special task forces that resembled the Nazi Einsatzgruppen. …

The First Draft of History: The Best and the Worst

When an assassin’s bomb tore through the La Penca guerrilla base in southern Nicaragua three decades ago, it cast a spotlight on some of the worst and some of the best of journalism. The blast was meant to kill Eden Pastora, who had broken with the Marxist Sandinista government and launched a war against it along the southern border with Costa Rica while other “contras” pushed in along the northern border with Honduras….


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