Jul 8, 2008

Journalist-author of "The Killing Fields" chosen for the prestigious Chavkin Award for investigative journalism

Lorena Garza Marketing & Public Relations

For immediate release

Journalist and author of "The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women" selected to receive prestigious Samuel L. Chavkin Award for investigative journalism

(July 2008/Los Angeles, California) – Journalist Diana Washington Valdez has been awarded the 2008 Chavkin Award for Integrity in Journalism in Latin America for her work on the slayings of women in Juarez, Mexico.
The prestigious Samuel L. Chavkin Prize is awarded every 18 months to an outstanding investigative reporter working in Latin America or the Caribbean exposing injustice and oppression or documenting the struggles for social justice and democracy in the region. The award, which includes a $2,500 honorarium, is given to journalists whose body of work reflects a commitment to social justice in the region.
The award committee in New York City considered Ms. Washington Valdez’s courageous news reporting, her books The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women, Cosecha de Mujeres: Safari en el desierto Mexicano, her essays, her blogs, her collaborations with documentaries, and her tireless efforts to inform our society about the events that claimed the lives of hundreds of girls and women in Mexico.
“I’m grateful and honored to receive this award named after Samuel L. Chavkin, a great journalist who stood up to the corrupt leaders of his time,” said Ms. Washington Valdez. “I will do my best to honor his memory.”
Ms. Washington Valdez is an award-winning journalist who works for the El Paso Times newspaper in El Paso, Texas. The documentary “Border Echoes/Ecos de una frontera” by producer Lorena Mendez-Quiroga is based on her investigation.
A committee of North American Congress on Latin America staff and members of the editorial committee and Board of Directors selects the winner from a highly competitive field of nominees.
Previous Chavkin Award winners have included Angel Paéz of La República in Peru; Ignacio Gómez, an investigative reporter and editor at El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia; Stella Calloni, South America correspondent for the Mexican daily La Jornada; Jane Regan and Daniel Morel for their work in Haiti; and Cristian Alarcón for his work in Argentina's Página 12 and his book Cuando me muera quiero que me toquen cumbia.
Samuel L. Chavkin was a reporter, writer, editor and publisher. Journalism was his favorite of these, Latin America his favorite beat, and the promotion of social justice his overall goal. An investigative journalist in Latin America in the 1930s and
1940s for a variety of newspapers, magazines, the Overseas News Agency and the U.N. radio news division, Chavkin established himself as a respected correspondent until U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy forced his early retirement from the field by depriving him of his passport. He also wrote Storm Over Chile — a gripping and complete account of the 1973 military coup and its aftermath — as well as articles for various publications.

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