On September 22, 2008, in New York City, NACLA presented Diana Washington Valdez with the 2008 Samuel Chavkin Prize for Integrity in Latin American Journalism.
|Diana Washington Valdez is an award-winning investigative journalist and author whose body of work has focused on U.S.-Mexico border affairs and the ongoing murders and disappearances of over 400 women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Her investigation into the murders resulted in the publication of the “Death Stalks the Border” by the El Paso Times, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and received a Texas APME First Place Award. In 2006, Mrs. Washington Valdez published The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women (Peace at the Border/California), an investigative book about the Juárez women's murders, drug cartels and government corruption in Mexico. Her work served as inspiration for the documentary film “Border Echoes” by Lorena Mendez-Quiroga.
The award committee chose Mrs. Washington Valdez for her commitment to justice and search for the truth about the Juárez murders. She continues to expand on her work as a reporter for the El Paso Times in El Paso, Texas, through her blog, essays, contributions to documentaries, and international speaking engagements.
Since NACLA has overseen this 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.
The late Samuel L. Chavkin was 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, and was an eyewitness to the coup in Chile in 1973, inspiring his gripping book, Storm Over Chile. The award was established by his family to honor his legacy.
For more information about the Chavkin program, visit http://nacla.org/chavkin.