April 20, 2007

Mexican Journalist on Latin America and author of “Dancing with Cuba” to speak on “Truth and Beauty in Mexico” and UCSD

Alma Guillermoprieto, author and Mexican journalist who has written extensively about Latin America for the U.S. press, will speak on Truth and Beauty in Mexico and Latin America at 7 p.m. April 24 in the Price Center Ballroom at the University of California, San Diego.

Guillermoprieto’s lecture is part of UCSD’s monthlong celebration of the life and accomplishments of César E. Chávez, labor leader, champion of human rights and a principal figure in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Born in Mexico City and raised in Mexico and New York City, Guillermoprieto began her career as a journalist in the mid-1970s for The Guardian of Great Britain, later moving to the Washington Post. In 1982 she was one of two journalists who broke the story of the El Mozote massacre in which 900 villagers at El Mozote, El Salvador, were slaughtered by the Salvadoran army in December, 1981. She also has served as a South America bureau chief for Newsweek and for almost two decades has been The New Yorker’s Latin American correspondent.

Guillermoprieto has written about Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Panama. She covered the Colombian civil war, the internal conflict in Peru, the aftermath of what was termed the “Dirty War” in Argentina, and post-Sandinista Nicaragua.

“I’m an efficient, good, professional reporter,” Guillermo-prieto says. “But I also write. And so what I try to do is write about places that I know, that I care about intensely, and write about them in a way that conveys the fact that I care.”

Considered one of the premier authorities on Mexico, Guillermoprieto comments: “Of course, millions of us cross the border to work in U.S., homes and gardens and factories and carpentry shops and restaurants, and if you go to a restaurant pretty much anywhere in the United States, the chances are that the dishes will be washed by a Mexican.”

And she muses: “What I wonder is what would happen in California, say, if all the Mexicans left from one day to the next?”

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