04 July 1973


Gabriel Cano Martínez Colombia
Judith K. Henry USA
Charla Saylor USA
Kernan Turner USA
Keith Rolland USA
John Dinges USA
Fernando Canelas Bolivia
Lucila Castañeda Guatemala
Josephine de Lorenzo USA
Assef Nagib Kfouri Brazil
  Testimony of Scholarship Winners    

She studied at the University of Missouri and has worked in several publications in her native Guatemala. She was a postgrad student in medical sciences and hopes to “use my journalistic experience to benefit public health. The scholarship gave me a solid reason to believe that practicing journalism equates to having a career in public service.”

I’ve spent the last four decades reporting on Latin America. I have written two books on Chile – “Assassination on Embassy Row “(on the Letelier case) and“The Condor Years” (“Operation Condor” in the version published by Ediciones B in Latin America). And a third book on Panama (“Our Man in Panama”) and Noriega. I worked at the Washington Post until 1983, then as foreign editor at NPR. In addition to working as a journalism professor at Columbia University, I currently run an NGO – the Center for Investigation and Information -- which organizes journalistic research centers in Latin America. I was a founder of CIPER in Chile, and ArchivosChile where I am still a director. I stayed in Chile after my IAPA scholarship and was caught up a month later in the military coup. I spent five years as a stringer for Time, the Washington Post, ABC Radio and other publications. I found myself in the midst of a revolution -- a journalist in the middle of one of the most important stories of the day. I spent my time reporting and writing rather than studying.

The IAPA was closely identifi ed with the political right, a fact that brought me several consequences. On one hand some accused me of being a CIA agent and on the other the person in charge of IAPA scholarships viewed me with suspicion. The grant was instrumental in my international career as a journalist specializing in Latin America. I was awarded Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Gold Medal.

I had the privilege of receiving a scholarship from the IAPA that matched my interest in how graphic arts can play an important role in engineering and electronics. I studied at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota and then, focusing on the modernization of graphic arts, I continued my education at the leading university for this subject, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), a subsidiary of MIT. It was there, along with many colleagues of different nationalities, that we found it was possible to modernize the printing industry through electronics.

An anecdote of the times: at RIT there was room full of amateur radio equipment that caught my attention. I was a ham radio operator in my country so I signed up to use the equipment to talk with my family. There I met a young American named David; we became close friends and went on to compete in several amateur radio contests. In one, know the Morse Code was required even though the school equipment had no telegraph key. David was an expert at telegraphing by making phonetic sounds through a microphone. The result was pretty funny. We asked if we could participate using phonetics, which seemed very strange but they allowed it. We finished second among more than a thousand contestants.

Those courses helped me a lot in my every-day and professional lives. Throughout the world ham operators have always been inventors in the scientific development of communications.

On the technical side I was interested in the process of transforming negatives into printing plates where, at the time, large amounts of chemicals were then poured into pipes contaminating the water with toxic waste. In the newspaper El Espectador I implemented a system for recapturing the chemicals for recycling. They were used again and again, amounting to a huge savings for the company in addition to limiting water pollution. It also served for use in clinics and hospitals with x-ray machines. Today, with the advances in electronics the process is no longer used. I also invented machines that doubled production, speeding up delivery of newsprint to the presses, thus printing faster and cutting the time to get the paper on the streets. The benefi ts I gained through my studies at RIT are too numerous to name!