IAPA Praises Winners of the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes 2023

Alejandra Xanic and June Erlick's work in the fight against impunity for the murders of journalists is highlighted by IAPA.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) salutes the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes 2023 winners, including journalists Alejandra Xanic and June Erlick, former investigators of the organization's Unpunished Crimes Against Journalists project.

The list of winners of the Columbia Journalism School's 2023 Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, recognized for outstanding reporting on the Americas, includes Alejandra Xanic, Quinto Elemento Lab, Mexico; June Carolyn Erlick, ReVista, The Harvard Review of Latin America, United States; Joshua Goodman, Associated Press, United States; and Carlos Eduardo Huertas, Connectas, Colombia.

Xanic and Erlick participated as investigative journalists in Mexico and Guatemala at the beginning of the IAPA project, created in 1995, to investigate unpunished murders of journalists. With the results of their work, the IAPA sought to point out irregularities in the official investigations to demand justice. Through the IAPA project, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, public campaigns were promoted to educate about impunity, and numerous journalists were trained in safety issues and protection tools to reduce risks in their professional coverage.

Xanic was a member of the IAPA's Rapid Response Unit in Mexico, created as part of the project to investigate murders in real-time. In 2013 she won a Pulitzer Prize in the Investigative Journalism category. Erlick investigated the 1980 disappearance of journalist Irma Flaquer in Guatemala, an emblematic case that IAPA brought before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The case resulted in a friendly settlement agreement that established reparations measures beneficial to the victims. Erlick wrote the book "Disappeared: A Journalist Silenced" about Flaquer's case.

The Cabot Jury also honored in the Special Citation category journalists Nayeli Roldán, from Animal Político, Mexico, and Miguel Mendoza, an independent journalist, from Nicaragua, for their "commitment to reporting the truth," despite the latent violence against journalism in both countries.

Maria Moors Cabot Prizes honor journalists and media outlets for their excellent work and for fostering Inter-American understanding in the Western Hemisphere. Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston founded the awards in 1938 to commemorate his wife.