Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas presents “Two gringos with questions,” an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas. On the Sixth episode, Chris and Ken talk to Alma Guillermoprieto, award-winning Mexican journalist.
Trained as a dancer, Alma Guillermoprieto studied dance and was part of the Mexican National Ballet. As a teen she moved to New York City were she continued her dancing career and trained under Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. In 1969 she travelled to Havana, Cuba to teach dance and it was there where, in 1978, she began to work as a freelance journalist.
Guillermoprieto began her career as a Central American reporter for The Guardian, where she covered the Nicaraguan civil war. Later, Guillermoprieto moved to The Washington Post, and in 1982 became one of two reporters who broke the story of the slaughter of about 900 civilians in El Mozote, El Salvador by U.S.-trained Salvadoran soldiers. The administration of then President Ronald Reagan denied and tried to discredit the reports, but officials were eventually forced to acknowledge the slaughter. After a stint as South America bureau chief for Newsweek, she decided to continue her career as a freelance writer, continuing her coverage of Latin America for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and other publications in Spanish.
Apart from her work as an award-winning journalist, for which she recently received the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, Guillermoprieto has written numerous books, including The Making of Brazilian Carnival (1990), about her time in school in Mangueria, Brazil, The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now (1994), and Las Guerras en Colombia: Tres Ensayos (2000). She is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds an honorary degree from Baruch College, City University of New York.
To discuss Latin America’s past and where it might be headed, your hosts talk to Guillermoprieto, about Nicaragua’s past, the real reason behind the rise of Bolsonaro, and which country makes the best ceviche.