Mendoza: “Independent journalism in Nicaragua has been persecuted like never before by a despotic regime”

The journalist and former politician Miguel Mendoza remains incredulous to learn that he will receive the special mention on October 18 at the Maria Moors Cabot Awardsfrom the Columbia University School of Journalism, New York.

According to the information he received, by telephone, it was that “the Cabot Jury” has selected him as the recipient of the 2023 Special Mention for “his commitment to inform the truth regarding the attacks in his country of origin Nicaragua.”

Related news: Journalist Miguel Mendoza will receive a Special Mention at the María Moors Cabot Awards

After 24 hours of notification, the sportswriter continues to express the emotion he feels for the distinction that he will receive along with other renowned journalists.

Today Friday, July 21, at 7:36 in the morning, Miguel Mendoza recalled, through his Twitter account, the emotional moment of the news. «About a month ago I received a call from an unknown telephone number, I did not want to answer believing it was to offer me things and services that I do not need. I hesitated, but I responded, “he recapitulated.

“They spoke to me in English, I said “I don’t understand”, then the communication changed to Spanish, and it was to inform me that I had been selected to receive a special citation at the 2023 María Moors Cabot Awards ceremony, at Columbia University, in New York, “he said.

still don’t believe it

He recalls that at the time of the communication he was in a vehicle with his wife, Margin Pozo, and his daughter Alejandra. «I was moved when I heard the news for many reasons, the first one is that I don’t believe that I am up to such recognition that only “sacred cows” of Nicaraguan journalism have obtained, such as PJCHC, @cefeche and @pxmolinaIt’s like, what am I doing when I’m in this group?».

He also assured that he was excited because he could first share the news with his wife and daughter who “suffered a lot from my kidnapping, my brave little women who had to receive mistreatment and intimidation; Third, I knew that I was receiving the award in the name of the brave, credible, and respected independent journalism in Nicaragua, persecuted like never before by a despotic regime, and this means a great honor to me.”

Journalist Miguel Mendoza will receive a Special Mention at the Cabot Awards
Journalist Miguel Mendoza will receive a Special Mention at the Cabot Awards

«Less than six months ago I was in El Chipote, serving a nine-year sentence for being a journalist, for reporting, for confronting the dictatorship from my social networks. Now, this month, I appear in a survey as the third most credible journalist and Maria Moors Cabot arrives, “added the independent journalist.

Related news: Miguel Mendoza is reunited with his family in Miami after 684 days apart

He took advantage of Mendoza’s new message to thank God, because he affirms that “Nicaragua has journalists of enormous quality who do a gigantic job every day, going through the same difficulties of exile, after overcoming persecution, confiscation, exile, but they remain firm and dignified.”

The Maria Moors Cabot Award is the oldest international recognition in journalism. Since 1938 the awards have been administered by the School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York.

Mendoza cannot believe that she is among
Miguel Mendoza interviewing Arturo McFields. Photo: Article 66 / Courtesy

There have been three Nicaraguans to win the prestigious award. In the list are the journalists Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal (1977), Carlos Fernando Chamorro (2010) and the cartoonist Pedro Molina (2019).

Miguel Mendoza was kidnapped for 597 days in the cells of the Directorate of Judicial Assistance, known as “El Nuevo Chipote”, in Managua, sentenced to nine years in prison for the alleged crimes of conspiracy to undermine the national integrity and spread of fake news. On February 9 of this year, he was exiled from Nicaragua and stripped of his nationality, along with 221 former political prisoners.

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