• PEN International commemorates murdered journalists on the Day of the Dead

    News and Commentary

    San Miguel PEN Day of the Dead Altar

    The Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is an annual celebration that began in pre-Columbian central Mexico, but has spread to the rest of Latin American and areas of the US and Canada where there are concentrations of Mexican emigrants. The celebrations are often family get-togethers at cemeteries, where departed family members and friends are honored with “altars” decorated with pictures of the deceased, as well as offerings, such as sugar skulls and glasses of tequila.

    This year, PEN International, and organization in support of freedom of expression that has been around since 1921, decided to make the Day of the Dead an occasion to remember journalists who have been murdered throughout Latin America. They organized events in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Chile, and Argentina.

    Here are accounts of five of them:

    San Miguel PEN Day of the Dead Altar

    San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: A large altar was constructed in the Jardin by Lauren Leonardi, Ernesto Espinoza Lopez, and José Juárez Montiel. It featured pictures of all 15 Mexican journalists that have been murdered this year. Included in this were two journalists previously documented on Daily Kos, newspaper correspondent Miroslava Breach Velducea and author Javier Valdez Cárdenas. Both of them worked for the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada. Judith Hill, President of the San Miguel Center, composed a poem for the occasion, which appears below. Slide show Continue Reading »

Back to Top