Present: Journalists of Print Media
Monica Gonzalez, a Chilean journalist and author, has established a reputation as Chile’s premier investigative reporter and one of the top investigative reporters in Latin America.
She has consistently broken news on a range of human rights cases. She also broke a number of stories revealing scandals involving former dictator Augusto Pinochet and his family.
As a result of her reporting, Gonzalez was repeatedly accused of slander during the Pinochet regime and was jailed multiple times.
Gonzalez brought to light a cache of thousands of secret police documents on Chile’s international operations. These documents yielded hundreds of investigative pieces about the operations of the secret police in Chile and elsewhere in Latin America, as reported by Gonzalez herself and others. Beyond their journalistic importance, these documents were used to prosecute cases against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and other Chilean military officers. Gonzalez was so integral to this effort that she was called as an expert witness by the Chilean court in several major cases, and also by the Argentine court.
Gonzalez’s reporting achievements on human rights issues in Chile are all the more notable in light of the restrictions imposed on the free press in Chile, even years after the restoration of democracy in 1988. Because the Pinochet regime had closed down almost all newspapers and magazines that opposed his rule, there were few outlets, even after Pinochet left office, for Gonzalez’ crusading investigative journalism to appear in. Consequently, Gonzalez turned to the foreign press, including to the Spanish news magazine Tiempo, the German news magazine Der Spiegel and Argentina’s leading newspaper, Clarin.
Remarkably, Gonzalez’s influence on the Chilean press is not limited to her work as an investigative journalist. Gonzalez also played an enormous role in expanding the diversity of opinion in a country that had been extremely limited ideologically.
Gonzalez has published five books. Her fourth, La Conjura: Los Mil y un Dias del Golpe (The Conspiracy: The Thousand and One Days of the Coup, 2000), documents the events leading up to the coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende in 1973. Her most recent one, Apuntes de una época feroz. Reportajes y entrevistas en dictadura (Notes from a Fierce Time: Reports and Interviews during dictatorship, 2015) is a collection she compiled after an 11-year hiatus from reporting. Her other books include Bomba en una calle de Palermo (1986) about the Prats murder; Los Secretos del Comando Conjunto (1989) about the atrocities committed by the Chilean security forces during the early years of the dictatorship; and Chile entre el Si y el No (1988), a compilation of political interviews about the referendum that led to the return of democracy in Chile.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work and courage.
The 2006 Dan David Prize is awarded to Ms. Monica Gonzalez for her persistent struggle for human rights and democracy and for her consistent achievements in investigative reporting and book writing.