The folding of several important newspapers throughout the
Manrique, 28, is the 2008-2009 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow, an award established by the International Women’s Media Foundation given to one woman each year to focus “exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues.” The recipient of the award, which was founded in honor of a Boston Globe reporter who died in Iraq in 2003, spends nine months as a research associate in residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies and interns both at the Boston Globe and The New York Times.
The first Latin American to receive the fellowship, Manrique has had a rich career for her 28 years. In 2002 after working for El Espectador for a year, she left her native Bogotá for Bucamaranga, where she reported on Colombia’s civil war for TV Telepaís and Vanguardia Liberal. Her work centered on telling the personal stories of individuals caught in the midst of FARC and paramilitary violence, and spared few details. In 2004 she was awarded the Best Journalist in Bucamaranga from La Ponzona Bucara for her reporting in the region. After receiving death threats from local paramilitaries in 2006, Manrique sought refuge with the Press and Society Institute in
Manrique says what’s often overlooked in her field is the psychological toll exacted both on victims and reporters amongst political violence. “You see horrible things happening and then you have to describe them for an audience,” she says. In 2006, she became the first Latin American journalist to win the Ochberg fellowship, a course in
In addition to taking classes at MIT, Harvard and Tufts and interning at The Boston Globe and the Times (her internship there begins next month), Manrique is laying the groundwork for future reporting on refugees on the Venezuelan-Colombian border, a theme she hopes to explore in a book in the near future. Her hope is to bring a human face to a problem whose casualties are often overlooked. “It’s is a problem you know through statistics,” she says. “If you want to know how many Colombians are currently displaced you can find that out. But [the situation] involves many things you can’t imagine.” Manrique, who plans to move to