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This article appears in the December 16, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Mexico’s Journalists’ Club
Honors Schiller Institute with ‘Freedom of Expression’ Award

[Print version of this article]

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The Journalists’ Club of Mexico’s 70th National and International Awards Ceremony, Dec. 7, 2022.

Dec. 10—The Journalists’ Club of Mexico has announced the results of its prestigious 70th National and International Journalism Contest, issuing 46 awards to Mexican and international journalists, media, and institutions chosen by a 20-person independent jury, for their exemplary journalism and for work on behalf of freedom of speech. The annual contest has become an institution in the country, with increasing international attention. Julian Assange, for example, was awarded its “Freedom of Expression” award in 2019.

Celeste Sáenz de Miera, Secretary General of the Mexico Journalists’ Club: “[We hope this recognition] raises your courage, your enthusiasm, and opens your way to discovering what we have yet to see, what is yet to be chronicled, to be told, to help the citizens, men and women of all ages, to become aware of their historical moment.”

More than 300 people attended the grand awards ceremony Dec. 7, held in the association’s beautiful building in Mexico City’s historic district. Among them were President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s press spokesman, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, Congressional officials, diplomats from various countries, as well as many journalists and media and their families and friends.

In spite of the great threats and dangers which honest journalists are facing worldwide, there was a spirit of enthusiasm in the hall, of camaraderie among those who have been willing to stand up against the attack on journalists worldwide by Western powers determined to crush any idea of journalism as means to foster the discussion of ideas and truth.

The Schiller Institute was present. The Journalists’ Club gave an award to the Institute and its founder for “Fostering freedom of expression from the academic realm.” The Schiller Institute received that distinction, the master of ceremonies announced,

for its contributions to historical and geopolitical analysis in order to understand global changes, using a multidisciplinary methodology with critical thinking, warning of the consequences of the violence and imbalances which impact the concert of nations and affect world peace.

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In a video, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder of the Schiller Institute, addressed the Journalists’ Club upon receiving an award for “Fostering freedom of expression from the academic realm.”

A brief message of thanks and greetings from Schiller Institute founder, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, was shown (with Spanish subtitles) to the gathering. The Institute’s representative in Mexico, EIR correspondent Gerardo Castilleja Chávez accepted the award on its behalf. [Box: Thanks and Greetings to the Mexican Journalists’ Club, by Helga Zepp-LaRouche]

In her pre-recorded message, Zepp-LaRouche explained that she could not attend personally to accept the award, because she was number one on a Ukrainian hitlist (the CCD, the Ukrainian government’s Center for Countering Disinformation). She expressed her great appreciation for the honor bestowed, and for the international leadership role Mexico is playing, and can play in rallying the world against nuclear war and for peace.

A Tradition of Nationalism…

The Club has been an institution associated with Mexico’s nationalist currents since its formation in 1952. Its founder—Antonio Sáenz de Miera, father of the Club’s current Secretary General, Celeste Sáenz de Miera—was a quite famous journalist who, among other things, served as press advisor to President José López Portillo back in the early 1980s. The leadership of the Club is famous for having stood up to the neoliberal governments of the 1990s, which tried to shut it down. That fight lost them “Establishment” members, but strengthened them, the Club’s history proudly recounts. Continuing that tradition, it has earned its reputation of being “a temple of liberty” for journalists.

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Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, delivered greetings from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador: “Journalism is an essential profession for building a better society.”

Thus, there was great appreciation that the Mexican President’s spokesman was present for the entire ceremony and spoke individually with many of the journalists present. Ramírez Cuevas was greeted by an ovation when he was given the podium to deliver President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s greetings for the occasion. “Journalism is an essential profession for building a better society,” he began. Ramírez Cuevas emphasized that this national journalism contest reaffirms the necessity of recognizing good journalism committed to the well-being of all.

…And Fighting for Humanity Worldwide

The tone for the spirited meeting was set by the Club’s Secretary General, Celeste Sáenz de Miera, who was introduced as the “magnet” who guides the association. In her opening speech, she made an impassioned call on behalf of everyone present, to strengthen the fight against the grave threats to freedom of speech afoot in the world, saying:

Journalism around the world is going through a moment of crisis, of its ethical and economic survival, but above all, of its credibility, and therefore, of its real social service….

New monopolies of power … are trying to control minds and the very lives of citizens in a single direction.… Today, we face a media war daily, orchestrated from the upper echelons of the great international neoliberal media powers.

We face a real war because of the conflict in the world, which is leaving thousands of innocent civilian victims. And we journalists, of course, also suffer the consequences of that war, in the harassment which correspondents suffer in covering [events], in sending their dispatches to their media and agencies. Or that endured by independent journalists, who are unable to have access to traditional media and have opened their own channels to broadcast or publish in order to not capitulate to interests who are against truth, against ethics, against the truth of events.

Truth is something philosophical, we could say, but there is only one truth of events. Starting from those facts, everyone can dialogue and differ, but starting from true reality.

Journalists are also being killed in the crossfire of disputes—or intentionally, she noted. She elaborated:

As in the case of Ukraine, where even journalists and academics specializing in the field of social conflict were placed on a hit list by Western espionage and intelligence agencies, in order to be selectively assassinated. They are assassinated and a list is published on a website which says, with a line drawn through them, that they have been executed. That’s disgraceful. It’s something we have not seen; we thought that, after the world wars, we would never again return to such savagery.

Sáenz cited the case of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, killed in Moscow last August 20 by a car bomb, as exemplary of how even terrorist acts are being deployed to suppress freedom of speech. For that reason, she said that the Journalists’ Club is awarding Dugina a posthumous honor, and would later in the event play a short, videotaped message from her father, Alexander Dugin.

Sáenz continued:

Dear colleagues, we are witnessing a dizzying global change. We face enormous challenges…. Censorship has been exalted by using the phrase “freedom of speech.” And for what? In order to hide behind lies, to be able to use it, even for mercenaries to say that they are creating a Center for Countering Disinformation, which is nothing other than kidnapping the diversity which there should be from analyses which flow from the truth about events.…

We must be efficient, precise and above all ethical as we carry out our function as journalists and communicators in these times of rapid, global change.

The Journalists’ Club is here as a refuge for you, she emphasized in concluding, and we hope that this recognition which we give you today “raises your courage, your enthusiasm, and opens your way to discovering what we have yet to see, what is yet to be chronicled, to be told, to help the citizens, men and women of all ages, to become aware of their historical moment.”

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Gerardo Castilleja Chávez, EIR’s correspondent, accepted on her behalf the award given to Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

The Awards

Only five international awards were given, with those recipients each addressing the ceremony briefly, either personally or by recorded message, as Zepp-LaRouche did. The posthumous award granted Darya Dugina was accepted by Russia’s Ambassador to Mexico, Viktor Koronelli, on behalf of her father, who sent a recorded message of appreciation for the honor bestowed on his daughter.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry took note of the award, and the importance of the Mexican journalism contest. In a comment posted on the Ministry’s Spanish language website on Dec. 9, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated:

We appreciate the civic-mindedness of our Mexican partners, who, despite foreign pressures, including in the information sphere, have shown loyalty to their professional duty and reaffirmed the independent character of journalism.

We consider this high award to be a recognition of Darya Dugina’s work and her special contribution to journalism, as well as a demonstration of Mexico’s solidarity with Russia in the fight against extremism and neo-Nazism.

Spanish journalist Guillermo Rocafort was honored for his work exposing the pillage of Spain and other countries through tax havens. Fabián Cardozo, president of both the Uruguayan Press Association and the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Journalists, received the International Award for “National Journalism.” Both were present personally. The fifth international award was extended to Liu Sivaya, an independent Spanish-Russian journalist, who has been reporting from the Donbass on the Ukrainian assaults on that population since the 2014 Maidan coup. She sent a recorded message expressing her appreciation and spoke about the reality of the fighting there.

From the Mexican side, the awards given ranged from independent journalists whose channels have become important sources of independent news, to longer-established media and their journalists who have stuck to the missions of reporting news otherwise not told, and to the news channel of the Mexican Congress for broadcasting the debate on the President’s proposed energy reform that had been opposed by foreign energy and financial interests, which opposed the reform for putting national interests above theirs, and to others including a science reporter and courageous cameramen. The Mexican channels of both RT and Sputnik News were recognized for breaking the censorship that the international war party is attempting to impose on major world events.

Thanks and Greetings to the Mexican Journalists’ Club

Dec. 7—My most heartfelt thanks and greetings to you, the Journalists’ Club of Mexico, the international jury, Mrs. Celeste Sáenz de Miera and Mr. Mouris Salloum. I feel deeply honored that you decided to select me for the Freedom of Expression Award and would have been very happy to travel to the beautiful country of Mexico, about which I have many cherished, precious memories, to receive it in person.

I have to ask you to understand that, for the time being, I can’t do this, since I am on a Ukrainian list, which many experts have described as a hitlist, and several people on that list have been killed. I am actually the number one on that list of the CCD.

We find ourselves at an incredibly decisive moment in world history, threatened with a possible global nuclear war, while on the other hand we see the rapid emergence of a new just world economic order. Recently it was Mexican congressmen and women who helped to catalyze a movement of people from all over the world who, faced with the danger of annihilation of the entire human species, decided to activate themselves as world citizens.

In the same spirit, I think that Mexico can play a unique role, not only to help to bring all of Latin America to work with the Belt and Road Initiative, but, given its historical and geographical location, Mexico can do something on which the existence of humanity may depend, getting the U.S. and China, the two largest economies of the planet, to work together in the joint development of the Ibero-American continent and all of the Global South.

Thank you so very, very much. [back to text]

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