Fearless, Border-Crossing Journalists Expose Corruption at the Highest Levels: Lydia Cacho (Mexico) and Jeremy Scahill (USA) Win Human Rights Award
New York—On Saturday, May 7, 2016, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) will present the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to journalists Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill. One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, this $100,000 cash prize is granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation to honor the International Brigades and connect their inspiring legacy with contemporary causes.
“Cacho and Scahill both shine as rare examples of investigative journalists who place human rights at the center of their work,” said ALBA board member and 2012 award recipient Kate Doyle. “Their reporting not only affects government policies, but seeks to champion and protect the lives of the world’s most vulnerable citizens. ALBA is proud to honor them.”
Working on both sides of the volatile Mexico-United States border, Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill have dedicated their careers to exposing the corruption, violence and abuse of power which go routinely unchallenged in the mainstream media. Cacho’s and Scahill’s work exemplifies the intersections of expository reporting and human rights activism. Their commitment to breaking the most profound silences has prompted investigations into the United States’ shadow wars across the Middle East and Africa as well as Mexican authorities’ use of censorship, torture and corruption.
Part of an initiative designed to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism supports current international activists and human rights causes. The Award was created by philanthropist and visionary Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, which in 2010 established an endowed fund for the award.
"This award recognizes and encourages individuals or groups whose work has a positive impact on the advancement and/or defense of human rights. Jeremy Scahill and Lydia Cacho have courageously used their investigative journalism to expose reactionary forces and the information they wish to conceal," Rosenstein said.
Award Ceremony – Saturday, May 7th at 2:30pm
333 East 47th St.
New York, NY 10017
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives: www.alba-valb.org
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.
Other recipients of the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism include Judge Baltasar Garzón, Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, who work to expose human rights violations in Guatemala, United We Dream, a national network of youth-led immigrant activist organizations that fight for the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson, and the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain.
The Puffin Foundation: www.puffinfoundation.org
Since it was founded in 1983, the Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. The Puffin, a species whose nesting sites were endangered by encroaching civilization, were encouraged to return to their native habitats through the constructive efforts of a concerned citizenry. The Foundation has adopted the name Puffin as a metaphor for how it perceives its mission, which is to ensure that the arts continue to grow and enrich our lives. In so doing it has joined with other concerned groups and individuals toward achieving that goal. The Puffin Foundation is also a long-standing supporter of ALBA’s educational mission.
Lydia Cacho is a Mexican award-winning journalist, author and human rights activist specializing in women and children’s rights. Her numerous bestselling books and articles have exposed organized crime, corruption, cultures of violence and government impunity. Her most recent book In Search of Kayla (En Busca de Kayla) is an illustrated short story to teach children about the power they have over their own safety on the internet and how to tackle human trafficking. She has been incarcerated, brutally tortured and threatened by corrupt officials for her work; nevertheless, she has become a leader of the freedom of expression and human rights movement in Mexico. She has been awarded the Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for Women and Children's Rights, the Hrant Dink Award and the Civil Courage Prize of the Train Foundation, among other honors.
Jeremy Scahill, one of the three founding editors of The Intercept, is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, and author of the international bestselling books Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill’s work has sparked several congressional investigations and won some of journalism’s highest honors. He was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award, in 1998 for foreign reporting and in 2008 for Blackwater. Scahill is a producer and writer of the award-winning film Dirty Wars, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.