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Mexican writer Juan Villoro. Courtesy Casa América, Madrid. Spain
Mexican writer Juan Villoro. Courtesy Casa América, Madrid. Spain

Mexican writer Juan Villoro wins the Gabo Prize 2022 Award for Excellence

The Gabo Foundation highlights the "brilliant and inspiring body of his work" and the "personal, profound and critical view" of his journalistic practice

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The Gabo Foundation announced as the winner of the Gabo Prize 2022 Award for Excellence the Mexican writer and journalist Juan Antonio Villoro Ruiz (Mexico City, 1956), author of novels such as El libro salvaje (The Wild Book), Arrecife (2012), La tierra de la gran promesa (2022) and one of the most important voices in Latin American chronicle and literature today.

The Governing Council of the Gabo Award, composed of prominent journalists, writers and academics, decided to grant this recognition to Villoro "for the brilliant and inspiring body of his work and career" and the "personal, profound and critical view that he projects in his journalistic practice with exemplary rigor, ethics and talent".

Born in Mexico City in 1956, Villoro is one of the most important voices in Latin American chronicle and literature today. "A responsible voice of public service, quality and resistance. A master of good journalism who observes, investigates, explains and always seeks to tell more and better stories," adds the Board of Trustees in a statement.

His chronicles, according to the Board of Trustees, are great references of this hybrid genre - "the platypus of prose," as he has called it- that dialogues with the novel, the report, the short story, the interview, the theater, the essay and the autobiography, something that Villoro achieves extraordinarily by lending his rhetorical skills to understand and portray others. He is a man who, by taking to the streets, is able to turn any subject into an attractive one: a wonderful chronicle, a sharp social critique, a necessary intervention in the public conversation.

On the other hand, the jury highlighted that Villoro is also an example of great resistance journalism. "His work, sustained over the years, will always represent a journalistic exercise that challenges and questions power, whatever it may be. His courage in stating his ideas, without ambiguity, is very effective in telling the story of Latin American reality. He embodies good journalism at a superlative level and also journalism that resists with quality.

Juan Villoro thus joins a group of writers and journalists awarded with the Gabo Prize Recognition of Excellence since its creation in 2013: Giannina Segnini (2013), Javier Darío Restrepo and Marcela Turati (2014), Dorrit Harazim (2015), the team of El Faro (2016), Jorge Ramos (2017), Ignacio Escolar (2018), Jesús Abad Colorado (2019), the team of Radio Cooperativa (2020) and Pedro X. Molina (2021).

The Gabo Awards ceremony will be held on October 21, 22 and 23 at the Gimnasio Moderno school in northern Bogota. This year the Gabo Foundation celebrates 40 years since the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Gabriel García Márquez and 10 years of the festival. The themes of the Festival will be centered around the famous speech "The Loneliness of Latin America", which Gabo gave in 1982 when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm.

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