Alma Guillermoprieto is a freelance journalist who has contributed to The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Newsweek and The New Yorker, among other publications. Her articles have illuminated Latin America for her readers.
Guillermoprieto has been a journalist for more than three decades. She began her career in the 1970s, first as a reporter for British newspaper The Guardian, then as a reporter for The Washington Post. In the 1980s, Guillermoprieto became the South America bureau chief for Newsweek. She transitioned to freelance writing in the 1990s, providing detailed articles about Latin America to The New York Review of Books and The New Yorker, as well as several Spanish-language publications.
Guillermoprieto is known for insights into Latin American culture, society and politics. She has covered political unrest and government and militia-fueled violence against citizens. She also reported on Argentina’s “dirty war,” post-Sandinista Nicaragua, the “Shining Path” rebels in Peru, the Colombian civil war and the Mexican drug wars.
Guillermoprieto was one of only two reporters to investigate rumors of mass killings perpetrated by the U.S.-supported Salvadoran army in El Mozote, El Salvador, in December 1981. Some 1,000 civilians were killed in an anti-guerrilla campaign. When Guillermoprieto published her reports in The Washington Post in January 1982, the Reagan Administration tried to discredit her, but eventually the U.S. government was forced to confirm her story.
Many of the pieces Guillermoprieto has written concern violence against women and the history of machismo in Latin America. For instance, she reported on the disappearances and murders of potentially thousands of women during the 1990s in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Guillermoprieto also frequently seeks out women as sources. For example, Rufina Amaya, whose husband and four children were killed by soldiers in the El Mozote massacre, was Guillermoprieto’s main source in her article.
Guillermoprieto has published several books, including The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now (1994), an account of Latin America during the “lost decade” and Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America (2001), an anthology of articles about Mexico.
In 1995, she was invited to teach the first workshop at the Fundación para un Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Márquez, who started the foundation to train young journalists in Colombia. Since then, she travels every year to Cartagena where she has conducted many other classes for young journalists.
Guillermoprieto was born on May 27, 1949, in Mexico City, Mexico.