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June 18, 2008
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Colombian Journalist Jenny Manrique Named 2008-09 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow
– The International Women's Media Foundation announced today that Jenny Manrique, a Colombian freelance journalist, has received the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship. Manrique is the fourth recipient of the annual fellowship, which gives a woman journalist working in print, broadcast or online media the opportunity to focus exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues.
Manrique will spend the nine-month fellowship as a research associate in residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies. She will also have access to the Boston Globe and New York Times.
The fellowship is named for Elizabeth Neuffer, a Boston Globe reporter and the winner of a 1998 IWMF who was killed while on assignment in Iraq in 2003. Neuffer's life mission was to promote international understanding of human rights and social justice.
Manrique, 27, writes for Comunicaciones Aliadas, a non-governmental online magazine based in Peru that focuses on Latin American news, particularly human rights. A reporter for seven years, Manrique has covered subjects such as kidnapping, drug trafficking and refugees. For example, she covered the release of hostages held by the Colombian guerrilla group FARC in January. For that story, she interviewed a former congresswoman who was freed six years after being kidnapped. Manrique has also interviewed victims of violence in Colombia, including people who have been injured by landmines, combatants who have returned to society, children in armed groups and indigenous people defending their land.
In the course of her journalistic work, Manrique has received multiple death threats and was forced into exile in Peru for eight months. The threats, which began in 2005, were from paramilitaries, who wanted to silence her because of articles she wrote in the Colombian newspaper Vanguardia Liberal about how the paramilitaries infiltrated the civil population.
Manrique's reporting experiences, especially the articles for which she was threatened, have led to her interest in investigating Colombian paramilitaries and their ties with multinational corporations during her IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship. She hopes to use the results of her studies to deepen her coverage of people who have been displaced by violence in Colombia.
"The [fellowship] will let me improve the coverage of social justice issues and will give me the tools to face the challenge of opening those channels that are necessary for communities to survive and grow," she wrote in her fellowship application.
Manrique is the recipient of a Hellman/Hammett grant from Human Rights Watch in 2007 and the Ochberg Fellowship from the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma in 2006. She holds a bachelor's degree in social communication from Santo Tomás University in Colombia and is working toward master's degree in international affairs at Buenos Aires University in Argentina.
The Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship is a project of the Elizabeth Neuffer IWMF Fund, which is generously supported by Peter Canellos, Mark Neuffer, Carolyn Lee, The Boston Globe and the Boston Globe Foundation, the Correspondents Fund, MIT Center for International Studies, United Nations Foundation and numerous friends of Elizabeth Neuffer. For further information about the fellowship, visit www.iwmf.org/programs/neuffer or e-mail email@example.com.
Founded in 1990, the International Women's Media Foundation is a vibrant global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press. The IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.iwmf.org.