1999 - Jesus Blancornelas, Mexico
Laureate of the UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 1999
Jesus Blancornelas of Mexico who survived a 1997 assassination attempt for his exposés on corruption and drug trafficking in Mexico was chosen to receive the 1999 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
Jesus Blancornelas will be awarded the $25,000 prize on 3 May in Bogota, Colombia, as part of the celebrations for World Press Freedom Day. Both activities are part of UNESCO's mission to promote the free flow of information and its activities in the interest of press freedom, media independence and pluralism.
Mr. Blancornelas is the co-founder and editor of the Tijuana-based Zeta newsweekly as well as the vice-president of the Mexican Society of Journalists, which he helped to create in 1998 to fight for press freedom. Mr. Blancornelas has also been investigating the 1988 murder of Zeta co-founder Hector Felix Miranda.
The prize, chosen by a jury of 14 news professionals from around the world, honours each year a person, organization or institution that has made a notable contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially if it involves risk.