Update from Luis Horacio Nájera, 2011/2012 CJFE/Scotiabank Journalism Fellow

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The CJFE/Scotiabank Journalism Fellowship at Massey College is an opportunity for journalists from Latin America to enhance inter-American understanding and promote dialogue through an exploration of current issues in journalism and free expression in the Americas in an academic setting.

The Fellowship runs from September-April.

Halfway through his CJFE/Scotiabank Journalism Fellowship, Luis Horacio Nájera has provided us with a brief update on his time at Massey College so far.

Luis is currently living in Canada as a journalist in exile. His reporting on the drug wars in Mexico garnered him international recognition, but also placed him and his family at great risk. After receiving numerous death threats directed at both him and his family, he was forced to leave the country. Recipient of the 2010 CJFE International Press Freedom Awards, and the 2011/2012 Journalism Fellowship, Luis is an incredible journalist with a passion for reporting on important issues.

Update from Luis Horacio Nájera

Thanks to Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and Scotiabank, last September marked the beginning of an amazing transformation of my life in Canada, as I began my participation in the Journalism Fellowship at Massey College in Toronto.

This has been a wonderful time because of the incredible knowledge I have gained through my courses, and the impressive talent of the people that I have met. The list of individuals includes our program advisor and well-known professor Stephen Clarkson, notable academic and journalist Michael Ignatieff, humanitarian icon James Orbinsky, and the smart and funny group of fellows: Elizabeth Bowie, Lee Pitts, Ato Dadzie, Shawn Micallef and Robert Cribb. These experiences and contacts have expanded my ideas, widened my perspectives and enriched my professional skills.

Being the first Mexican to receive this fellowship is an honor and a great opportunity to continue publicly denouncing the attacks against journalists and against free expression that are sadly ongoing all over Latin America. A personal commitment of mine, based on my experiences as a victim of such violence, I am taking every opportunity and every forum possible to call for the solidarity of local reporters and academics, and asking them for their active support to press freedom and free expression issues.

For me, Massey College is more than a beautiful building that inspires to learn; this has become an oasis where I have found inspiration, motivation and where I have completed my own healing process after three years of dealing with emotionally draining immigration and unemployment issues. Almost magically, Massey´s walls have an energetic power that immediately bring better thoughts once I am inside.

The Journalism Fellowship Program at Massey College is a unique opportunity open to Latin Americans. This is a great place to make friends, and to be a friend. This is a great place to be, to learn, to meet, to share and to live. Here, my life has changed for good.

Welcome!, Bienvenidos!

Luis Horacio Nájera
2011-2012 CJFE/Scotiabank Massey College Journalism Fellow
2010 CJFE International Press Freedom Award