Interview with Journalist Cristina Pacheco
By Jade Arroyo
“I have had to pay dearly for what I think and what I say, but I’ve always been willing to pay for what I think and what I say.”—Cristina Pacheco, renowned journalist and Guanajuatense writer.
Within the framework of San Miguel de Allende’s fourth National World Heritage Congress, SMA celebrates it’s eighth anniversary of inclusion, along with Atotonilco, on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
As part of the inaugural gala of this congress, the July 7 Medal was given to exemplary citizens. This time it was awarded to Miguel León Portilla and Cristina Pacheco.
Upon receiving the award, Mrs. Pacheco spoke about the sense of belonging and identity that the land gives us, and talk about her three homelands. “My father told us, whatever you do, whatever you achieve, always look back, return, remember your land: do not betray it. I am proud, for I have not betrayed my land, nor have I betrayed, I hope, that other country, which is words. I have a third country with someone who is here with us tonight. That country was built every day with his work, faith, trust, love and passion; that country is called José Emilio (her husdand).”
Cristina Pacheco, spoke with Atención.
Jade Arroyo: What is the most important thing the television series Aquí nos tocó vivir reflects?
Cristina Pacheco: The effort is worthwhile. People face problems everyday. They aren’t heroes or criminals, just everyday people. Life happens to them.
JA: What problems do they face?
CP: Unemployment, injustice, lack of hope. The grief of loved ones who have to leave to look for better jobs and futures. Also, that there’s no room for elders. That’s a topic I try to address often.
JA: How do you see the current culture scene in Mexico?
CP: We have so much talent. There are many musicians, filmmakers, painters, actors, and really extraordinary people. Despite difficulties, people still produce in an incredible way. I see it all the time. Of course they lack resources and more support.
JA: What do you think of the Mexican media?
CP: I am not an expert. Everyone is responsible for his space; each journalist chooses his or her forum. Now, those who run the media often are not journalists, but entrepreneurs. This greatly changes the view of the media.
About Cristina Pacheco
Mrs. Pacheco was born in San Felipe, Guanajuato. She is a journalist, essayist, and storyteller. She studied Spanish literature at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature of UNAM. She started in broadcast journalism on Channel 13. She also directed the magazines Family, Woman Today, and Crinolina, and she received the Rosario Castellanos Cultural Career Award for Women in 2012.
Aquí nos tocó vivir and Pláticas con Cristina Pacheco are the two television series imbued with intelligence and instinct that have earned the highest recognition of the Mexican people. The social character of her journalistic work and fruitful career has been recognized with many national journalism awards. Aquí nos tocó vivir has been a watershed in Mexican television. A journalistic production based on reporter’s legwork and the heart of journalistic inquiry develops the characters on the street—those anonymous people who sleep in their neighborhoods, work in industry, populate public squares, buy refreshments at corner stands, wash cars, unload goods at the central market, and take children to school. There, in every possible place in the great City of Mexico and for almost 40 years, we have seen the Guanajuatense photojournalist Cristina Pacheco collecting a testimonial chronicle of the most precious heritage of Mexico: its people.
The University of Guadalajara awarded her the Fernando Benítez Journalism Prize in 2000. The same year she received the Citizen Merit Medal. She is the holder of the Manuel Buendia Award (1992) and she was awarded the Latin American Federation of Journalists Prize (1988) for reporting and the Latin American University Communication Prize (2001).
Cristina Pacheco was married to the late celebrated Mexican poet and writer José Emilio Pacheco.