Mabel Caceres


Mabel Cáceres’ loyalty lies with the truth. Cáceres’ is best known for her work at El Buho (The Owl), a paper she founded in response to intense press suppression in 1990s Peru. “I was directing a local TV channel owned by a university in 1999. The university, its authorities and the channel succumbed to the regime of President Alberto Fujimori,” said Cáceres. “The newscast was suspended for a year.” And with this suspension, El Buho, known for its investigative journalism that focuses on the facts above affiliations, was born. Peru’s leader from 1990 through 2000, President Alberto Fujimori, created a climate that cultivated corruption—and, though he was arrested and charged shortly after Cáceres established El Buho, Peru continued to suffer from an insidious lack of press freedom. For its commitment to the facts, El Buho racked up a possibly record-breaking 13 libel lawsuits from 2012 to 2014 after investigating “unlawful and abusive” mining operations near Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city and home of El Buho. The paper focuses on the intersection of political and environmental ramifications of exploitation in Arequipa. Cáceres’ life has been threatened time and time again because of her courageous delving into complex, often corrupt, political and cultural news in Peru—and reporting on issues with unflinching accuracy. In 2002, Mabel Cáceres received a suspicious package. Upon sharing the parcel with the police, bomb disposal experts found the bloodied genitals of a bull with a note reading “Bitch, your time has come.” Yet she has never stopped writing. Independent media plays a large role in Peru, especially when it comes to calling out corruption at all levels of government. Cáceres continues to commit to strengthening independent media through telling truth to power. Follow on Twitter: @mabel_elbuho

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