Marcos Vizcarra, 29, currently lives and works in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico and reports on issues related to corruption, violence, justice, and human rights for the newspaper Noroeste. Vizcarra has focused his research and writing on the enforced disappearances of Mexican civilians, including the government’s failure to address the problem in a meaningful way. Vizcarra’s reporting has uncovered corruption in the regional government as well as its collusion with the powerful Sinaloa Cartel in dismantling a rival cartel’s operations. In the wake of Noroeste veteran journalist and Agence France Presse (AFP) correspondent Javier Valdez’ murder earlier this year, Vizcarra has continued to work to expose the work of the cartels and corruption within the government that prevents truth from being uncovered.
"Mexico continues to be the Western Hemisphere’s deadliest country for journalists. Most of these crimes go unpunished, with Mexico’s pervasive corruption accounting for the impunity, said Delphine Halgand, RSF’s North America Director. “By awarding Marcos Vizcarra, we pay tribute to the courage of those who refuse to be silenced in Mexico, where at least eight journalists were murdered in connection with their work in 2017."
Mexico is currently ranked 147th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
The Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism was founded in 2008 to honor the journalists who fight to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either not guaranteed or not recognized. The Award is administered by Global Media Forum, the US branch of Reporters Without Borders, and Agence France-Presse. The Award ceremony will take place on October 26, 2017 at 6PM at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, 529 14th St. N.W, 13th Fl.; Washington, DC 20045. Tickets can be bought on the Peter Mackler Award website. Read AFP’s press release announcing the 2017 awardee here.