[su_note note_color=”#f7f7f7″]Note from the editor
A year before I started at El Tecolote, I was on a 49ers practice field in Santa Clara, living the miserable dream of a freelance sports writer. Roughly a dozen of us reporter, wise guys huddled around a then beloved Jim Harbaugh (the soon-to-be former head coach of the aforementioned 49ers) hoping for something good that was worth quoting.
He happily obliged: “I will die leaning on my staff,” Harbaugh said on June 11, 2013, quoting college football analyst Lou Holtz, who had quoted the biblical Abraham. Since taking the job as editor-in-chief at El Tecolote June on 11, 2014, I have—believe it or not—lived by that. We have produced 25 issues this year, including the one you’re holding here, and none of them would’ve been possible without my staff, or team. This 2014 El Tecolote Year in review is for my boss, Georgiana Hernandez, and all the editors and managers—Atticus Morris, Mabel Jimenez, Katie Beas and Johnny Garcia—who have had my back from the start. And to all of the writers, photographers, translators, interns and volunteers: Thanks for making my job easier.
Even by the standards of people who don’t normally follow international news, it was an eventful year for Latin America. Some of the biggest stories came from Venezuela, Brazil and El Salvador.
In “Elections will decide fate of Salvadoran revolutionaries” (Jan. 30 – Feb 12), El Tecolote reporter James Christopher offered readers a primer on the Feb. 2, 2014 presidential election in El Salvador and reported on the significance of the outcome for the Bay Area’s Salvadoran community. In “El Salvador: FMLN wins first round of elections,” (Feb. 13 – 26) El Tecolote updated readers with the news that although the revolutionary FMLN candidate, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, had triumphed over conservative ARENA candidate Norman Quijano with nearly 49 percent of the vote, one more round of voting was still necessary for Ceren to capture the required 50 percent. In “El Salvador elects new president,” (June 19 – July 2) Berenice Taboada Diaz reported on Ceren’s victory in the June 1 election, chronicling Ceren’s commitment to working with the public to fight against the organized crime, drug trafficking, extortion and violence that has brought daily terror to Salvadorans in recent years.
Venezuela under Fire
2014 witnessed massive unrest in Venezuela, as detailed by El Tecolote’s guest reporter, Carlos Martinez, in his cover story, “Venezuela under fire” (Feb. 27 – March 12). Latin America Briefs correspondent, Berenice Taboada Diaz followed this up with “Venezuela: A society in divide” (April 10 – 23), giving readers further background on the genesis of the student demonstrations and clashes between the opposing political forces. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, elected in 2013 following the death of populist leader Hugo Chavez, continues to face internal opposition as well as a lack of support from neighboring countries concerned over the unrest and the president’s harsh treatment of protestors.
The 2014 World Cup
El Tecolote kicked off its coverage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a short piece, “Soccer and politics in the World Cup” (June 19- July 2), describing the protests within Brazil over the costs of hosting the World Cup at the expense of shoring up the country’s ailing infrastructure. In their articles, “Brazilians react to stunning defeat” and “A personal account: The night Argentina lost” (both published July 17–30), El Tecolote reporters Carlos da Silva and Berenice Taboada Diaz described Brazil and Argentina’s dashed hopes and painful defeats in the long-awaited Brazil-hosted 2014 World Cup.