Pedro X. Molina, cartoonist and illustrator of CONFIDENCIAL, has been awarded the Recognition of Excellence Gabo Award 2021, by the Governing Council of the Gabo Foundation, becoming the first cartoonist to receive such award, naming him “one of the most persistent and incisive commentators of contemporary processes of corruption, advancement of authoritarianism, regression of civil liberties and human rights abuses”.
According to the award certificate, The Gabo Foundation’s Board of Trustees considered that Molina’s work “stands out for its visual delicacy, for its profound reflection on events taking place in Nicaragua, Central America and elsewhere, and at the same time for its hilarious irreverence”.
They add that “his work has become a reference for the exercise of satire as a genre that adds value to the journalistic profession, and performs the important task of vigilance and criticism of power”.
The Gabo Foundation’s Governing Council considers that the work of Molina, who joined CONFIDENCIAL in 2014, exemplifies journalism that “has been able to challenge despotic style rulers and even tyrannies, with humor”.
They explain that the decision to award the trajectory of the Nicaraguan, who has been in exile since 2018, also seeks to “praise before the citizens of the American countries the social value of journalism that resists the abuses of political power in our continent”.
PxMolina, a cartoonist who creates “discomfort”
They emphasize that Molina’s cartoons constantly denounce the human rights violations that continue to be committed in Nicaragua, “it irritates the growing despotism that hovers over Nicaragua and makes it uncomfortable, because it unmasks its darkest facets and makes them a source of laughter for the citizens, helping everyone to stop the empire of fear”.
Molina decided to leave Nicaragua, in 2018, precisely because if he stayed in the country he would have had to “shut up or look for something else to do” as he explained in a special released by Fundación Gabo. From exile, the cartoonist keeps collaborating for CONFIDENCIAL with daily cartoons and a weekly comic strip, in which he systematically denounces the crisis that Nicaragua is going through through satire.
“It is about stripping, through humor, the falsehood that politicians want to sell to the people most of the time. It is to unveil the false solemnity, the hypocrisy of their actions… What I want is for people to get involved and take note of what is happening”, Molina said in the Gabo Foundation special.
The Gabo Award Recognition of Excellence with which Molina is being honored today is awarded every year since 2013, by the Gabo Foundation’s Governing Council, which chooses a journalist or journalistic team with “recognized independence, integrity and commitment to the ideals of public service journalism, who deserves to be highlighted and set as an example for their entire career or for an exceptional contribution to the pursuit of truth or the advancement of journalism”.
The Governing Council is made up of Jean-François Fogel (France), Carlos Fernando Chamorro (Nicaragua), Germán Rey (Colombia), Héctor Feliciano (Puerto Rico), Jon Lee Anderson (United States), Leila Guerriero (Argentina), María Teresa Ronderos (Colombia), Martín Caparrós (Argentina), Mónica González (Chile), Natalia Viana (Brazil), Rosental Alves (Brazil) and Sergio Ramírez (Nicaragua).
The quality of Molina’s work has been awarded by different international organizations. His awards include the Maria Moors Cabot from Columbia University, United States, which he received in July 2019; and the Award for Excellence in Cartooning from the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in 2018.
The journalist and illustrator began his career at the age of 19 collaborating in La Tribuna. For ten years, he was the creator and editor of the humor supplement El Alacrán, which circulated in El Nuevo Diario; and he has collaborated for CONFIDENCIAL since 2014.
The quality and excellence of his work has attracted international interest, with some of his pieces being reproduced by various media abroad, such as: The Washington Post, Courier International, BBC Mundo, Los Angeles Times, among others.
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff