Leonardo Reichel (2007)
|Born||July 18, 1956|
Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico
Leonardo Reichel (born July 18, 1956 in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico) is a Mexican journalist.
Reichel was born in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, on 18 July 1956. His father was Pablo Reichel Bauman, a revolutionary activist murdered under the government of Luis Echeverría Álvarez in March 1974 by the Mexican military as a result of being accused of instructing the communist party Liga Comunista. Reichel's mother was Elva Urroz Lazheztter, who died in April 1969.
After his father's murder in 1974, Reichel became a victim of political persecution, being arrested and tortured on multiple occasions. In 1974 he began writing letters, poems, stories, and narrations. His first works were published during 1974 in cultural sections of the Diario del Yaqui, Tribuna del Yaqui, and Extra de la Tarde newspapers in Ciudad Obregón. Between 1977 and 1979, he became part of Taller de Escritores de Café y Arte Nogales, a workshop of writers, and published some of his work in the Acción, Noroeste, and El Centinela newspapers. In 1980, the Alta Primaria Pro Arte y Cultura and a writer named Oscar Monroy Rivera published his book Un niño en el Valle del Yaqui (Spanish: "A Child in the Yaqui Valley"). Between 1980 and 1982, he worked for the El Observador daily newspaper publishing a column called Cosas que deben ser dichas (Things That Need to be Said). This newspaper gained a lot of controversy as it championed the causes of farm workers and peasants in opposition to the Sonoran government. In 1982, he married Mirna Márquez Urías. Together they had three children: Elva Sofía, Eliuth Leonardo, and Beatriz.
In 1983, El Observador changed its name to Respuesta, after a demand from governor Samuel Ocaña García made it impossible to continue publishing under that name. Reichel formed part of a group directed by Mario Rivas Hernández that included Pedro Beltrán Lizárraga and Atanasio Aragón Gámez, and worked for the Respuesta. Soon afterwards, the publication was shut down by the Federal Direction of Security, which destroyed their machinery and burned their archives, equipment, and furniture. From 1983 until early 1985, Reichel worked as a reporter for the newspaper La Voz del Norte in Nogales, Sonora, under the direction of journalists José Luis Hernández Salas and Héctor Raúl Dávila Pazos. Following the sale of the newspaper to the Mexican Agency Information (AMI), a group of investors in partnership with the government of Sonora, Reichel resigned and returned to Ciudad Obregón. He worked for the Revista Nacional Café Caliente in 1985, alongside Pedro and Beltrán Lizárraga, until it was closed down by the Ministry of the Interior.
In 1986, he worked as a reporter for El Debate de Los Mochis in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, under the direction of Lorenzo Valdez. During the opening of the Universidad de Occidente in Los Mochis, he angered Antonio Toledo Corro, the Sinaloan governor, when he questioned his close relation to a drug lord Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo involved in a series of crimes against detractors of his administration. His questions included the murder of journalist Odilón López Urías. Toledo Corro fell to the extreme of slapping Reichel in front of other members of the press. Reichel left Sinaloa after receiving death threats. He traveled to Mexico City and worked as a reporter, first for the Agencia Noticiosa Lemus and later for the capital's newspaper La Prensa. In 1987, he returned to Sonora and started a daily newspaper called El Debate de Cajeme with Pedro Beltrán. The paper failed for financial reasons.
Between 1987 and 1991, he returned to La Voz del Norte of Nogales, Sonora, where he first occupied the position of a sports section editor. He later became chief of information, chief editor, and eventually editorial coordinator. His column "Tintero" becomes the periodical voice from which whole bands of drug lords that worked the region along with their political friends, federal judges, corrupt police and more were lashed and denounced. He also investigated and denounced corrupt actions from the government and defended numerous popular causes. During that time, La Voz del Norte expanded around Mexico. In 1991, the state governor Rodolfo Félix Valdez, who heard Leonardo Reichel's criticisms, forced the newspaper to fire Reichel. He also imposed numerous barriers to housing developments that the owners of the paper were involved in. By then, Reichel had become the most recognized reporter in northern Sonora. The offices of La Voz del Norte was attacked with machine-guns, and there were threats of kidnapping Reichel's son. Reichel also lost his positions as correspondent with the news agency Notimex Mexicana de Sonora and correspondent for the state capital city newspaper La Prensa. The three resignations occurred while the state candidate Manlio Fabio Beltrones was declared the elected governor of Sonora.
Reichel started working in different newspaper publishing agencies throughout Sonora, Sinaloa, and Baja California. He ended his career in Mexico when the life of one of his sons (Eliuth Reichel) was jeopardized after a kidnapping. He left Mexico to live in Arizona with his family in 1992.
United States (1992–present)
In Phoenix, Reichel was appointed the general director of Hispanic media, and worked in that post until 1995. During this time, the newspaper became the most important publication in Spanish from Arizona and one of the largest in the United States. In 1995 he launched a new, more cultural project, El Observador de Arizona, which allowed speech writers, teachers, philosophers and students of Arizona State to publish their work. The project is currently run by Doctor of Philosophy Manuel Saldivar Murrieta, and continues via the Internet. Reichel worked for several magazines and newspapers in Arizona: De Cristal Magazine, Onda X and El Debate de Arizona. He assumed the direction of graphic design for Teleguía en Español for eight years. For several years, he was a columnist for "El Monitor Hispano", and wrote articles for Calle Ocho in Florida, Century 21 in Massachusetts, and many other publications. In 2008, he returned to Mexico with his family.
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