The Pulitzer Center’s 2022 Persephone Miel Fellow is Michelle Recinos Juárez, a Salvadoran journalist investigating environmental and human rights violations for the independent outlet MalaYerba.
Her Miel fellowship project will investigate conditions in women’s prisons in El Salvador, in which women are subjected to human rights violations and denied psychosocial care. Often, they were convicted of financial crimes, theft, or abortion—still highly criminalized in El Salvador—and are unable to afford adequate defense in the country’s legal system. As a result, thousands of women are trapped in a cycle of violence and poverty.
Recinos said the stories of these women are underreported and their experiences are marginalized in Salvadoran society, where leaders use dehumanizing language about incarcerated people. As a young journalist, she hopes her courageous and urgent reporting will force the public to pay attention.
“I am excited about the idea of reaching new audiences to tell the stories of one of the most vulnerable groups: poor and condemned women in the smallest country on the continent, which has also embarked on a path to authoritarianism,” Recinos said.
Recinos was previously part of the sixth generation of the Latin American young journalists network Distintas Latitudes, for which she published a series of short videos explaining the role of bitcoin in El Salvador.
The Persephone Miel Fellowship is a yearlong fellowship designed for journalists from outside the U.S. and Western Europe to undertake ambitious reporting projects about their communities, with global reach and publication in international outlets. In partnership with Internews, a media development nonprofit, the Pulitzer Center provides $5,000 in travel funding and editorial mentorship.
Learn more about the fellowship here.