It s not every day that an incorrigible iconoclast and gadfly gets a chance to ply his trade in a paper as receptive to hard-nosed exposés and controversial opinion pieces as The Tico Times.
I was afforded this privilege when I lived in Costa Rica between 1994 and 1995 and, with less frequency, when I returned to the States and resumed what some call an engaged and combative brand of journalism with a focus on Central America. My beat: Politics, the military, human rights and other socio-economic themes.
I have since unceremoniously kept emperors and other sacred cows suitably disrobed for all to see. Corruption, the drug trade, gang warfare, the resurgence of death squads, human trafficking, child prostitution, poverty, malnutrition, disease and despair, all have provided grist for the mill.
I am now at the zenith of a 40-year mu l t i f a c e t e d g l o b e – t r o t t i n g career. My byline has appeared in a number of prestigious publications. I also turned to the alternative press when the mainstream media deemed my stories too hot to handle. I took time to write three books. I m putting the finishing touches on my fourth.
I still champion the voices of political incorrectness, but the idealism and exuberance of my younger years have declined.
The absence of concrete change in the face of intractable social problems has wearied me. I have become impatient. Time has come for a younger crop of maverick journalists to heed the call and lead a fresh assault on the inequities and perversions of the day.
It is in this spirit and with heartfelt gratitude that I join in celebrating The Tico Times Golden Jubilee. To Dery Dyer, former colleagues and the current crew alike, I say FELIZ ANIVERSARIO Y SUERTE. May the next 50 years be fruitful and may the voices of truth and justice always prevail.
Abrazos a todos,
W, (Willy) E. Gutman