Rodolfo Walsh

Walsh is a towering figure in Latin America: a writers’ writer whose early detective fiction won a prize from Borges and Bioy Casares; an editor who founded newspapers and magazines, including one with García Márquez; a revolutionary who decrypted US intelligence cables detailing the Bay of Pigs invasion; and the founder of Prensa Clandestina and ANCLA (Latin American Clandestine News Agency) which ferried to foreign journalists crucial information about the repression that Argentine journalists could not themselves publish. A high-ranking member of the urban guerrilla Montoneros, he had a famous break with the leadership about the use of violence and the ethics of the leaders going underground (as the organization did, leaving its lowest-ranking members unprotected). Walsh is the model for the region’s most innovative and tenaciously investigative journalists, who have revived the extended crónica, or vivid nonfiction chronicle, that Walsh pioneered. Operación Masacre ("Operation Massacre,” 1957) published nine years before the publication of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, is considered the first major nonfiction novel of investigative journalism.