SANTIAGO – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet praised Agencia EFE – Spain’s international news agency – on the 50th anniversary of the opening of its bureau in Chile, highlighting the “rigorous journalistic work” it carries out on a daily basis.
“On this day when they’re celebrating a half-century in Chile, I’d like to highlight the rigorous journalistic work they do each and every day, always viewing Chile from a serious and respectful perspective,” she said in a message read during Thursday’s inauguration of an EFE photo exhibit highlighting the country’s recent history.
The exhibit, which comprises 50 EFE photographs documenting milestones over the past five decades in Chile and is set to run through June 30, was inaugurated by government Secretary-General Marcelo Diaz in a ceremony at the La Moneda Palace Cultural Center in Santiago.
Coinciding with this week’s World Press Freedom Day, the EFE exhibit’s careful selection of images reflects the identity of Chile, its people and the extraordinary beauty of its natural heritage.
Bachelet stressed in her message EFE’s ability to build bridges and unite “the Spanish-speaking peoples through information.”
She also hailed the agency’s work during difficult moment of Chile’s history, including Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 dictatorship and natural disasters that have battered the South American country in recent decades.
“At times when nature has confronted us with difficult moments as a country, you’ve been important communicators of those events and our society’s progress,” the president said.
“And in difficult moments of our history, you were the voice in the world for sectors of Chileans who had no voice,” she added.
For his part, Diaz, who inaugurated the exposition, stressed the agency’s importance.
He highlighted EFE’s role not only as an outlet for informing Chileans about global events, but also as a “portal that has allowed many foreigners and Chilean exiles to learn about what was happening inside Chile.”
“EFE’s contribution during the times of absence of democracy is something that all Chileans recognize,” Diaz said, expressing his gratitude on behalf of all his countrymen for an agency that showed a “permanent commitment.”
Agencia EFE’s director-general for the Southern Cone, Pedro Damian Diego Perez, said for his part that during the agency’s 50 years in Chile and Latin America it has consolidated itself as an “authentic informational tool” capable of serving as a backbone for the Ibero-American Community of Nations.
Speaking on behalf of Agencia EFE President Jose Antonio Vera, he announced the launch of a Southern Cone edition of the agency’s corporate portal, www.efe.com, that is specifically intended for the more than 70 million inhabitants of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The new Web site represents “the social component of EFE,” which leverages these and other initiatives to “draw closer to citizens and connect them with their surroundings,” as well as offer them information that is “rapid, serious, rigorous and committed to their territory,” Pedro Damian Diego Perez said.
Other dignitaries also attended the inauguration of the exhibit, including Spain’s ambassador to Chile, Carlos Robles Fraga; and the European Union’s ambassador to that South American nation, Rafael Dochao.