Cervantes Prize Winner Elena Poniatowska Calls for Mexico to Recognize its own Pati Ruiz Corzo

16 June 2014

In a recent interview, Elena Poniatowska, winner of the prestigious Cervantes Prize, has called for Mexico to join the international community in recognizing one of the world’s leading conservationists, Martha “Pati” Ruiz Corzo.

Published in the Huffington Post this week, Ms Poniatowska speaks of her life-long friendship with Ms Ruiz Corzo, and of the challenges she and her organization, Grupo Ecológico face in light of the country’s ongoing and alarming rates of deforestation.

Calling her “an extraordinary woman, like no other, totally dedicated to nature”, Ms Poniatowska expressed disappointment that Ms Ruiz Corzo’s work remained largely unknown within her own country outside of her home-state of Queretaro. “She has dedicated her life to Mexico, to its nature and to its people. My greatest wish is that she and the people that work with her receive the national recognition they deserve for their achievements, because outside she has already won it.”

Ms Ruiz Corzo is the recipient of many international awards, including being named one of eight United Nations Champions of Earth last year. Last week, on World Environment Day, her organization, Grupo Ecológico, saw Mexico being recognized as an Energy Globe Award winner, an accolade that garnered more interest internationally than it did at home.

On the subject of domestic recognition, Ms Ruiz Corzo takes a pragmatic approach. “I’m very flattered at Ms Poniatowska’s kind words, but as she says, I’m not the kind of person that relishes award ceremonies. For me, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have a public discussion about conservation, and what we can do for Mexico’s rapidly-deteriorating environment. And that if recognition means I’ll have the opportunity to discuss issues with our national leaders and key decision makers, then of course it’s something I’ll look for for our work here in the Sierra Gorda.”

Read the full article: Elena Poniatowska: 'Pati Ruiz Deserves More Recognition in Our Country'