Juan Carlos Gumucio
Gumucio worked as a journalist for over 30 years, having started his career in his hometown, Cochabamba, as a crime reporter for Los Tiempos and Radio Centro. During the early 1970s, Gumucio was forced to leave his native Bolivia for Argentina following a military coup. Due to his involvement with and activism in left-wing politics, he was unable to return to Bolivia and moved to Washington where he worked for a period as political attaché in the Bolivian embassy in the United States and as press secretary for the Organization of American States before joining the Associated Press news agency in New York as a reporter. He was later posted to Rome, Tehran and Beirut. When AP ordered its foreign staff to leave Lebanon, after its bureau chief Terry Anderson had been kidnapped, Juan Carlos joined The Times and afterwards the Spanish daily El País, as its Middle East correspondent. He was one of the few western journalists to stay on in West Beirut as kidnappings raged in the mid-1980s.
After Lebanon, he became Jerusalem and London correspondent for El País. He covered the collapse of Yugoslavia, the siege of Sarajevo and The Troubles and won multiple awards including Spain's foreign journalist of the year in 1995. Gumucio, who was known for his risque sense of humour and relentless reporting, was able to smuggle himself into Kosovo after foreign journalists were denied entry by posing as a "visiting professor of sociology" who wished to "show solidarity with the Serb people". In 2000, following his return to his homeland, he became a lecturer in journalism and literature at Cochabamba University.
The son of Azul Quiroga and architect René Gumucio, from an old-established and once affluent family, Gumucio was involved in left-wing politics in Bolivia and forced to leave for Argentina following a military coup. He had a daughter, Mónica, with his first wife but was, due to his political involvement, deemed unsuitable and dangerous by his family-in-law and separated from his wife and child. He would later describe this as one of his life's greatest tragedies. He met third wife Agneta Ramberg, with whom he had daughter Anna Celeste, in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, and fourth wife, Marie Colvin in Jerusalem in 1992.
After many years of battling depression and alcoholism, Gumucio, 52, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound ten miles outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia on February 25, 2002. He is survived by daughter Anna Gumucio Ramberg.
- Diary entry
- Juan Carlos Gumucio, por Robert Fisk y Alfonso Gumucio
- Obituary in the Guardian newspaper on March 6, 2002 by Julie Flint
- Obituary in The Independent newspaper on February 22, 2002 by Robert Fisk
Associated Press Obituary http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-51004011.html
- Marie Colvin Obituary by Robert Fisk http://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/feb/22/marie-colvin