Mauricio Gómez: his journalistic voice and his artistic brush went out – Art and Theater – Culture

(Also read: Mauricio Gómez: artist of the report, BOCAS interview).

And if all the journalists who worked alongside him and his close friends agreed on something, it was in the rigor and discipline that Gómez Escobar always applied to each journalistic job and investigation.

This is what the journalist Yamid Amat, one of his great friends, told EL TIEMPOwho took him as a teammate to CM& for many years.

“Few men have I met with such sensitivity. His journalism, his painting, his sculpture, his photography, his art and his words were his great tribute to life. His vocation was respect. His humanity was love. His daily life was friendship. His legacy was his existence,” recalls Amat.

Another of his great friends, the writer and historian Juan Esteban Constaín, also highlights that particular sensitivity and commitment that Gómez had “with the trade and its highest ethical and moral values”.

“In that he was a worthy heir to his family, and he honored a family tradition in which the cradle was a linotype. But he was also a great artist: a soul obsessed with beauty and perfection. And the most important thing: Mauricio was the best of human beings, a man of overwhelming kindness and generosity”, notes Constaín.

That personality, precisely, remembers her with special affection another of her friends, the journalist Diana Montoya, who was shown the path of this trade by Mauricio more than 30 years ago. She remembers that when he was the director of the television news program 24 Horas, Mauricio Gómez asked his friend Gerardo Reyes, director of the Faculty of Journalism at the Javeriana University, to recommend two young people.

“I entered the news as an intern with Carlos Julio Betancur. When I finished the practice, Mauricio hired me, ”says Montoya, and highlights that despite his position, Gómez was first and foremost a thoroughbred born reporter.

“He was a great teacher. Absolutely generous with the knowledge of him but demanding of him, because he brought out the best in us. Whenever he corrected us, he did it very rigorously but with great respect”, he recalls.

Montoya points out that the 24 Hours Newscast came to form a luxury list, with personalities of the stature of Javier Darío Restrepo. Mauricio Gómez shared the presentation set with Margarita Rosa de Francisco.

(Also: ‘Álvaro Gómez, the most liberal and open person I’ve ever met’: Mauricio Gómez).

Precisely, another of his friends, the journalist César Augusto Londoño, told this newspaper how was the day he was tempted by Gómez. Londoño remembers that the same day he received proposals from Juan Guillermo Ríos, from the 7 o’clock Newscast, and from Gómez.

“When I heard Mauricio’s offer I told him: ‘I’ll work with you.’ I didn’t even know how much I was going to win. I worked with him for four and a half years, until they threatened him with death and he had to leave the country,” says Londoño. It was at the beginning of the 90s, when Mauricio Gómez traveled to the United States, where he worked at CNN en Español and at Univisión.

In his life he received several times the Simón Bolívar National Journalism Awards, among many others.

Photo:

Nestor Gomez / TIME

“He went to develop something he wanted all his life: art. He was passionate. And he started to study at the Louvre Museum. Later he became a very important sculptor because he collected old things from junkyards, antique dealers and metal and tool dumps and turned them into art. A true magician”, recalls Londoño.

(You may be interested in: Goodbye to Antonio Caballero: the great rebel of Colombian journalism).

In one of his last speeches, when in 2019 President Iván Duque paid a special tribute to the centenary of the birth of Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, Mauricio Gómez recalled in his wordsprecisely, that passion that united him with his father.

“When I started painting I remember that one day he said to me: ‘Why don’t you grab a bucket of paint and run out and throw it on the canvas to see what happens?’ Rather than thinking about the purity of style, about the conservation of forms, he was pointing out to me there, with that provocative and radical gesture, the importance that freedom has for art: the discovery of our own voice that only occurs when we try the unexpected,” recalled Gómez Escobar.

From the moment the news of his departure was revealed, his friends have not stopped praising the journalist.

“I remember him as a teacher, as a great friend and as an exceptional human being. A man of integrity in every sense of the word, and I am really very sad and very hurt,” says Londoño.

“Fortunately, always, in the last calls we had, I expressed my gratitude. We are left without one of the best journalists in this country. His integrity as a professional, his spectacular way of being and his rigor were unique”, concludes Montoya.

CARLOS RESTREPO
CULTURE

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