In the Xicoténcatl mansion, in the Historic Center of Mexico City, seat of the Senate of the Republic, Elena Poniatowska received the 2022 Belisario Domínguez Medal, award for her long career as a writer and also for her social activism.
Elena Poniatowska, first woman of letters to receive the recognition
In this way, Poniatowska will be the ninth woman whose name appears on the Wall of Honor of the Senate of the Republic, but the first writer in the almost 70 years of existence of the award.
The also journalist thanked the award and closed her speech as follows:
Today, many memories buzz like bees and I repeat in a low voice that today you, Senators of the Republic, grant me the Belisario Domínguez Medal that I receive as an unexpected grace for which I only have one word, the most beautiful of all, despite occupying so little space. Two syllables that are dropped, and are as fragile as an earthquake: thank you (…) Thanks to life that has allowed me to write what I think”.
Final part of the acceptance speech of the medal in the Senate of the Republic on April 19, 2023
Who is Elena Poniatowska?
Of a Mexican mother and a Polish father of noble descent, the writer was born in Paris, France, in 1932 and arrived in Mexico at the age of ten with her mother, fleeing World War II.
Later, already nationalized Mexican, she developed a solid career as a journalist, writer and social fighter. In her work there is a marked interest in giving a voice to those who do not have one. His novel stands out “Until I see you, my Jesus”, written in 1969.
However, his fundamental work is “The night of Tlatelolco. Oral history testimonials. from 1971, where he recounts the massacre of students that took place in the Plaza de Tlatelolco on October 2, 1968.
Finally, in 2013 he won the Miguel de Cervantes Prize for Literature in the Spanish Language, considered the highest award that a writer in our language can receive.
About the Belisario Domínguez Medal
This is a decoration given to Mexicans who, through their actions, have benefited the country or humanity; and it is the maximum recognition that the Government of Mexico can grant to its citizens.
Likewise, his name honors the memory of Belisario Domínguez Palencia, a senator for the state of Chiapas who, due to his opposition to the dictatorship of Victoriano Huerta and his open criticism on the Senate platform, was assassinated on October 7, 1913.
The medal was created in 1953, at the proposal of President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines and since its first edition, on October 7, 1954, it has been awarded to 71 people, eight of them posthumously.
Lastly, among its winners are the painter Rufino Tamayo, the writers Jaime Sabines and Carlos Fuentes; and the journalist Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa. Likewise, among the winners are the educator Rosaura Zapata, the actress María Teresa Montoya and the researcher Julia Carabias.