SANTIAGO – Broadcast journalist Manola Robles has died of lung cancer. She gained notoriety when she covered the anti-dictatorship protests for Radio Cooperativa. Her death comes days after a petition to grant her the Lenka Franulic Award.
After a long battle with lung cancer, journalist Manola Robles has passed away. During a career spanning 50 years, Robles’ voice became familiar to Chileans through Radio Cooperativa, one of the few stations that reported on the human rights abuses of the dictatorship. During the 1980s, Robles also reported on protests and other topics.
After the dictatorship, Robles worked as adviser for the president, but she always remained a journalist, working for numerous publications and participating in over 50 seminars on economics while earning various awards.
Her passing has been mourned in the journalist community.
The daughter of an Andalusian refugee and a Chilean woman, Manola Robles was born on Nov. 1, 1948.
She wanted to study theater but could not, so she pursued her other passion, journalism. She entered Universidad de Chile in 1964 and graduated four years later with distinguished honors.
Her career began by working for Radio Agricultura and Radio Chilena. From 1979, she worked at Radio Cooperativa.
For Cooperativa she covered the economy, education, transport, and politics, which earned her a reputation of being inexhaustible. Radio Cooperativa said Robles was a firm believer in “democracy, political responsibility, equal opportunities, solidarity, freedom and friends.”
In 1990 Robles became adviser to the first post-dictatorship president, Patricio Aylwin. From 2000 to 2005 she was press attaché at Chile’s embassies in Argentina and Spain.
Afterwards, Robles reported for Mexican newspapers Diario Milenio and El Universal. In 2010, she took on the opinion section of Cooperativa’s website.
Her remains will stay in the National Theater where a small ceremony was being held in her honors.
Remembering Manola Robles
Roble’s daughter Fran said on Twitter, her mother “looked death in the eye, she never gave up, she worked, lived and loved us until the last possible second. Rest in peace.”
Just recently, journalist Alejandra Matus had acquired 200 signatures in support of Robles winning the Lenka Franulic Award for distinguished female journalists.
Matus tweeted “I think the petition for the award should continue. That way we won’t be late for the acknowledgement she deserves.”
Manola Robles passed away on Jan. 3.