The news came in the form of an email from her younger sister Claudia: Paulina Aguilera Muñoz, Global Voices author from Chile, had unexpectedly passed away.
As the Latin America regional editor for Global Voices I had been in contact with Paulina only the day before, working on a post about a blogger that had been detained in Ecuador for alleged offenses against the Attorney General. The news of her passing was shocking and heartbreaking for the Global Voices community.
A journalist by profession and a mother of two girls, Paulina worked in Chile, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Colombia on issues of development, human rights, gender and communications. She blogged, in Spanish, at Varios Mundos Para Vagabundos/as (Various Worlds for Vagabonds) and Kanguro: Turismo Seguro y Barato (Kanguro: Safe and Inexpensive Tourism).
Paulina started writing for Global Voices in September of 2010.
There were countless messages of condolences and love as soon as I shared the news on our community mailing lists. From across Latin America, as well as far away in India, Serbia, South Korea, Sweden, Bahrain, Maldives, Peru, Tanzania, Ukraine, Tunisia, France, Pakistan, United States, she is missed and remembered by friends.
Solana Larsen, Managing Editor for Global Voices, wrote: “I will remember her as someone who was cheerful and funny on the mailing list and also a blogger who was keen and energetic to defend women's rights and indigenous rights,” pointing to a post [es] Paulina wrote on her personal blog for Blog Action Day, where she wrote about clean water as a right for indigenous peoples.
Chilean author Felipe Cordero said he admired Paulina's dedication in covering human rights issues in Chile and Latin America for Global Voices. Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, our Spanish Language Editor, remembered how much she had enjoyed Paulina's post about Natividad Llanquileo, the indigenous spokeswoman for the Mapuche on a hunger strike in Chile. Ela Stapley, a translator for Global Voices, mentioned Paulina's coverage of a prison fire in Chile: “I liked this post by her mainly because it dealt with people that society prefers to forget. In writing it she reminded us that prisoners are people too.”
Paulina was a key contributor in covering a police strike that took place in Ecuador on September 30, 2010. Her work alongside Ecuadorian author Milton Ramirez helped us create a Special Coverage page for the strike.
Her dedication, professionalism, enthusiasm and passion will be greatly missed by everyone at Global Voices. I will personally remember her as an exemplary woman and friend. We send our sincere condolences to her two daughters, her parents, sisters, friends and all those who, like us, had the honor of associating with Paulina.