Puente Democrático Program of CADAL nominated Yoani Sánchez to Courage in Journalism Award of the International Women's Merida Foundation (IWMF).
After studying philology at the University of Havana, Yoani Sanchez specialized in contemporary Latin American literature and discussed an incendiary thesis entitled Palabras bajo presión. Un estudio sobre la literatura de la dictadura en Latinoamérica”. After several disappointments and disagreements with the Revolution, in April 2007, Sanchez began the adventure of having a blog called Generacion Y, which today is translated into fifteen languages. In May 2008, she received the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Prize in the category of digital work, but was prevented by the Cuban authorities to travel to receive it. From this award, she achieved international fame and recognition. Then, she would be selected by Time magazine among 100 most influential people in the "Heroes and Pioneers" category. In addition, the blog was listed among the 25 best blogs of the world, in a selection by Time magazine and CNN. She won the jury prize at the Spanish competition Bitácoras.com and the top prize at the renowned BOBs awards including more than 12,000 participants from around the world. The weekly magazine of the newspaper El País included Yoani in a selection of the most remarkable 100 Hispanic of the year; then, also she was recognized by Foreign Policy magazine among the 10 most important intellectuals of the same year.
The decision to nominate Yoani Sanchez was based on the fact that she "decided to perform in independent journalism, and bear all risks associated to it, as a way to boost the exercise of free expression in Cuba. Her decision made her face government repression, like other citizens, from different positions and activities, have challenged th totalitarian controls regime."
Each year, the Courage in Journalism Award pay tribute to three women journalists who have demonstrated extraordinary strength of character in the performance of their profession before difficult or dangerous circumstances, as government oppression, threats to personal safety and other intimidating obstacles.
Among the winners of the Courage in Journalism Award are: Khadija Islamyilova, RFE/RL, Azerbaijan; Adela Navarro, Zeta, México; Tsering Woeser, Writer and blogger, Tibet; Jill Carroll, The Christina Science Monitor, United States; May Chidiac, Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, Lebanon; y Anna Politkovskaya, Novaya Gazetam Russia (m.2006).
Founded in 1990, the IWMF is an organization dedicated to strengthening the role of women worldwide as a way to promote press freedom. According the IWMF, to Win the Courage in Journalism Award does not mean the end of the journalists, but instead "it motivates them to continue their work under difficult or dangerous circumstances, to tell the stories that many others do not dare to investigate, to prove that press freedom is not negotiable " The award results will be announced in May 2013.