Enrique Santos Castillo Dies at 84
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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ Enrique Santos Castillo, a top Colombian journalism who, along with his brother, headed the country’s leading newspaper for more than a half century, has died. He was 84.
Santos Castillo, who retired in September as managing editor of El Tiempo, died of a heart attack Sunday night at his home in Bogota. He was remembered Monday as a man with an uncanny ability to sniff out a story.
``You can’t imagine the nose for news he had,″ said Juan Gossain, news director of RCN radio, and one of Colombia’s most prominent journalists. ``He was relentless in getting the story.″
Santos Castillo and his brother, Hernando _ who died two years ago _ were news editors for decades at the family owned newspaper and transformed it from a political party mouthpiece into a modern independent newspaper.
``Enrique leaves a very deep imprint on Colombian journalism. He was the tutor and the teacher of two or three generations of journalists,″ said current managing editor Rodrigo Pardo.
Claude Erbsen, Associated Press vice president of World Services, was a reporter for El Tiempo in 1960.
``He was as nurturing, supportive and demanding a boss as one could hope to have,″ Erbsen said.
In 1997, the Columbia School of Journalism in New York City jointly awarded Enrique and Hernando Santos Castillo its prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Prize for contributions to Inter-American understanding.
The journalism school described El Tiempo as a ``bulwark in the struggle for democracy in Colombia with uncompromising, hard-hitting reporting and writing.″
The Bogota daily was founded 90 years ago by Santos Castillo’s uncle, former Colombian president Eduardo Santos. It was for decades the official voice of the Liberal Party, one of this South American country’s two main political parties. Today, it avoids partisanship.
Enrique Santos Castillo was El Tiempo’s news editor for 36 years and then served for 20 more as its managing editor. When he retired in September, he said he wanted to spend more time with his four children and 14 grandchildren.
One of his sons, Enrique Santos Calderon, is El Tiempo’s co-publisher along with his cousin Rafael Santos Calderon. Another son, Juan Manuel Santos, is Colombia’s finance minister.
Santos Castillo’s wife, Clemencia Calderon, died last year.