ALFREDO CORCHADO. Native son of the southern border. Uncompromising witness and advocate for that region’s overlooked victims and its dispossessed. Intrepid investigator of the dark world of narcoterrorism. Your courage in covering the most dangerous beat in the Western Hemisphere has earned you a place alongside Elijah Lovejoy and among those who keep his spirit alive. As transnational drug cartels perpetrated a reign of terror and Mexican journalists had no choice but self-censorship, you persevered, exposing heinous brutality, government complicity, police corruption — and responsibility on both sides of the border. As news organizations shrank and a great recession further decimated the ranks of U.S. journalists covering the border, you shouldered the load of a dozen former colleagues and persisted, exposing loathsome actors and evil deeds, despite chilling threats against you and your family. You refused el plato (the bribes) and avoided el plomo (the bullets). We are honored that you are here, in one piece and very much alive, so we can express our appreciation for your heroic efforts on behalf of truth, in pursuit of justice, and as a voice for people who, without your work, might become mere numbers in the rising body count. Colby is proud to add your name to the pantheon of journalists who have upheld the ideals for which we revere Elijah Parish Lovejoy.

By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, ALFREDO CORCHADO, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. The hood we present to you and this diploma, which I place in your hand, are visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars, to all the rights and privileges of which I declare you entitled.

Conferred SEPTEMBER 26, 2010