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Anti-corruption group taps Angolan blogger for prize

11/14/2013, 5:09 p.m.

Bloggers from China and Angola will share the Integrity Prize for taking on corrupt elites in their respective countries despite great personal risk.

The award was established by the Berlin-based Transparency International to honor journalists, government officials and civil society leaders who bravely challenge corruption around the world. According to Transparency International, Chinese journalist Luo Changping and Angolan human rights activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais “exemplify in every way the courage and determination of the many individuals and organizations confronting corruption around the world.”

Marques writes extensively on corruption on his website MakaAngola.org. The word “maka” comes from the local language Kimbundu and means “problem.” The website publishes reports on money laundering, illegal asset transfers and nepotism.

“My work is about educating society and monitoring the work of those who lead this country,” said Marques, who is backed up by a small team of freelancers and permanent staff based in Angola, Europe and North America.

Speaking at the award ceremony in Berlin this month, Marques dedicated his prize to Manuel Chivonde Nito Alves, a 17-year-old activist who was arrested for attempting to print T-shirts criticizing the president of Angola, Africa’s second-longest serving leader. Alves has been released, but the charges have not been dropped.

“The institutionalization of corruption is a crime,” said Marques, “and sooner or later, Angolan justice will punish the corrupt politicians.”