Mexican journalist Fernando Del Rincón is an important figure of the Hispanic media in the United States. Del Rincón, who was born in Morelos, Mexico, told us he is a man who is highly committed to his career, his life and his Venezuelan girlfriend Jullye Gilberti.
By Jesús Sánchez-Meleán & Translation by Eva Reinoso Tejada
Journalist and TV anchor Fernando Del Rincón, has been a key figure for CNN en Español since 2010. His daily primetime show “Conclusiones” (Conclusions), with great ratings in the U.S. and Latin America, awarded him the 2014 ACE award, granted by the “Asociación de Cronistas del Espectáculo” in New York. But this outstanding professional opened up to us and confessed that his biggest commitment is with life itself; since he is a cancer survivor. He also announced he will get married this year with actress Jullye Gilberti. In our exclusive interview, this is what he told us:
How did you come to the United States?
Fernando Del Rincón:
I came to cover the events of September 11, 2001. I was working for Televisa in Mexico, but got an invitation from Telemundo to cover what was happening here for a weekend. That weekend turned into a week, and then into two weeks. I ended up taking an offer from that network. I entered “with the right foot”; and I took advantage of every opportunity that was presented to me. I have worked really hard.
How much of a ‘gringo’ have you become?
FDR: Besides holding an American Passport, I think I will never be a ‘gringo’. All my idiosyncrasy, my habits, and my food, are Mexican. I am a Mexican lost in the terrestrial globe. I respect the values and important dates of the United States; but I am close to my roots. It is something in my DNA. I am a true blooded Mexican.
On any given day, in Atlanta, where you live, how do you reaffirm that you are Mexican?
FDR: The day of the Mexico-Brazil game, during the World Cup, not only I wore the uniform for the Mexican selections, I also cooked tacos ‘al pastor’, steak tacos and “huevos rancheros”. In my Instagram I posted: “Let’s go, guys”.
How is it like to report tragic events such as the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti?
FDR: There is a lot of mixed emotions. Desolation, sadness and pain. In Haiti, I was also terrified. But you have to block those feelings, put them on hold to avoid interference with your work. After you are back home, all those memories come back. It is frustrating to be there and not be able to do anything. Nature’s power can be devastating and reminds us we are nothing in front of such power.
How do you ensure your reports on such tragedies don’t become a circus?
FDR: There is no secret other than the professional practice of journalism. Sticking to the facts, to the verifiable and to official information. Avoiding speculation.
You have reported from Cuba, and you were expelled from Venezuela by Nicolas Maduro. How do you report when those in power are adverse to journalism?
FDR: It is a complicated exercise to try to inform from a place where information is not allowed to flow, or it is highly filtered and controlled. Your weapon is to have the information at hand and with all facts rounded up. That way, you won’t be detracted or disqualified.
Can you tell when a high ranking officer or politician is lying to you?
FDR: I can’t follow my perceptions; that would be speculative. But I have had to deny official information issued by governments. And I have done it with proof in my hands.
The personal dimension
After talking about his successful professional life, we also talked with Del Rincón about his personal life.
What is your relationship status right now?
FDR: I am engaged to Jullye. I would say I am very committed, very close to getting married. We don’t have a date yet, but it will be this year, as soon as we work out our agendas.
How would you describe your connection to Jullye?
FDR: I admire Jullye as a woman, a companion and a friend. She is a key component of my everyday life. It would take me a whole day to describe her. We are compatible; we share interests and a lifestyle; we share love and commitment. She has a million things that make me love her.
How did you overcome your illness?
FDR: I am a cancer survivor. Knowing I had the illness was a terrible moment in my life. Ironically, I was working as a spokesperson for the Latino market for Parents against Cancer and I was used to bring a positive message to children with cancer and their families. All the sudden, I was the patient. Life took a different perspective. You have two options: You become negative, or you seize your courage and keep going forward. I decided to do the latest and today, I am alive to tell the story. I realized the encouragement I was offering those children and their families was not lip service. I was also positive with myself.
What is your final message?
FDR: I tell all the people who come to the U.S., not only my Mexican compatriots but all Latin Americans: To achieve success it is 90 percent in ourselves and 10 percent on the circumstances. When you conquer yourself, you have a great possibility of achieving any goal you might have.