This week, the first Mexicans to get the Nobel Peace Prize have become the first in history to be granted such an honor.
The award was announced Monday at the New York University School of Medicine in New York.
The recipient, Mexican-born author Miguel Angel Lopez, is credited with saving the lives of more than 5,000 people during the 1970s, when Mexico was under the repressive reign of the military junta.
Lopez is best known for his novel El Cid, which chronicles the lives and deaths of a group of Mexican immigrants who were arrested, deported and murdered during the war against the U.S. in the 1970-1980s.
The novel is one of the most popular books in the country.
His father, Emilio Lopez, a poet and novelist, died in 2007.
After graduating from the university in 1973, he went on to study medicine at Harvard and the University of Michigan, where he earned a doctorate in molecular biology and an M.D. in medicine.
He died in 2006.
His son, Miguel Angel Cabrera, was born in the city of Chihuahua and later moved to Mexico.
In his novel, El Cide, Miguel writes of the hardships that faced Mexicans living in the U-shaped borderland between the United States and Mexico.
“You are not welcome in Mexico, and the American border is the greatest barrier that separates us,” Miguel writes.
“If you cross the border, you are like a thief, an immigrant, a vagrant, a rapist, a criminal, an enemy of God.”
His novel has been translated into over 20 languages.
In recent years, the author has also written two books of poetry, one of which has been published by the Nobel Prize Foundation, a non-profit organization.
He received the prize for his fiction, El Capitan, which was published in 2008.
“Miguel was one of my heroes,” said Nobel Peace Laureate Daniel Pipes, a professor of literature and the director of the Institute of Cuban Studies at the University at Buffalo.
“The work of his novel is a metaphor for the lives he was able to save.”
The author, who is a descendant of Spanish immigrants, is a native of Veracruz, Mexico, a city about 110 miles (180 kilometers) northwest of Mexico City.
“I grew up in Veracrucka, and I was raised by an aunt who came to Veracuzas,” Miguel said in an interview with the New Yorker.
“She was a nurse.
And when I was little, my aunt used to tell me, ‘There are only two ways to go to the border; you can go to Verapro, which is not far, and you can walk to the United Nations.
And the other way is to go back home.'”
Miguel wrote El Capito in the 1990s, before the country became the site of the 1992 war between the U.-S.
and the guerrillas, or Mérida National Liberation Front.
The war killed at least 12,000 Mexicans.
Miguel is survived by his wife, Marcela, and their three children, ages 3, 9 and 11.
Miguel was born to Mexican immigrants in Verapriza, a small farming town in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero.
Miguel’s parents, a farmer and a mother of five, were among the first immigrants to settle in Veradro, a region that was the home of a major Spanish colony from the 15th century.
After their father died, Miguel’s father worked as a farm laborer in Verde.
“We had a very difficult life,” Miguel’s mother, Carmen Rivera, told The New Yorker in 2008, describing the hardships faced by her family during the civil war.
“Our land was destroyed.
We were forced to move to Veradros in the middle of nowhere because there was no water and there was nobody to help us.
We had to leave behind all our things.
My father was forced to leave our house when we moved in, but he didn’t leave us behind.
We stayed in the house for five years.
My family had to work on the land.”
Miguel’s brother-in-law, Guadalupe Guerrero, was also a migrant from Veradromas and settled in Veras, a town about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Verapropa.
“My father was a laborer,” Guerrero told the magazine.
“He worked for the government, for the state, for a local factory.
He was always a man of honor.”
Miguel worked as an agricultural laborer for a small, rural factory, but also became a doctor.
In 2000, he received his medical degree from the Universidad de Veraprosa in Vera Cruz, Verapruz.
During the civil wars, Mexico was divided into two nations: the United Nationalist and the Democratic Nationalist.
After the war, Guerrero’s family moved to the nearby town of El Salvador, where she married Miguel.