I started working as a journalist at Agencia EFE, thanks to Alfonso Bauluz,when I was living in Manila, and at first I focused mainly on science, health and social issues. I published my first story on 9 February 1999, in Manila:
09.02.1999- AUSTRALIA-SALUD – ADVIERTEN RIESGOS DEL “PIERCING” EN ZONAS INTIMAS
The real action started in August, when Indonesia decided to hold a referendum on the future of East Timor. I was then based in Melbourne and from there reported the Australian involvement in the events as back up for our correspondent in Dili, so I was in close phone contact with East Timorese sources.
In September an earthquake struck central Taiwan, where there were more than 9,000 aftershocks and about 2,000 deaths. I was sent there to work with our local correspondent, Francisco Luis Pérez. That same month New Zealand held the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, and I went to Auckland to cover it.
In November the extradition case against Mexican banker Carlos Cabal Peniche started in Melbourne. He had fled his country where he was to be tried over the $1.4 billion collapse of his business empire. I covered the case for Agencia Efe and the Mexican newspaper El Universal a daily story about a case that would extend over almost three years. I think I wasn’t the only reporter who found it hard to get more angles on that story.
Everyone thought Y2K was going to be the end of the world as we knew it, and it wasn’t but I spent that New Year’s Eve working until about 6.00 AM, reassuring the Spanish-speaking world that Australia was fine and just celebrating … like everyone else but me. When I finished work I had some oysters at Brighton Beach.