Matthew Kenny, a long-time Latin American correspondent with United Press International and a good friend of Costa Rica and this newspaper, died in Miami, Florida, in April. He was 86.
Kenny, whose career spanned more than 30 years, covered some of the most important events in the region’s recent history, including Fidel Castro’s rise to power in Cuba during 1959-60, the civil war in the Dominican Republic in 1965 (where he was wounded when his car was attacked by a Dominican fighter plane), student riots and subsequent police repression in Mexico City in 1968, the 1972 Managua, Nicaragua, earthquake that destroyed the city and the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende in a military coup in 1973.
Kenny is survived by his two sons, Patrick and Matthew III, and by his second wife, Maria Elena Carvajal. Carvajal is a Costa Rican and former business writer for The Tico Times and other local publications, including the daily La Nación. His first wife, Vera Salas, deceased, was also Costa Rican and the mother of his sons. Kenny considered this country to be his second home, and his ashes are buried here.