Here is a selection of the many letters of condolence that Pato (Miguel’s mother) received in the days after his death.

Please send us your letters via e-mail:

  • De la Madre de Miguel: “Miguel era una persona extraordinaria, como hijo, como hermano, como persona. Miguel luchó toda su vida por sus ideales y ha muerto por ellos. Vivía intensamente las historias que cubría y sentía que su misión era la de dar su voz a aquellos que no la tenían.” “Siento una tristeza y una pena abrumadora, pero a pesar de todo siento el consuelo de saber que Miguel estaba haciendo el trabajo que quería hacer y para el que estaba predestinado”.

    Patrocinio Macián
  • From Miguel's Mother: “Miguel was a truly extraordinary person, as a son, a brother, as everything. Miguel fought all his life for his ideals and has died for them. He lived the stories he covered, because he felt his mission was to give voice to those who did not have one”. “I am filled with overwhelming sadness and grief, but in the end I find solace in the fact that Miguel was doing the job he loved and died doing the work he felt ordained for”.

    Patrocinio Macián
  • Dear all. Sunday morning in Catalunya and we are all waking up with hangovers after Miguel's funeral, which actually, given the appalling circumstances, was pretty great. There must have been 500 people there, and first they put the coffin in the townhall of Vimbodi, where Miguel grew up until he was 15, so that the family and then friends could pay their respects. It was obviously still unbelievable, even though there was this wooden coffin with miguel's name on a brass plate and a couple of bunches of flowers, one saying, Thanks, Miguel. After that we walked to the church, which was old, simple stone and was completely overflowing. Nigel Baker of APTN gave the first account, which was great and not at all suit-like, followed by a full funeral Mass in Spanish, and a sermon in English. At the end, David Gutenfelder spoke on all our behalf (for those who don't know him he is a fab AP photographer who was based until last year in Africa and was one of Miguel's greatest friends there). Miguel was buried in his family's tomb, in a gorgeous spot, a small grave-yard with a view of the mountains nearby. His grave was absolutely covered in flowers and, by the end, a couple of cigarettes as well. His family were really wonderful, his mother, sisters and brother - two of them really look like Miguel, same nose. They are also all staunch Catholics, and so comforted by the thought that he went straight to heaven. They were also helped by the overwhelming proof of how many people loved Miguel and how many journalists admired and respected his work - more than 80 journalists, mostly foreign, showed up for the day. Of course it was just devastatingly sad, everyone in floods of tears at various times but that night, the family laid on a huge party in the gardens of a hotel, lots of Spanish food and drink and of course the hacks were the last to leave. It was a good send-off for Miguel. Hope you are all OK, Love Emma

    Emma Daly
  • What can I say when all this seems so unbelievable, unexpected, and horrible. I always thought of Miguel as if he was a bulletproof, as if he was made of steel. Whatever I say, people already know, a great man with a great heart. Always there, where people were crying for help. Whether that was Bosnia, or Kosova, Chechnya, or else, Miguel was always there, bringing images of human destruction to the world, with the hope that "big bosses," will eventually decide to help. Most people think that "International Community" helped places in crisis. I say, if it weren't for journalists, reporting constantly, risking their lives, the conflicts would have still be going on. But people like Miguel, risking everything, were there to make sure that nothing passes unreported, showing the world that there is "a world" outside their homes. When NATO Air Strikes began, a friend-journalist, Harald called me from Budapest. He told me that most of the journalists have been expelled from the country. I won't even try to describe how that made me feel. With no journalist on the ground, I saw no hope. Kosova was already a small closed black box. "But Miguel is still there. He managed to convince the Serb police to let him stay behind." The sky was still grey and looking scary but I felt a great relief. The little black box got a small window. I remember thinking to myself at that time "in case of any danger, I can always sneak out to Grand Hotel and Miguel will help me." Like always, one could rely on his help. The world has been robbed of a great man. I feel sorry for other places in conflict. Miguel won't be there to make a difference in people's lives, like he did for me. I refuse to think he is dead. I'd rather say: He was needed elsewhere, but he will always be remembered here. Always! God bless you Miguel.

    Vlora KrasniqiKosova (USA)
  • I was very sorry to hear about the loss of this man. The only comfort that can be gained is that he died doing the job that he loved.

    Renae (USA)
  • I will always keep a space in my heart for you. Pocivaj u miru dragi prijatelju.

    Asja Rasavac(Bosnia)
  • I am a news cameraman, like most in the industry following the current situation in Freetown. I was shocked to hear the news from Sierra Leone last wednesday.I would like to extend my sympathy to the friends and families of both Miguel Gil and Kurt.

    Paul Mongey(United Kingdom)
  • I met Miguel in Sarajevo in March 1996. He showed me the bodies of the victims from Srebrenica in Kamenica, Kravica, near Jaglici. And he convinced me that we should try do something. Then, in October 1998 we met again in Pristina. In December ´98, he was waiting for us at Gornje Obrinje, my team was obstructed by the Serbs! Thank you Miguel for sharing your experience, honesty and human approach with me.

    Helena Ranta (Finland)
  • I first met Miguel in Mostar, in what seems to be a whole lifetime ago. In many ways it is just that, so many things have happend since then. Miguel chose a particular path to the truth, a more direct route than any I could accept for myself. I have nothing but the greatest respect for the man, his accomplishments, his dedication to finding the truth, and his willingness to go to any lengths to get to the bottom of the story. He was brave, courageous, courteous, a gentle man in everyway. I know that I will miss him deeply, as many will when uttering "Where's Miguel...?" When I heard of his death, I thought it was a huge mistake, surely this news is wrong, not so, but I know that he was more prepared for the consequences of the job, the life, the misery that is war reporting, than most. Miguel, moj brat, I hope that you are at peace, its time to rest.

    Staton Winter(Turkey)
  • My name is Fatima Bona, a Sierra Leonean and employee of Associated Press. I never met Miguel personally, but I think I know this extraordinary man for what he was. He died trying to bring out for the world to see the mischief inflicted on my people, I could not thank him enough. May God grant him peace and all the blessings he deserves in heaven. God could only repay what he gave us. We are left with a big void, sadness for my country and people; Miguel is not there anymore to make a difference. WE LOST A GREAT MAN. MAY GOD BLESS HIM.

    Fatima Bona (África)
  • I remember Miguel in Sarajevo, riding his motorbike over Igman mountain. I remember him last May in Kosovo when he, Alessandro Majoli and I were the only journalists with the KLA in Padesh during an aerial bombardment by NATO. While Alex and I hid in a ditch, Miguel was helping carry the wounded and the dead. And he was filming the carnage, the blood, the wasted youth. Later, I remember his frustration when the KLA would not allow him to transmit his pictures. I last saw Miguel drinking a coke in the Mammy Yoko, the UN compound in Freetown. He said he was going to Lungi Loi to spend several nights with the British pathfinders there who were anticipating a rebel attack. That was just like him, to go somewhere and spend several days and nights being uncomfortable, but wanting to get the story right. All the other journalists -- myself included -- would have been happy with going there for the day, coming back to Freetown and filing our stories. But no, he wanted to get more. I also will remember his devotion, his Catholicism and the generosity he had towards his colleagues. He gave me some of the best advice anyone did before I went to Grozny. I will not forget Miguel or his work. He was a special man.

    Janine di Giovanni(United Kingdom)
  • When I first got into Sarajevo in august 92 a shell exploded in front of me 2 hours after my arival, I fainted, woke up in a "skloniste", got back to that horrible yellow cube called Holliday Inn and said to myself "I'm off next morning : no way I can cover a war, that's not a job for stringers". Then I was told that the very pillar of war-reporting was himself a stringer – That was Kurt of course – and I decided to stay. I didn't know Kurt that much, even after almost 4 years living in Sarajevo. Still I remember his smile, his jokes, his questions at UN briefings, his kindness, his courage, even his silences... He was number one for carrying wounded people to the hospital and number one to get the story. Actually Kurt was not a war reporter. He was a King. When I met Miguel in early 94, he was already a legend: the sole guy settled in East-Mostar at a time when nobody dared to stay more than a few hours in this cauldron. As if that was not enough, Miguel was also teasing those HVO snipers almost every day with running in and out of East-Mostar (airfield front-line for those who remember) on his trial bike... That bike was eventually stolen by HVO at a check-point. It was probably easier than to hit him. Miguel was not a war reporter either. He was a Prince. They both fall at the same time because they both believed in the same thing : that war is the worst invention you can ever imagine. And that you have to report it. Farewell Kurt and Miguelito. And as we say in french "chapeaux bas".

    Eric Biegala(Turkey)
  • I had huge respect and admiration for Miguel. The last time I saw him was at the Royal Television Society Awards dinner in London a couple of months ago, where he won the prize for best cameraman. He had the biggest round of applause from the people there than anyone else that night -- and deserved even more. I was horrified to hear that my friends Miguel and Kurt were dead. The day before I was working with the BBC's Abed Takkoush in south Lebanon when he was killed by an Israeli tank shell. It was a savage week. Miguel, Kurt and Abed were great people. Their deaths leave a terrible gap.

    Jeremy Bowen(Israel)
  • I first heard about Miguel's death from the Situation Room at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, where I am currently working. Like so many others in different parts of the world, I was deeply shaken. It was only a month earlier that I had joined him and his mother for a celebratory drink in London. Miguel was was one of the leading talents who joined APTV during my time with the company. He was critical in making the new agency a successs and turning it into the enduring, first class service that it has become as APTN. He was also, in my view, among the greatest producer-camera operators to work in the tv agency sector during the last 44 years. There are very few who compare with him for intelligence, editorial flair, operational brilliance, courage, compassion and common humanity.

    Stephen Claypole(United Kingdom)
  • Miguel: As you were being lowered to rest with your ancesters, we couldn't help but notice the sound of a Yamaha 350WR speeding past... tell me that was you. We "raced" armoured rovers down Igman, we talked bikes a lot. We talked fun trips. I'm so sorry we never took the time. I'm so sorry frog

    Jerome Delay(France)
  • Martha Gellhorn described herself as a 'war tourist'. Many journalists since have wondered the same thing about themselves. Kurt and Miguel, you two were not 'war tourists'. You were the arrow-tip. If there is any good in me you two are the main reasons for it being there. We are all so so lucky to have know you both.

    Wayne Lovell(United Kingdom)
  • He was a gentleman, a professional and a great friend. May he rest in peace.

    Aleksandar Vasovic(Yugoslavia)
  • Peligroso fue tu camino, y hermoso también porque le ofreciste todo tu amor. ¡Que te cuiden los ángeles, mi querido amigo!

    Boba Lizdek(Bosnia)
  • Requiescat in Pace, Miguel, you were a fine man.

    Patrick Bishop(Nowhere)