Finally the day arrived. The Gabo Foundation, an institution created by the journalist and Nobel Prize winner for Literature Gabriel Garcia Marquez, announced the winners of the Gabo 2021 Award, the most important recognition of journalism in Spanish and Portuguese, in its four contest categories: Text, Image, Coverage and Innovation. The four winning stories were selected from a total of 1,585 published papers.
The selection process was made through a trial in three rounds, in which a jury of 57 journalists with extensive experience participated. This initially chose a list of 40 nominees –10 for each category–, then 12 finalists –3 for each category–, and finally the 4 awarded works. Each winning team will receive 35 million Colombian pesos (almost 9 thousand dollars) and a copy of the sculpture ‘Gabriel’, by the Colombian artist Antonio Caro. The two finalists in each contest category will receive 8 million (just over 2,000 dollars) Colombian pesos. Next, the winners.
In the Text category he won “The Tamaulipas Massacre: The American Dream Dies in Mexico”. This report explores in depth the massacre of 16 Guatemalans shot and burned in Tamaulipas, some 60 kilometers from the border with the United States. The text investigates the causes of the massacre and also portrays the causes that have moved millions of Guatemalans to invest everything to embark on the dangerous path to the United States and how some end up in the hands of organized crime and being victims of a system that is take advantage of them.
Part of the team traveled the last stretch that the murdered migrants are believed to have followed, between Monterrey (Nuevo León) and Reynosa (Tamaulipas), looking for clues about the group’s last hours. Another part traveled to the communities of origin of most of the migrants and spoke with the families of a dozen victims. The result, a report published a month after the murders, manages to put a face on the murdered and reconstruct what motivated them to leave and the sacrifices they had to make for the trip, giving light and contextualizing a common reality: that of the migrants who they lose their lives in their search for the American dream. Authors: Lorena Arroyo Valles, Pablo Ferri, Héctor Guerrero, Mónica González Islas and Eliezer budasoff. Half: The country (Spain).
In Image he won “Unforgivable”. Geovany is 25 years old and became a murderer when he was 12. He was a ruthless hitman for the Barrio 18 gang and is currently serving a long sentence in an isolation cell inside a Salvadoran prison dedicated exclusively to gang members. In prison, he withdrew from the gang and joined an evangelical church that granted him God’s forgiveness. But the fact that she loves another man is considered a sin for which she cannot be forgiven, neither by the church nor by her own gang.
This documentary short film, produced by The lighthouse and The Open Cage, shows a portrait of a society with a broken moral compass, in which the notions of good and evil, love and hate, the acceptable and the repudiable, the forgivable and the unforgivable are perverted. Authors: Marlén Viñayo, Carlos Martínez, Andrea Bilbao, Neil Brandvold, Omnionn, Víctor Peña and Patrick Tombola. Half: The lighthouse (The Savior).
In the Coverage category he won “Beyond the pier, migration crisis in the Canary Islands”. This journalistic coverage documents the impact of the arrival of more than 23,000 people to the Canary Islands, exposing the lack of coordination and the slowness of the Government to avoid a humanitarian crisis, as well as the violation of rights that went unnoticed in an emergency context. More than 2,600 people came to live together in a 3,000-meter basin, while journalists were systematically prevented from documenting what was happening.
During the crisis, mothers were separated from their children, new arrivals were denied legal assistance, their access to asylum was hampered and their departure to the continent was prevented. The blockade of thousands of people fueled the unrest in the local population. In a few months, the words were translated into assaults. Neighbors from the most marginal neighborhoods of Gran Canaria organized armed gangs to ‘hunt the Moor’.
This coverage put pressure on the security forces to mobilize, the pier ended up being vacated due to a constant complaint and, for example, real access to asylum was facilitated. Authors: Maria Martin and Javier Bauluz. Half: The country (Spain).
And in Innovation he won “The chair reconstruct how policemen killed the three young men from Verbenal “. This visual investigation reveals step by step how police officers from Verbenal, in Bogotá, shot dead three young people who were part of the protests on September 9, 2020. The team collected more than 30 videos on social networks, with relatives of the victims and sources who requested a reservation, synchronized them and established that the moments in which some police officers shoot coincide with the moments in which the three victims are fatally wounded. The second part of the investigation shows that the policemen began to shoot and injure protesters long before they killed the first.
The team reconstructed the moments when three out of 11 were injured that night: one was left paraplegic. While the traditional coverage of these events was based on edited videos disseminated in isolation on social networks, La Silla Vacía obtained complete videos through advanced internet searches and field research, and managed to synchronize with each other and establish with certainty details that They allowed to conclude that the police officers who fired did kill three young people, something that no other media has done so far in that case. Authors: Carlos Hernández Osorio, Marcela Becerra, Daniela Amaya Rueda and Juan Esteban Lewin. Half: The Empty Chair (Colombia).
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Gabo Awards: these are the 4 winners