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1st edition of the Gabriel García Márquez Award honors journalists in Mexico, Nicaragua, Brasil and Colombia

After having received 1,379 submissions from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, the International Gabriel García Márquez Journalism Awards announced on Wednesday the winners of its first edition. They are journalists Alejandro Almazán, Esteban Felix, Lucio Castro and Olga Lucía Lozano.

Almazán won in the category of long-form journalism for his article on magazine Gatopardo, “Letter from La Laguna,” which tells the story of the conflicts since 2005 between the Mexican criminal organizations Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel over the control of the Northern metropolitan area in Mexico known as La Laguna. 

Felix received the award for best photographic image for his series  “Bittersweet," which documents the deaths in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua caused by a mysterious epidemic that has killed more than 24,000 people in El Salvador and Nicaragua since 2000.

Castro won the award for best news coverage for his “Memories of the Dictatorships- Soccer During the Times of Plan Condor” (Click here to see the second part of the package  in Portuguese and here to see the third part). Castro's investigation deals with military dictatorships across the continent and their use of soccer as a propaganda tool between the decades of the 1960s and 1980s.

Finally, Lozano was awarded in the category of innovation for news site La Silla Vacía's Pink Project, which uses several platforms and languages to detail the implementation of Colombia's recent Victims and Land Restitution Law.

The winners and finalist in each category received cash awards of $15,000 and 2,500, respectively.

Also as part of the ceremonies, investigative journalist Giannina Segnini received the special award to journalistic excellence. Segnini is the director of the investigative unit of Costa Rican newspaper La Nación and was honored for helping advance the use of new technologies in the profession.

The Gabriel García Márquez Journalism Award, which was inspired by the journalistic vision of the acclaimed author and the Wall Street Journal's recent naming of the city of Medellín as the most innovative city in the world, was created to recognize the best journalistic work in Spanish and Portuguese in the American continent and the Iberian Peninsula. According to the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for New Ibero American Journalism, which organizes the event, the award  “aims to become the most important accolade that promotes the search for excelence, innovation and ethical coherence."

The celebrations will also include other activities for the general public like conferences, workshops and expos that will take place till Nov. 22. Click here to follow some of the events live through the internet.

See below the interviews with the four winners:

Alejandro Almazan - GANADOR from FNPI on Vimeo.


Leon Esteban Felix - GANADOR from FNPI on Vimeo.


Lucio Castro - GANADOR from FNPI on Vimeo.


Proyecto Rosa - GANADOR from FNPI on Vimeo.


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