- Four pieces, produced by El País, El Faro, and La Silla Vacía, were chosen as winners from a total of 1,585 entries.
- Abelardo Gómez, general editor of La Cola de la Rata, is the winner of the Clemente Manuel Zabala Award for being an exemplary Colombian editor.
- Nicaraguan caricaturist Pedro X. Molina, winner of the 2021 Gabo Award for Excellence, was announced in October.
The Gabo Foundation, an institution created by journalist and Nobel Laureate in Literature Gabriel García Márquez, announces the winners of the 2021 Gabo Award, the most important recognition for journalism in Spanish and Portuguese, in its four competition categories: Text, Coverage, Image, and Innovation.
“La masacre de Tamaulipas: El sueño americano muere en México” (The Tamaulipas Massacre. The American Dream Dies in Mexico) and “Más allá del muelle, crisis migratoria en las Islas Canarias” (Beyond the pier, migration crisis in the Canary Islands), both published by El País (Spain), were the winners in the Text and Coverage categories, respectively. Imperdonable (Unforgiveable), a documentary produced by El Faro (El Salvador), won in the Image category, while a visual investigation by La Silla Vacía (Colombia) titled “La Silla reconstruye cómo policías mataron a los tres jóvenes de Verbenal” (La Silla reconstructs how police killed three young people from Verbenal), won in the Innovation category.
The work of these four journalistic teams stands out for offering new perspectives and nuances to issues on the media agenda, and for exploring the new possibilities of communication and technology to efficiently inform and raise awareness. They are benchmarks of good journalism, scrutinizing, revealing, impacting, and pulling at the heartstrings of society with dazzling narratives that demonstrate a fierce passion for journalism combined with skill, rigor, and ethics.
Considered the best in Ibero-America, the four winning stories were selected from a total of 1,585 pieces published by media outlets with audiences in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The selection process was done through three rounds of judging panels made up of 57 international journalists with extensive experience. The panel initially chose a list of 40 nominees (10 for each category), then 12 finalists (three for each category), and finally the four winning entries.
The winners were announced in an online ceremony on Thursday, November 18 as part of the 9th Gabo Festival which runs until Saturday, November 20. Each winning team will receive $35 million Colombian pesos and a model of the “Gabriel” sculpture by Colombian artist Antonio Caro. The two finalists in each contest category will receive $8 million Colombian pesos.
Clemente Manuel Zabala Award and Award for Journalistic Excellence
Abelardo Gómez, general editor of La Cola de la Rata, a Pereira-based media outlet, was selected as the winner of the Clemente Manuel Zabala Award for being an exemplary Colombian editor. The judging panel highlighted his enthusiasm for training journalists who do not stay silent in the face of power abuses and for leading a team that investigates and denounces local injustice despite the danger this entails.
On October 21, Nicaraguan caricaturist Pedro X. Molina was announced as the winner of the 2021 Gabo Award for Journalistic Excellence. Molina’s work was highlighted as an “extraordinary example of a combination of causticity and beauty, with a very truthful and profound sense of his country’s great problems.”
The Gabo Award is made possible thanks to the Gabo Foundation’s partnership with the SURA and Bancolombia groups and their affiliates in Latin America.
Below are the winners of each category in the 2021 Gabo Award:
La masacre de Tamaulipas: El sueño americano muere en México (The Tamaulipas Massacre: The American Dream Dies in Mexico)
Author: Lorena Arroyo Valles, Pablo Ferri, Héctor Guerrero, Mónica González Islas, and Eliezer Budasoff.
Media Outlet: El País (Spain)
Reportage on 16 Guatemalan migrants who invested everything they had in search of a better future in the U.S. and ended up murdered and burned in Mexico.
Author: Marlén Viñayo, Carlos Martínez, Andrea Bilbao, Neil Brandvold, Omnionn, Víctor Peña, and Patrick Tombola.
Media Outlet: El Faro (El Salvador)
Documentary about a gang hitman serving his sentence in a Salvadoran prison, where he is not only guilty for his crimes but also for being gay.
Más allá del muelle, crisis migratoria en las Islas Canarias (Beyond the pier, migration crisis in the Canary Islands)
Author: Javier Bauluz and María Martín.
Media Outlet: El País (Spain)
Coverage documenting the arrival of more than 23,000 migrants to the Canary islands, one of Europe’s southern borders.
La Silla reconstruye cómo policías mataron a los tres jóvenes de Verbenal (La Silla reconstructs how police killed three young people from Verbenal)
Author: Carlos Hernández Osorio, Marcela Becerra, Daniela Amaya Rueda, Juan Esteban Lewin.
Media Outlet: La Silla Vacía (Colombia)
Research that confirms that the police officers who fired shots during the 9S protests in 2020 in Bogotá did indeed kill three young protesters.
About the Gabo Awards and the Gabo Festival
They are convened by the Gabo Foundation, which, inspired by the ideals and work of Gabriel García Márquez, seeks to promote spaces for reflection and debate and to praise ethical, rigorous, innovative, and public service journalism.
The Gabo Award and the Gabo Festival are made possible thanks to the Gabo Foundation’s partnership with the SURA and Bancolombia groups and their affiliates in Latin America. To stay up to date with news about these initiatives, you can follow us on these social networks: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.