Journalists from Brazil, Colombia, U.S. among winners of 2013 Maria Moors Cabot Awards

Brazilian investigative reporter Mauro König, Colombian magazine Semana’s editor-in-chief Alejandro Rubino Santos and U.S. journalists Jon Lee Anderson and Donna DeCesare, both of whom have focused on covering Latin America for several decades, are the four journalists who will receive this year’s prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Prize.

Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez is also expected to finally travel to New York to receive the prize she was awarded in 2009.

Documentary photographer and freelance writer Donna DeCesare uncovered years of violence in Central America through photography and recently published a bilingual book collecting her work, Unsettled/Desasosiego: Children in a World of Gangs. The photographs were taken between 1987 and 2009, documenting the impact of civil wars and gangs on young people in Central America and the United States.

Brazilian reporter Mauri König has made several extensive investigations, in which he has exposed human rights abuses and corruption, which brought him worldwide acclaim for his work.

In 2000, König was brutally beaten and left for dead close to the Brazilian border by three alleged policemen after he photographed a Paraguayan police station.

Despite constant threats and being advised to leave Brazil, König continues to probe human rights abuses and sex trafficking in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

Another winner was Alejandro Rubino Santos, from Colombia, who oversaw the magazine La Semana by exposing past President Alvaro Uribe’s illegal spying on journalists, judges and politicians.

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, who became an international sensation for reporting and criticizing her country’s communist system, is also expected to travel to this year’s ceremony to accept the prize she was awarded in 2009, according to Columbia University.

The prize, which is awarded by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, honors journalists who've covered the Western Hemisphere and furthered inter-American perspectives through their reporting. It is the oldest international award in journalism, having been founded in 1938.

“We at the Journalism School regard the Cabot Prizes as a unique opportunity to inspire journalists in the Americas by recognizing the most talented, innovative and courageous among them,” said Steve Coll, Dean of Columbia Journalism School.

The winners of the 75th year of the Maria Moors Cabot Prize will receive medals and $5,000 each at a ceremony on Columbia’s campus on Oct. 21.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.