Peruvian, Mexican and Colombian journalists take home Ortega y Gasset Journalism Awards

Peruvian, Mexican and Colombian journalists received the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Awards from Spanish newspaper El País in Madrid on May 5.

Joseph Zárate Salazar won the award for Best Story or Journalistic Investigation for his work “The woman of the blue lagoon against the black lagoon,” which was published in Peruvian magazine Etiqueta Verde.

The project explores the story of Máxima Acuna, a farmer who refuses to leave her home when faced with eviction from a gold mining company.

According to the award website, the jury said “this is a local story that becomes universal. It is a story of struggle which engages the reader….It also raises the debate between the individual good and that of the majority.”

Data unit editors Lilia Saúl and Ginna Morelo, of Mexico's El Universal and Colombia's El Tiempo won for Best Multimedia Coverage for the transnational data journalism project The Disappeared.

On the home page of the project on El Tiempo’s site, the opening statement reads: “Ayotzinapa in Mexico. Buenaventura in Colombia. Two regions where violence is rampant. Where mothers seek justice and demand closure of their endless pains. Mexico has just started to discover the horror of the disappearances. In both countries, the horror reached inhuman limits and impunity reigns.”

An equally visually compelling version of the project was also published on El Universal’s site.

Morelo dedicated the award to the victims of the disappearancesEl Tiempo reported. She also said 20 journalists, designers and engineers worked on the project between the two countries.

The Ortega y Gasset Journalism Awards were created in 1984 to honor philosopher José Ortega y Gasset and are awarded by Ediciones El Páis, S.L., the publisher of Spanish newspaper El Páis. King Felipe VI of Spain handed out the awards this year.

“With these awards, the newspaper El País wants to highlight the defense of freedoms, independence, rigor and honesty as essential virtues of journalism,” according to the award website. Journalistic works of the “Hispanic world” are considered.

At the May 5 ceremony for the 33rd edition of the awards, El País also celebrated its 40th anniversary.

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.