Henry Constantin and Juan Lorenzo Holmann, Awarded Grand Prize for Press Freedom

Nicaraguan Juan Lorenzo Holmann (left) and Cuban Henry Constantín (right) were the two recipients of the Inter-American Press Association this year. (Confidential)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, 22October 2021 — On Thursday, the journalists Henry Constantín, from La Hora de Cuba, and Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, from La Prensa (Nicaragua), were officially awarded this Thursday with the Grand Prize for Press Freedom granted by the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA). The award had been announced earlier this month.

The awards to both, vice-presidents of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, are given in “recognition of all independent journalists from Cuba and Nicaragua who, despite the repression, continue to report courageously,” said the organization’s president, Jorge Canahuati, of the Opsa Group, of Honduras.

The head of the IAPA, an organization that this week celebrates its 77th General Assembly, noted that both journalists have been jailed and that it is the first time in decades that two regional vice presidents of the IAPA have been imprisoned at the same time, which reflects that independent journalism in these countries is going through one of its “darkest periods.”

Holmann, general manager of the newspaper La Prensa, has been imprisoned since August 14 of this year and the facilities of La Prensa were occupied and closed the day before by agents of the Government of Daniel Ortega.

Constantín Ferreiro, director of the magazine La Hora de Cuba , was imprisoned and held incommunicado for ten days after being arrested on July 11, the day of the massive social protests in Cuba, and together with two other journalists from that medium remained under house arrest until August 23.

Yesterday, the organization also announced its awards for Journalistic Excellence in 14 categories, which reflect a trend towards “collaborative journalism, which is becoming more and more relevant in the disclosure and reporting” of facts, as stated by the President of the IAPA Awards Commission, Leonor Mulero.

This year, the hemispheric body recognized in the caricature category the work George Floyd, by Leonardo Parra, from la Oreja Roja  (Colombia), on racial tensions in the United States; while in the category of news coverage on the internet, the winner was The Employment Crisis, a collaboration between Ojo Público, from Peru, together with La Silla Vacía and Pop Lab, from Mexico.

The news coverage award went to The Survivors , from La Silla Rota, from Mexico; while the Alejandro Miró Quesada Garland recognition of mobile news coverage was for the work Father’s Day, by Ariel Garofalo, of the Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo.

The Oliver F. Clarke chronicle award went to I returned walking to Venezuela, by Luis Guillermo Franquiz, from Prodavinci, Venezuela, while the human rights and community service award went to the work of Ojo Público, Chequeos en Lenguas: the original voices that are fighting lies in the Andes and the Amazon.

Three sweet potatoes, by Sadiel Mederos Bermúdez, from El Toque (Cuba), won the award in photography, and Vaccines against the coronavirus, world hope, from La Nación (Argentina), won for infographic.

In the opinion section, the award went to Media: the unbearable discomfort of ideas, by Ariel González, from El Universal (Mexico); in the data journalism category won Evolution of the pandemic in Argentina , from La Nación , and in journalism Chavismo Inc. , a collaboration of Connectas, Alianza Rebelde Investiga and Transparencia Venezuela triumphed in depth .

A water chief in the Mayan paradise, a collaboration of Connectas in alliance with Aristegui Noticias, Proceso, Ruido en la Red, Univision, Vice en Español and the support of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) was recognized with theRoberto Eisenmann Jr. journalism award on the environment.

In health journalism, the Emergency Department was the winnerLife and death in a waiting shift, from the editorial team of El Tiempo (Colombia); and the Pedro Joaquín Chamorro university journalism award the award went to Ciudadela de Paz: the story behind illegality, by Sophia Cortés Piñeros, Gabriela Arraut Navarro and Rodrigo Eduardo Falquéz Herrera, from the Colombian El Punto.

The 77th General Assembly of the IAPA, which this year was held again in virtual format, will celebrate the last of its four days on Friday with the approval of its reports on press freedom in the countries of the region, conclusions and resolutions.


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