The 2019 Gabo Award, in its seventh edition, was awarded in the Text category to an extensive and documented feature, “La sangre nunca fue amarilla” (Blood was never yellow), written by Cuban journalist Mónica Baró for the Cuban independent digital magazine Periodismo de Barrio, which tells of the origins and consequences of lead poisoning in a community of San Miguel del Padrón, in Havana, from the 1950s to the present.
Mónica Baró graduated as a journalist in 2012 from the University of Havana. She worked as a reporter in Bohemia magazine, then in Periodismo de Barrio (PdB) and currently in El Estornudo.
In her thank-you speech, Baró recalled the collaboration of the entire PdB team that made possible the realization of this text in which a situation of risk to the health of a population that needs special attention is denounced. “We are surrounded by poisons that we never perceive,” Baró warned.
In all competing categories―Text, Image, Coverage and Innovation―the pieces were assessed by 53 jurors, who made three elimination rounds. The winners were judged as the best in Latin America among 1,730 applications received.
“They are committed to telling the reality in good faith and above all to try to make us understand the reality of citizens,” said the director general of the Gabo Foundation, Jaime Abello Banfi, at the awards ceremony.
The Gabo Award for Excellence went to Colombian photojournalist Jesús Abad Colorado López, whose photographs are an essential memory of the last 25 years of war in Colombia.
Other award winners were, in the Image category, “America First: El legado de una redada migratoria” (America First: The legacy of a migratory raid), a bilingual multimedia special and a 42-minute documentary made by the U.S. Univisión about the consequences of an operation against 389 undocumented, mostly Guatemalans, carried out in 2008 in Postville, in the state of Iowa.
In the Coverage category, the award went to “El país de las dos mil fosas” (The country of the 2,000 graves), on the drama of the disappeared in Mexico, produced by a group of independent journalists; and in the Innovation category, it went to “Mujeres en la vitrina, migración en manos de la trata zonadivas.info” (Women in the showcase, migration in the hands of trafficking zonadivas.info) on the trafficking of women in Mexico and Venezuela, carried out in collaboration with media such as Pie de Página, Fusión, Enjambre Digital (Mexico) and El Pitazo, TalCual, Runrunes (Venezuela).