IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
December 16th, 2008

Developing Indigenous Reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean: IPS- Inter Press Service and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announce the winner of the 2008 journalism award.

The first prize of the journalism award “Economic development, fight against poverty and social exclusion in indigenous and poor rural communities of Latin America and the Caribbean” went to Cristiano Navarro (Brazil) for the article “Crushed in the wheels of the sugarcane industry”. The second prize was awarded to Elizabeth Perez (Colombia) for the article “From Extinction to Provisional Surrender. The Panacea of Persistance”. Cristiano Navarro and Elizabeth Perez will receive cash prizes of 1,500 and 1,000 USD respectively.

This is the third journalism award for excellence organized by IPS with the support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), following the 2005 microfinance and 2006 desertification editions.

IFAD’s extensive support to IPS aims at training journalists from developing countries to report on the challenges facing poor rural people in the developing world.

The international jury was made up of Joaquin Costanzo, Regional Director IPS America Latina, Antonella Cordone, Coordinator for Indigenous and Tribal Issues, IFAD, and Ernesto Lamas, Regional Coordinator for Latin America of AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters).

The jury selected the two best entries among a total of 98 articles from 12 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay y Venezuela).

Through the story of Jose dos Santos, a Guarani-Kaiowa 15 year-old boy, “Crushed in the wheels of the sugarcane industry” denounces the illegal exploitation of indigenous minors who, against their parents’ will and authority, are employed in sugarcane plantations in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The jury commended Cristiano Navarro for taking the reader into the heart of the challenges indigenous peoples face, but also into the complex contradictions that affect their communities.

“The article shows the challenges most indigenous peoples, particularly the Guarani-Kaiowa face, being slaves on their own lands, suffering child labour abuses, discrimination and inequality in resource management and distribution, and loss of identity. The message is powerful in conveying to the reader their plight,” said Antonella Cordone.

Elizabeth Perez, in her article “From Extinction to Provisional Surrender. The Panacea of Persistance.” tells us the history of the ancient fight of indigenous peoples to recover their ancestral land. The jury appreciated the article for being a valuable, empathic and credible testimony.

“The articles we received, in most cases, are from journalists who work in isolated areas, in small media, or in NGO media in rural and indigenous regions, and who often combine social activism with journalism” said Joaquin Costanzo. “By rewarding these two articles we encourage journalists to adhere to professional rigour while reporting on the plight of indigenous peoples.” he added.

First prize:

Title: “Crushed in the wheels of the sugarcane industry” (Portuguese)
Author: Cristiano Navarro
Media: Porantim, edited by the Conselho Indigenista Missionario (Cimi)

Second prize:

Title: “From Extinction to Provisional Surrender. The Panacea of Persistance” (Spanish)
Author: Elizabeth Perez
Media: Revista Cien Dias – edited by the Centro de Investigacion y Educaci

More about: Capacity building, Globalization and the South, Human rights and gender issues, Latin America

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