IAPA awards Grand Prize for Freedom of the Press 2004 to murdered Mexican journalist
Journalists, photographers, cartoonists and newspapers from Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico and the United States win awards for excellence in the profession. The awards ceremony will take place during the IAPA 60th General Assembly in October in Antigua, Guatemala.
MIAMI (August 25, 2004). - As a posthumous recognition, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) awarded its Grand Prize for Freedom of the Press to Francisco J. Ortiz Franco, co-director and journalist of the weekly Zeta in Tijuana, Mexico, who was murdered on June 22, 2004.
Ortiz Franco, shot dead by assailants in front of his two sons, ages 8 and 10, was known for his editorials on a variety of topics on politics, civic issues and government. The other co-directors of the weekly Zeta, known for their investigations and reports against corruption and drug trafficking, were also victims of violence. Héctor Félix Miranda was murdered in 1988 and Jesus Blancornelas was shot several times in 1997, but survived.
The IAPA Awards Committee Chairman, William E. Casey, Dow Jones & Co., New York, stated, Though this award will never compensate the deplorable loss of the life of this courageous journalist, it will help draw international attention to the investigation of this heinous crime.
We were deeply saddened in June when we had heard that Francisco Ortiz Franco met the same terrible fate as Héctor Félix Miranda, whose case files Ortiz Franco had been reviewing in collaboration with the IAPA. His death cannot stand for impunity and the IAPA will continue its efforts to push for a prompt investigation to solve this crime, added Jack Fuller, IAPA President, Tribune Publishing Company, Chicago.
Following the recommendation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Government of Mexico and the IAPA agreed last March to review Félix Mirandas case file and that of Víctor Manuel Oropeza, murdered in 1991 in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. As a journalist, editor, and attorney, Ortiz Franco represented the IAPA in the working group that began the view of Félix Mirandas files and his report will serve to give continuity to this hemispheric organizations work in this matter.
Upon IAPAs request, the government of President Vicente Fox of Mexico announced on August 18 that Ortiz Francos case will fall under federal jurisdiction.
Awards in Excellence: Categories and Winners
The Awards Committee stressed the high quality of the 400 journalistic entries that participated in the contest in 2004 and emphasized the dedication and commitment of the hemispheres press in informing its readers.
The winners will receive their awards during the General Assembly scheduled in Antigua, Guatemala in October. The awards consist of $2,000 for each category and a plaque or diploma.
The categories and winners are as follows:
IAPA Grand Prize for Freedom of the Press (posthumous) to Francisco J. Ortiz Franco, co-editor of the weekly Zeta, Tijuana, Mexico, murdered on June 22, 2004.
1. Inter-American Relations Pedro Joaquín Chamorro sponsored by La Prensa, Managua, Nicaragua to Susan Ferris from Cox News Service for Broken Promises: How Economic Reforms Have Failed Mexico.
For her series that explored the human ordeal and hard facts behind Mexicos economic and trade policy decisions over the past decades and its causes and effects on migration.
2. Human Rights and Community Service sponsored by Panamá-América, Panama; El Comercio, Lima, Peru; Organización Publicitaria, S.A., San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and La Nación, Buenos Aires, Argentina to Gary Marx from the Chicago Tribune.
For his series of stories on the early 2003 Cuban crackdown on the independent journalists, laborers and other dissidents and the effects and aftermath of their prosecution.
3. Newspaper in Education sponsored by Diario Hoy, Quito, Ecuador, and Novedades de Quintana Roo, Mexico to Periódico Provincia de Morelia in Michoacan, Mexico.
For its childrens section titled Little People publishing educational and entertainment materials and its outstanding writing staff dedicated to fostering an understanding of current events and topics with simplicity and special interest for children.
4. Editorial Writing sponsored by El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile to Timothy OLeary from the Dallas Morning News.
For his collection of critical and current political editorials on what is taking place in the neighboring Latin American and Caribbean countries and for his insightful points of view.
5. News Coverage sponsored by El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela, and O Estado de S. Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil to Márcia Brasil from O Dia, Brazil.
For her series of articles that contain accuracy, narrative and thorough coverage of the tragic events provoked by organized crime in Rio de Janeiro and the human plight involved.
6. In-Depth Reporting Award sponsored by The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida to Ruben Ruiz, Blanca Laurián and José Guerra, from El Imparcial de Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, for Licencias a Toda Velocidad
For their revealing investigation into the department of motor vehicles and the process for the issuance of licenses in Sonora.
7. Feature Writing sponsored by El Comercio, Quito, Ecuador, and McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento, California to Enrique Patiño Orozco from El Tiempo of Bogotá, for La Pesadilla Americana.
For his story of the American dream of an immigrant and her daughter attempting to travel to the United States from Venezuela.
Honorable Mention to Miriam Jordan from The Wall Street Journal, New York, for her various articles on life in Brazil.
8. Photography sponsored by El País, Montevideo, Uruguay and ABC Color, Asuncion, Paraguay, to Mike Stocker, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
For his special section that reflects his intimate look at life in remote Haitian coal mining towns and sweeping aerial views of damage to the environment.
9. Cartoons. sponsored by El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia to Ricardo Clement from La Prensa Grafica of San Salvador, El Salvador.
For his splendid cartoons on various political subjects.
10. Infographics sponsored by Clarín, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Awards Committee: Honorary Chairman, Robert J. Cox, The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, Chairman, William E. Casey, Dow Jones & Co., New York, New York, Vice Chairman, Gerardo García Gamboa, Novedades de Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico; Cristina Aby-Azar, The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY; Carlos Besanson, Diario del Viajero, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cristian Bofill, La Tercera, Santiago, Chile; Andrés Cavelier, El Nuevo Herald, Miami, Florida; María Ofelia Cerro Moral, La Industria de Trujillo y Chiclayo, Lima, Peru; Demócrito Dummar, O Povo, Ceará, Brazil; Francisco N. Fascetto, El Día, La Plata, Argentina; Armando González Rodicio, La Nación, San José, Costa Rica; André Jungblut, Gazeta do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil; Francisco Montes, Diario de Cuyo, San Juan, Argentina; Fernando M. Portella, Editora O Día, Río de Janeiro, Brazil; Christopher S. Roberts, The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica; Carlos Salinas, El Diario de Coahuila, Coahuila, Mexico; Juan Luis Sommers, Revista COSAS, Santiago, Chile; and Eduardo Urueña, Diario El Popular, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.