MIAMI, Florida (August 3, 2005).- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) announced today the winners of the IAPA Grand Prize for Press Freedom to the daily La Nacion of Costa Rica along with its reporters Giannina Segnini and Ernesto Rivera for El Proyecto Finlandia (The Finland Project), for their investigative work on governmental corruption that unraveled one of the greatest political crisis ever in the country. The award will be given in October forthcoming.
The daily La Nacion and its two journalists, Giannina Segnini and Ernesto Rivera, were chosen by the IAPA Awards Committee for the 2005 Grand Prize for Press Freedom for the Finland Project, which revealed corruption during public biddings that resulted in the incarceration of two former presidents of the country Rafael Angel Calderón and Miguel Angel Rodríguez, the latter had to resign his appointment as Secretary General of the Organization of American States. A judicial investigation into corruption charges was prompted against a third former president, José Maria Figueres as a result of the same journalistic investigation.
It was not only exceptional journalism but it also changed the political reality of Costa Rica which undoubtedly confirms the importance of a free and independent press and exemplifies the IAPA Grand Prize of Press Freedom, stated William Casey, Chairman of the Awards Committee, Dow Jones & Co., New York.
The IAPA Awards Committee also selected winners of the awards of journalistic excellence in 10 categories. The awards, to be presented during the IAPAs 61st General Assembly in Indianapolis, October 7-11, consist of a cash prize of $2,000 and a plaque or diploma.
The quality of the entries this year were without paralel, stated Casey. The level of coverage was extremely high and we are excited about the winning pieces for their professionalism and impact in their respective communities.
Following are the awards categories and the names of the winners:
The IAPA Grand Prize for Press Freedom to La Nacion of Costa Rica and its reporters, Giannina Segnini and Ernesto Rivera
1. Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Inter-American Relations Award- Pedro Joaquín Chamorro sponsored by La Prensa, Managua, Nicaragua
To José de Córdoba, The Wall Street Journal, New York, for his article Class Struggle on the anti-American and anti-free market sentiments brewing in some Latin American countries spearheaded by indigenous groups that have claimed a political clout.
2. Human Rights and Service to the Community Award sponsored by Panamá-América, Panama; El Comercio, Lima, Peru; Organización Publicitaria, S.A., San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and La Nación, Buenos Aires, Argentina
To Eliane Brum, Época, Brazil for O Povo de Meio a story about an isolated settlement in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon where majorityof the people are undocumented and most dont even know who the president of the country is -- and their struggle to survive the arrival of unscrupulous land dealers.
Honorable Mention to Leonarda Del Carmen Andino and Mario Roberto Cerna, El Heraldo, Honduras, for series of investigative reports exposing corruption at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), resulting in official action.
3. Newspaper in Education Award sponsored by Diario Hoy, Quito, Ecuador, and Novedades de Quintana Roo, Mexico
To Lorena Curia Ravier and Claudia Enríquez, Novedades Quintana Roo, Mexico, for Novedades en la Educación, a weekly publication for children designed to develop a reading habit among students through a structured scholastic guide on a variety of topics.
Honorable Mention to La Prensa, Panama, for its creation of the Atlas Práctico de Panamá (Practical Atlas of Panama), to be published weekly, which includes complete maps of all the provinces as well as geographical and cultural information for students.
4. Opinion Award sponsored by El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile
To Elides José Rojas López, El Universal, Venezuela, for his weekly satirical column Hoy Miércoles (Today, Wednesday) holding the government to account for the countrys general situation and current political crisis.
5. News Coverage Award sponsored by El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela, and O Estado de S. Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
To Marcelo Monclaro Fleury, Zero Hora, Brazil, for Haiti, um povo resignado com seu destino (Haiti, a Country Resigned to Its Fate), in which Fleury views in a lively and graphic perspective how embattled and impoverished the country is as he visits Haiti with a United Nations stabilization mission.
6. In-Depth Reporting Award sponsored by The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida
To the team of reporters from O Globo, Brazil, for Os Homens de Bens da Alerj a series of articles about the undisclosed personal fortune of Rio de Janeiros legislators and its suspicious origins.
7. Features Award sponsored by El Comercio, Quito, Ecuador, and McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento, California
To Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times, California, for his front-page series of stories gracefully written that took him from his home base in Argentina to Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay, regarding the fragile nature of South American democracies and some of the authoritarian figures lurking in the shadows.
Honorable mention to Tyler Bridges, Frances Robles and Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald, Florida, for Land Reform, a series that focused on the power and problems of land ownership in Peru, Venezuela and Mexico.
8. Photography Award sponsored by El País, Montevideo, Uruguay, and ABC Color, Asunción, Paraguay
To Michael Laughlin, Sun-Sentinel, Florida, for Tragedy in Haiti, raw and incredibly telling pictures of the plight of thousands to obtain food, their struggle that followed the flooding from Hurricane Jeanne, the thousands of deaths that it caused, and the hunger and desperation that followed.
Honorable mention to Juan Ponce Valenzuela, El Comercio, Peru, for Cara y Sello, a picture showing the contrast between poverty and wealth in portraying a beggar outside a store window containing a mannequin in a luxurious wedding dress.
9. Cartoon Award sponsored by El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia
To Rayma Suprani, El Universal, Venezuela, for his cartoons, under the pen name RAYMA, that poke fun in a humorous and ironic way at daily life and politics.
10. Infographics Award sponsored by Clarín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
To Juan Esteban Ugarriza Uribe and Ricardo León Ramírez Pérez, El Colombiano, Colombia, for Historia de un Sueño Europeo (Story of a European Dream), which depicts in a historical comparison the various campaigns to unite European politically since the 4th century B.C. and the future of the current European Union.
The Awards Comittee is comrpised by: Honorary Chairman, Robert J. Cox, The Post and Courier, Charleston, South Carolina; Chairman, William E. Casey, Dow Jones & Co., New York, New York; Vice Chairs, Gerardo García Gamboa, Novedades de Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico; Juan Luis Sommers, Revista COSAS, Santigo, Chile; M embers: Cristina Aby-Azar, The Wall Street Journal, New York, NY; Ulilo Acevedo Silva, Hoy Diario del Magdalena, Santa Marta, Colombia; Bruce Brugmann, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco, California; Andrés Cavelier, El Nuevo Herald, Miami, Florida; María Ofelia Cerro Moral, La Industria de Trujillo y Chiclayo, Lima, Peru; Francisco N. Fascetto, El Día, La Plata, Argentina; Garfield Grandison, The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica; Hugo Hollmann, La Prensa, Managua, Nicaragua; André Jungblut, Gazeta do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil; Silvia Miró Quesada, El Comercio, Lima, Perú; Francisco Montes, Diario de Cuyo, San Juan, Argentina; Jorge Andrés Saieh, La Tercera, Santiago, Chile; Carlos Salinas, El Diario de Coahuila, Saltillo, Mexico; Keith K. Spore, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.