The IAPA awards the 2020 Press Freedom Grand Prize to journalists and press workers killed by COVID-19

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"This is a very hard time for journalism because the pandemic has also claimed the lives of many members of our journalistic family," IAPA President Christopher Barnes.
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IAPA will also announce today the list of the 2020 IAPA Excellence in Journalism award winners in other 14 categories.

Miami (7 August 2020) .- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) awards the 2020 Press Freedom Grand Prize to more than 100 journalists and press workers in the Americas who, in the exercise of their profession, have lost their lives due to COVID-19 tin the last months.

IAPA President Christopher Barnes highlighted the organization's admiration and respect for the victims of COVID-19 and expressed his condolences to the families. "This is a very hard time for journalism because the pandemic has also claimed the lives of many members of our journalistic family. There are examples in all countries of dedication shown by media workers who have given even their own lives to remain steadfast in the mission of keeping the public informed."

"I am sure," added Barnes, "that their deaths were not in vain, and I am hopeful that the work of all these journalists and media personnel has helped other people to confront the pandemic with adequate prevention resulting in lower risk of impact."

Barnes, director of The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, Kingston, Jamaica, indicated, "This pandemic is far from over" and called on journalists and media workers and especially the media "to strengthen health and safety protocols to reduce the impact on the profession".

Barnes thanked all the press organizations on the continent and IAPA members that have collaborated to provide information on the victims and expressed that the organization will continue to collect information.

So far, these journalists and media personnel are reported to have died from the effects of COVID-19 during their professional work:

Bolivia: Jaime Arósqueta, Jacinto Quispe Maydana, Óscar Vargas Vargas, Rubén Darío Méndez, Édgar Chanato Arriaza, Roberto Soliz Arteaga, Vladimir Flores Ríos and Rosse Mary Cupary Mascaya.

Brazil: Luiz Marcello de Menezes Bittencourt, Roberto Fernandes, Robson Thiago Mesquita, José Augusto Nascimento Silva, Lauro Freitas Filho, Alexandre Rangel, Márcio Garçone, Marcos Dublê and Letícia Neworal Fave.

Colombia: Vladimir Largacha and Antonio Paco Lasso.

Ecuador: Omar Salvatierra, Augusto Itúrburu, Luis Alberto Flores, Omar Paredes, Ángel Sánchez, Manuel Adolfo Varas, Víctor Hugo Peña, Olmedo Méndez Tacuri, Paúl Tobar, Carlos Loor, Rosendo Escobar Cárdenas, Roberto Román, Guido Castro, Fernando Asencio Baquerizo, Julio Rodríguez, Carlos Pangol.

United States: Alison Schwartz, Brahm Kanchibotla, Anick Jesdanun, Mark Eckert, Maria Mercader, Larry Edgeworth, Anthony Causi, Tony Greer, Patrick Ellis.

El Salvador: Franklin Américo Rivera Martínez.

Honduras: Pablo Gerardo Matamoros, Francis Jaqueline Bojórquez, David Romero and José Edilberto Zelaya.

Mexico: Jorge Walterio Medina Palazuelo, Miguel Ángel García Tapia, Alejandro Cedillo, Martha Caballero Collí, Antonio Alvear Olea, Armando Sánchez Díaz, Moisés Márquez Villegas, Johnatan Gonzalo Arana Chan, Reyes Ramos Rodríguez, Carlos Ramírez Castro, Fabiola Bueno Cardiel, Ricardo Camacho, David Alvarado, José Luis Ceballos, Clemente González García, Jorge Tamez de la Cabada, José Manuel Velarde Vázquez, José Alonso Raymundo Roldán Méndez, Manuel Cano López, Manuel Villegas Suárez, Mario Mazón, Jaime Montejo, Roberto Gutiérrez Rojas, Rosendo Santos Merino, Sonia Salomé Copca Cano and Uriel Martínez López.

Nicaragua: José Francisco Ruiz, Gustavo Bermúdez, Lorenzo Larios, Sergio León Corea, Alexander Espinoza and Mario Torres Sandoval.

Peru: Manuel Sánchez Cobos, Mario Ley Bucana Huamaní, Raúl Llerena Vásquez, Sindefredo Moncada Chuquipiondo, Mario Mozombite Paricuarina, Alfredo Jaime Magallanes Gutiérrez, Víctor Hemeryth Del Aguila, Hugo Fernando Wong García, Elar Martín Silupú Peña, José Humberto Burga Gamarra, Juan Carlos Norabuena Obregón, Marco Augusto Pacherrez Guaylupo, Oscar Mendoza Cruz, José Alberto Arica Núñez, Jorge Martín Díaz Guevara, Abraham Rolfo Bytton García, Pedro Farfán Flores, Orlando Quispe Villanueva, Hugo Condori Chambilla, Edward Dagoberto Chávez Viera, Edson Gerardo Rojas Damián, Palmer de la Cruz Aburto and Guillermo Ibarra Méndez.

Dominican Republic: Pedro Fernández, René Rodríguez Soriano, Ramón Lora, José Luis Cruz Aquino and Príamo Rodríguez.

The full list of victims and their photos here.

2020 IAPA Excellence in Journalism

In a separate communication, the IAPA will also announce today the list of communication professionals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, the United States, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, awarded prizes for journalistic excellence in the annual contest that rewards the best works from the hemispheric press.

The IAPA is a non-profit entity dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, United States.

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