Mexican photographer, Argentine reporter receive prestigious Latin America journalism award

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mexico photographer, Argentina reporter win awards

MONTERREY, Mexico — A Mexican photographer who documented his country’s drug war and an Argentine reporter who wrote about identifying the victims of Argentina’s military dictatorship were awarded one of Latin America’s most prestigious journalism awards Tuesday.

Mexican photographer Alejandro Cossio won for a series of photographs that include shots of the body of a cartel victim hung from a bridge, a hitman’s pistol with scorpions engraved on the handle and soldiers and police at scenes of drug violence.

Cossio shot the photographs in the Mexico border city of Tijuana, where he works for the weekly magazine Zeta.

Argentine journalist Leila Guerriero’s winning article tells of the attempts by U.S. forensics specialist Clyde Snow and a small team of volunteers to identify the remains of victims of Argentina’s military dictatorship. In 1976-83, the dictatorship executed thousands of people and dumped the bodies without identification in cemeteries and hidden graves.

Guerriero’s story, published in the Mexican magazine Gatopardo and titled “The Trail in the Bones,” describes how Snow formed his team after a chance encounter with an English-speaking medical student during a lecture in La Plata in 1984.

The volunteers gathered by Snow and his assistant, Morris Tidball Binz, have since become world-renowned forensics experts who have identified remains in Bosnia, Kosovo and Haiti.

Guerreiro, 43, and Cossio, 36, received the New Journalism CEMEX-FNPI Award in the northern Mexico city of Monterrey.

The foundation behind the awards was created by author Gabriel Garcia Marquez and is based in Cartagena, Colombia. The awards are sponsored by Monterrey-based Cementos Mexicanos, or Cemex, Latin America’s largest cement producer.

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