Human Interest

EFE photographer wins Panama journalism award

Panama City, May 20 (EFE).- EFE news agency photographer Bienvenido Velasco was on Thursday recognized at Panama’s National Journalism Awards 2021 for an image he took of two migrants of thousands that transit the country on their way to North America.

“The Path of Immigration in Darien” won the Best Journalistic Photography category in the Forum of Journalists’ virtual award ceremony broadcast by the state network SerTV.

The photograph was taken in La Peñita, a small Panamanian town near the border with Colombia, in May 2019 when a new wave of migrants arrived in Panama after crossing the dangerous Darien jungle, the natural border between the two countries.

The piercing image shows a woman from behind as she carries her son, who looks up as he sucks on her mother’s earring.

Recalling the moment he took the photo, Velasco, who has worked at EFE since 2018, said that what most impacted him about the migrants in Darien was the tranquility of the children.

“Seeing this woman walking towards a shelter with her son while he plays with the earring – the child’s gaze was the most shocking, since there the basic needs, at that time, were precarious, and keeping children under that system of shelters is very hard,” said the photographer.

Velasco also won at the National Journalism Awards in 2013, and in 2019 he won an award from the Minister of Labor and Workforce Development for an image of a protest against increased imports in the country. EFE


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