La Paz, Jan 10 (EFE).- Renowned EFE photojournalist, Martin Alipaz, 57, died Monday in La Paz, and after his death expressions of admiration and respect for his personal and professional legacy have been pouring in.
Alipaz, born in 1965 in La Paz, was one of the first photographers with the graphic services of EFE, Spain’s international news agency, in Latin America, where his work stood out both for his discerning eye and his ability to capture the reality of his beloved Bolivia and many noteworthy events throughout the region.
He covered every corner of his homeland, photographing its rich cultural offerings and idiosyncrasies such as “cholitas escaladoras,” a group of Aymara women whom he accompanied to the summit of a snow-covered mountain to “play” soccer.
During his professional career spanning more than 28 years nothing escaped his lens, with significant events, conflicts and sports being his specialty. Neither tear gas nor dynamite hindered him in carrying out his work, taking his countless photos and forging ahead with his extensive coverage.
Wars like Bolivia’s “gas conflict” in 2003, when he was injured, and his final assignment last September on the “cocalero” (coca growers) conflict are just a sample of his work, which appeared on the front pages of numerous international media outlets.
Alipaz won the affection and respect of many public figures, including former Bolivian President Evo Morales, whom he covered starting before he took office for the first time in 2006, and on Tuesday Morales posted a personal message on Twitter lamenting the photojournalist’s passing.
“We regret the departure of well-known and admired photojournalist Martin Alipaz, a worthy professional who left behind a legacy of ethics, humility and commitment for new generations in journalism. Our condolences and solidarity with his family, colleagues and workmates,” wrote Morales on his Twitter account along with posting a photo.
In addition, Bolivian media outlets, photographers and journalists have been paying tribute to Alipaz with their commentary, images and videos, calling him a “legend” whom they remember as a courageous, loyal and sensitive person.
Alipaz is survived by his wife Eva and his five children: Kenny, Kelly, Bryan, Nayra and Samanta.