IFJ Prize Journalism for Tolerance 2002 : Latin America Jury Verdict

The undersigning members of the Jury of the IFJ Prize Journalism for Tolerance 2002, met in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on friday april 25, 2003, to the end of examining the works competing for the said prize, after having deliberated, have agreed the following decisions:

1. The Tolerance Prize, Mention Written Press, is awarded to the Report “Como conviver com as Diferencias”, presented by the journalists: ELIANE LOBATO, RITA RODRÍGUEZ DE MORALES and CAMILO VANNUCHI, published in the Revista ISTOE, in its edition dated october 23, 2002, as we consider that the work analizes the problem of intolerance in daily life, especially in the family area, because of political, gender or religious reasons, from where it widens to all other areas of the society. The report prized approaches an aspect which is traditionally neglected: the importance of family regarding the appropriate assimilation by children of unavoidable antagonism”. This works is an excellent example of how journalists can contribute to promote and consolidate the teaching of a fundamental value such as tolerance in children, preparing them for living in diversity.

The jury found extraordinary merits for deserving an Honorific Mention, and so, it is awarded to a series of reports published by journalist NELSON PADILLA, of Colombia, in “Revista Cromos”, between may and september 2002, on “El Caso Bojayá” (The Bojaya Case) which tells very detailly and with journalistic profoundness, the collective tragedy experienced by the inhabitants of Bojayá, Colombia, where more than one hundred people died because of a terrorist attempt, by irregulars, and the prowness headed by a young priest for achieving the return of the humble inhabitants to their village, overcoming the deep traumas originted by violence, product of political intolerance.

Likewise, the jury found worth to mention the work “Uma comunidade amenacada na Marambaia", of the Brazilian journalist ANTONIO WERNECK, published in O Globo in march 2002.

2. The FIP Prize to Tolerance, Mention Radio, is awarded to journalist MARIELA MARQUEZ QUINTERO, correspondent of Radio Caracol, in Manizales, Colombia, for her series: “La Tolerancia y la Reconciliación; La Tolerancia y El Perdón y La Tolerancia y la Alteridad” (Tolernace and Reconciliation; Tolerance and Forgiveness and Tolerance and Alterity) broadcasted through Radio Reloj Caracol, on august 6th, october 11th, november 8th and december 7th 2002. The jury found that this journalistic work, besides its high cretivity and excelent production, covers a wide spectrum of the positions held by the fundamental actors of the death and violence scenary shaking Colombia for more than four decades and focuses on the need for tolerance, forgiveness and reconcilitation among Colombians. Wth imparciality and balance of opinions, the autor produces great pedagogical impact on the objective of promoting tolerance and the need for forgiveness among the different sectors in conflict in this Latin American country.

The jury found worth mentioning the work “Prejuízos a Etnias no Rio Grande do Sul Contemporáneo”, of journalists LEONEL ROCHA and MARCIO PESSOA, of Brazil, since it motivates the pursuit of racial tolerance. Likewise, the work “Preconceito Racial: Negro é atendido em banco escoltado por policia” of MILENA SCHOELLER, Brazil, was selected as merited, as it was considerd that, with high impact as news, it efficaciously denounces racial discrimination.

3. It was decided to award the IFJ Prize Mention Television, to the report “Justicia sin Dialecto”, of journalist KARLA I. SANCHEZ S., of Televisa, Mexico, who documents, in an exhaustive manner, the unfair situation experienced by thousands of mexican indians, who remain detained or condemned, after being judged in a languange which thay do not understand and by an injustice that discriminated them ethnically. This journalistic work is by itself a clamour for justice and tolerance.

The jury found the works of GUILLERMO LOPEZ PORTILLO, “Pena de Muerte”, transmitted by channel 2 of Televisa, México, worthy of Honorific Mention, as it is a dramatic alert, from the murder of a North American young woman in Huntsville at the hands of a mexican inmigrant, on the risks of partialization of justice in the face of racial elements, and additionally, the repercution on the families when the capital pain is considered as the paradigm of application of justice or it is wrongly taken as moral compensation, when the truth is that it seems to be closer to the primary wish for revenge.

The jury consider worth mentioning, due to its social content and extraordinary journalistic impact, the report “A Juíza e os Analfabetos”, of journalist IDENILSON PERIN, of Rede Globo de Televisao, since its is considered to reflect the abuse of power, expressed through discrimination against vulnerable sectors. A young mother is deprived of her three year old doughter by her own cousin, who is the Vice President of the Regional Court of Work, Amazonas, Brazil. Following the journalistic denounciation, the Court ordered the return of the child to her biological parents. This report, which was attempted to be forbidden because of the authority of the offender, produces a reaction in favor of tolerance and justice.

Finally, the Jury considers necessary to remark the important number of participants from the entire Latin American Continent, and the journalistic quality of the great mayority of works introduced, which constituted, likewise, a formidable mosaic of the complex political, economical and social reality of the region. Although it made much more difficult our taks, in the same manner, it made us proud of the proffesionalism of our colleagues.

The Jury,
VICTOR GIL (Argentina)