The Gabo Foundation was founded by the late author and journalist Gabriel Garcia Marquez and it recognizes extraordinary journalism in Portugal, Spain, and South America. At the 2021 Gabo Awards, 40 nominees and 10 projects will be celebrated at a virtual ceremony on November 18, 2021, during the ninth edition of the Gabo Festival. The awards are given in four categories: text, coverage, image, and innovation.
Multiple Pulitzer Center grantees were shortlisted for the ninth annual Gabo Awards in the categories of coverage and innovation. In innovation, grantee Helena Carpio was nominated for her multimedia investigative project on fires in protected areas of Venezuela, alongside Lucas Marchesini, who was recognized for his Metrópoles story “Where Does Recyclable Waste Go?”, which used data, videos, and maps to show the journey of recycled objects in Brasilia, Brazil.
In the category of coverage, Pulitzer Center’s Environment Investigations Editor Gustavo Faleiros, Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund grantee Bram Ebus, Amazon and International RJF grantee Tom Laffay, Amazon RJF grantees Sam Cowie and Marcos David Valverde, and Pulitzer Center grantees Gaulbert Sutherland, Stefano Wrobleski, Wilfred Leeuwin, María Antonieta Segovia, and Jaap van ‘t Kruis were nominated for their multimedia project, Mercury Alert.
In 2020, Venezuela had the fifth-highest number of wildfires in Latin America; Carpio examined intersections of climate change, government failures, politicized environmental groups, and other potential contributing factors. Looking historically at wildfires in the country over the past 20 years, Carpio used GIS software, satellite imagery, and other investigative methods to create the first-ever data set on wildfires in Venezuela.
Carpio's reporting culminated in extensive outreach to communities most affected by the wildfires, including flip boards and information sheets. Working with BusTV in Venezuela, they could bring this information to communities with low connectivity and less access to traditional channels of communication. Carpio also appeared on multiple radio programs to speak about her reporting.
Mercury Alert explores the environmental impact of a multi-billion-dollar underground industry of trading, transporting, and mining mercury in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil. Despite efforts to halt mercury mining, many economies and miners' livelihoods still depend on it. To watch the documentary showing mercury's complicated cross-border journey, click here. To explore the project in its entirety, click here (available in three languages: Spanish, English, and Portuguese).
To see the full list of nominees, please visit this website.