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Mexican photojournalist awarded by Spanish foundation

Mexican photojournalist Bernardino Hernández has won the Miguel Gil Moreno Journalism Award for “his excellent professional career, his courage and his deep commitment to the truth,” the Spanish foundation said in a statement.

The jury noted that Bernardino Hernández shares “the same spirit” of the Spanish journalist Gil Moreno in the effort to document through his photographs “the daily trickle of deaths and violence in the port of Acapulco”.

Gil Moreno died in an ambush in Sierra Leone in 2000 when he was covering the war in Africa.

The deciding jury explained that Hernández’s work involves “a large dose of personal risk”, which has led him to have to “go into temporary exile” in Mexico City after suffering “aggressions and threats”.

A self-taught journalist, Hernández began working in local newspapers including Trópico, El Heraldo de Acapulco and Milenio, where he started as a photojournalist. From there he moved to El Sol de Acapulco and then collaborated with El Sur, the agency Cuartoscuro and the Associated Press.

The Miguel Gil Moreno Foundation also wanted to recognize the work of the fixers, the producers who facilitate reporting in places of conflict, and awarded a second prize for the work of Yaarub Akram.

The jury valued Akram’s experience in an environment as complicated as Iraq, of the US military invasion and, later, of the civil war. After being detained and tortured by Iraqi troops, he left Iraq and spent several years in Arab countries where he continued to work on a regular basis until he received refuge in Norway.

There he trained in journalism and worked for a local newspaper before returning to the Middle East accompanying journalists.

During this time, Yaarub Akram has been the eyes and ears of Spanish media in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, among other countries.

His interest in news and his devotion to the truth have made him a necessary collaborator of countless journalistic works in Spain, according to the jury.