“Transnationals of Faith” investigation wins Ortega and Gasset Award

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Translator: Arianna Hernández

The Voice of Guanacaste, Semanario Universidad and 14 other Latin American media were recognized for “Transnationals of Faith,” which won Best Story or Journalistic Investigation in the Ortega and Gasset Awards from the Spanish newspaper El País.

The Latin American Center for Journalistic Investigation (CLIP) coordinated the cross-border collaborative journalistic work. CLIP is a non-profit organization co-founded by the former director of The Voice of Guanacaste, Emiliana Garcia, along with Costa Rican journalist Giannina Segnini and renowned reporters Maria Teresa Ronderos and Marina Walker.

The investigative reporting demonstrated how religious fundamentalism seeps into Latin American political agendas. The panel of judges remarked that the work demonstrated an “important effort made to address a grave and serious matter that affects the lack of protection of thousands of people belonging to vulnerable communities who see their rights violated because of their beliefs or sexual identities.”

The article published by The Voice of Guanacaste showed how evangelical influence figured into political campaigns during the 2020 municipal elections, especially in the poorest cantons of the province.

After it was published, an evangelical candidate from the canton of Santa Cruz withdrew his candidacy, citing health problems.

Gabriela Brenes, director of The Voice, indicated that the award reaffirms the importance of ethical, daring and collaborative investigative journalism.

Latin America is a vibrant and complex region, and in a world where physical, digital meaning boundaries are increasingly more fluid, we can only scrutinize the underlying problems in our region through work like this, joining forces and making the best of our writing departments available,” commented Brenes.

The Voice’s Recognitions

The Voice of Guanacaste’s journalistic work has been recognized by various awards.

In early November, The Voice of Guanacaste, Interferencia and Confidencial won the 2020 Jorge Vargas Gené / Oscar Cordero National Award for “The Drawn Border,” a binational cross-border investigative series. 

Currently, “Migrants from Another World,” the collaborative investigation also coordinated by CLIP, which The Voice of Guanacaste participated in along with 18 other media from around the world, is a finalist for the Fetisov Journalism Awards in the “Contribution to Civil Rights” category.

In 2019, we were given the Angela Acuña Braun National Prize for Gender Equality and Fairness for 2018-2020 from the National Institute of Women (INAMU).

In August 2019, the Inter-American Press Association chose the article “Largest Papagayo Investors Dealt and Stashed Money in Tax Havens” as the only investigation finalist from Costa Rica.

Also in 2019, we received an honorable mention from the Alberto Marten Chavarria Prize for the solutions journalism report “Birth Control to Fight Poverty in Guanacaste.”

That same year, The Voice of Guanacaste received an honorable mention in the 2018 Pio Víquez National Journalism Prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJ).

In August 2017, the Schmidheiny VIVA Awards gave us second place in the Social Innovation category. These awards are given to social entrepreneurs who perform an activity with demonstrable impact in the region.

In November 2017, the Costa Rican-North American Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica (AmCham) gave us an honorable mention for the best journalistic work in the area of ​​Corporate Social Responsibility for “Guanacaste’s Forgotten Trash,” done in conjunction with the journalistic program Punto y Aparte.

In February 2017, the investigative report “Can President Solis Save Guanacaste from Drought?” won the Latin America Etecom award, which is awarded to students in the region by Telefónica telecommunications company.

In 2016, AmCham gave an award to an investigation by The Voice of Guanacaste and The Tico Times that showed how a large part of the water concessions in the Tempisque River do not have environmental impact studies.

In 2016, Colper also recognized The Voice of Guanacaste’s “valuable contribution to society by presenting information in a different way with impact and originality.”