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VOA Takes Home Three First Place Gabriel Awards

Voice of America’s Spanish language service won the top award in three separate categories at the 2024 Gabriel Awards ceremony on June 20 in Atlanta.

The End of Title 42 clinched first place in the Special Event Coverage category. Invoked in March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Title 42 granted U.S. authorities emergency powers to prevent the spread of diseases, including by removing migrants crossing the border from Mexico. The policy was terminated in 2023 upon the ending of the coronavirus pandemic public health emergency. Through multimedia reports exploring the perspectives of authorities and migrants across Latin America, VOA Spanish journalists including reporters Jorge Agobian, Celia Mendoza and Salomé Ramírez and an array of multimedia producers and web designers illustrated the difficult choices authorities faced in balancing humanitarian needs with legal and security requirements.

Nicaragua: Relatos en el Destierro took first place in the Documentary Series category. From journalists Carolina Valladares and Nelson Vignolles and translated into English by Verónica Villafañe, the series, known as "Nicaragua: Voices in Exile" in English, offers three testimonials of former Nicaraguan political prisoners who are part of the group of 222 prisoners released by the government of Daniel Ortega and deported to the United States in February 2023.

Produced by Los Angeles-based journalist Verónica Villafañe in 2023, the television feature Artista Roberto Gutiérrez rinde tributo a los trabajadores latinos en EEUU won first place in the Single News Story category. The piece captures the essence and social commentary behind Gutiérrez’s vivid artwork honoring Latino labor, culture and urban expressionist depictions of the landscapes of the artist’s native Los Angeles.

“These wins for the VOA Spanish service in three very different categories speak to the diversity and wide-ranging talent of our journalists and technical teams,” said Latin America Division Director Sandra Thomas-Esquivel. “All of the award-winning programs are testament to the commitment of our journalists to deliver quality and insightful content to our Spanish-language audience members across the entire Latin America region.”

The VOA Indonesian language service received a nod as a runner-up in the Documentary Short category for Confronting Suicide in the Cowboy State - Destigmatizing Seeking Help, which looked at Wyoming, a state where the suicide rate is double the national average and men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women.

The Gabriel Awards are presented annually by the Chicago-based Catholic Media Association. Initiated in 1965, these awards honor excellence in film, broadcast and cross-platform media productions released in the United States and Canada.