Chilean named photographer of the year

Chilean photojournalists find success at Picture of the Year Latin American Contest, winning multiple awards including the Ibero-American photographer of the year.

The photojournalism contest Pictures of the Year Latam 2013 (POY LatAm) has released its list of winners, and several Chileans took top awards and honorable mentions. Acclaimed Chilean photographer Tomás Munita, whose name appeared among the winners of multiple categories, took home one of the most distinguished awards – photographer of the year for Ibero-America.

The contest is open to photographers from Latin America, Portugal, and Spain. In its third year, contest organizers aim to shed light on the talented photographers working in this lesser-recognized region.

Munita, who was born in Santiago and got his start studying photography in the Chilean capital, was recognized for his work from around the world. His images have captured the faces of El Salvador´s ruthless gangs, the chaos of Syria, the tale of daily life in Cuba and more.

In addition to being named photographer of the year, Munita also won first place in the News in a Series category, second place in the Life with Drugs in Ibero-America category, and honorable mentions in the Daily Life in a series and Daily Life individual categories.

The POY Latam is not the first to recognize the Chilean photographer this year. He was named the 2013 Recipient of the Chris Hondros Fund Award, a prize given in honor of the famed photojournalist who was killed by a mortar round while documenting the unfolding violence in Libya in 2011.

Munita’s images capturing the brutal gang violence in El Salvador have also won him praise from the World Press Photo judges, who gave the Chilean third place in their Daily Life category this year. He has previously been recognized by National Geographic, the China International Press Photo Competition (CHIPP), and the International Center for Photography.

Munita was joined by fellow Chilean photojournalists, Orlando Barría, Alejandro Olivares, Juan Gonzalez,  and Ramón Ángel Acevedo Arce on the POY LatAm awards list this year. Barría won first place in the Portraits in a Series category for his haunting images of survivors of acid attacks.The women courageously stand before the lens of Barría’s camera displaying the evidence of their trying ordeals.

Olivares placed just behind Munita in the Life with Drugs in Ibero-America category, taking third place. His depict young people struggling with drugs and the culture they create.

Juan Gonzalez and Acevedo Arce each received honorable mentions in the sports and  multimedia categories respectively.