AFP wins the Normandy region secondary school students prize, in the television category

This saturday at the 26th edition of the Bayeux Calvados-Normandy Award for War Correspondents, The Normandy region secondary school students prize, in the television category, goes to six journalists of AFP in Caracas for Venezuela: Crisis at the border.

Octobre 10, 2019 – Bayeux, France – Yorman Maldonado during his visit to the AFP exhibition Venezuela: Collapse without end. ​


Among the 10 topics of 3 to 8 minutes presented, more than 2500 secondary school students rewarded a AFP video retracing four months of crisis in Venezuela between February and May 2019.



In this country, borders are the last battlefield of the crisis. Venezuelans are demonstrating in search of food and medicine at the Colombian border. They are received by tear gas and intimidation from armed supporters of President Nicolas Maduro. As for the president, he faces a new competitor for power. Opposition leader Juan Guaido has proclaimed himself interim president and is supported by more than 50 countries, including the United States. He promised the arrival of 800 tonnes of international humanitarian aid in February. The Maduro government, supported by China and Russia, insists that this is a cover for a US-led invasion.

"This new prize is yet another tribute to the fine and courageous work of our whole team in Caracas. AFP has made it a priority to better connect with younger audiences and it means a great deal to us to have this vote of confidence from these college students" says Phil Chetwynd, AFP Global News Director.


Yorman Maldonado declares: "Over the years, our team has gone from covering political and economic upheavals to witnessing the misery of Venezuelans. The crisis is so acute that those who remain must choose: protest or survive." 


Jesus Olarte 

Jesus Olarte began his professional career as a freelancer for Reuters in 2003 before graduating as a journalist in 2005. He then worked for Associated Press and VC-Medios which in turn produced content for the History Channel. Other companies he worked for include Univision, BBC, Financial Times. Since 2017, he has been AFPTV's unshakeable coordinator in the Caracas office. He has received several awards including the Simon Bolivar Order, which values freedom of expression, as well as the international award Fondation Varenne.


Yorman Maldonado 

Having started out in local newspaper El Nacional, helping to develop different projects in marketing and public relations, Yorman's first steps with the international press began in 2012 alongside Univision and then as a freelancer for different outlets and agencies including the BBC, Financial Times, Caracol Television and EFE before taking on a permanent position with AFP. Yorman's love for breaking news has developed over the years and his commitment to solid reporting has only been reinforced since international attention has put Venezuela in the centre of its gaze.


Leo Ramirez

Born in Venezuela in 1987, Leo Ramirez is AFP’s video coordinator in China. He studied sociology and started working as a photojournalist for local newspapers during his last year of university in 2008. After freelancing for the BBC, AP and Al Jazeera, he joined AFP in Caracas in 2010. Leo covered the tumultuous presidency of Hugo Chavez and the protests, economic collapse and social turmoil that followed his death. Leo is driven by a passion to tell stories that matter and a desire to give a voice to the voiceless..


Carlos Reyes 

Carlos Reyes worked 14 years as a freelancer with regional media including HispanTV before becoming a permanent member of staff for Telesur and then embarking in a journey for AFP as of 2015. Political tension, social unrest and international diplomacy are amongst the topics which he most enjoys covering. Currently based in Buenos Aires, the repercussions of the financial woes the south-American country is facing form part of the main challenges of his day to day.


Natasha Vazquez

Currently working as a freelance journalist in Caracas, Venezuela, Natasha Vazquez graduated in journalism, specializing in audio-visual production. Alongside cinematographic work, a passion for breaking news started in 2017 with the protests that erupted in the capital. After working for national televisions, in 2019 Natasha began to work regularly for Univision and AFP. Community and health matters are of particular interest to her, both of which have been majorly affected by the social breakdown Venezuela has suffered.


Edinson Estupinan

Born in the heart of Catatumbo Tibú in Colombia, Edinson Alberto Estupiñan Agudelo studied journalism in the border city of Cucuta and graduated in 2004. After working for local TV channels such as TuKanal, ATN television, Spectrum comunicaciones and City TV, he started working with AFP in 2018. Edinson has enjoyed showing the world the crisis from the emblematic border city, which has seen itself caught up in the Venezuelan crisis. In particular he has enjoyed capturing stories of migrants crossing into Colombia and military behaviour.