Inside AFP

AFP photographer Hector Retamal wins twice at 2021 FOTOPRENSA

Hector Retamal won first prize in the international category at the 2021 FOTOPRENSA competition for his coverage in 2019 of the political crisis in Haiti and in 2020 for the start of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan.


Born in Peñaflor, Chile, on September 15, 1975, Hector Retamal started working with AFP in 2010, in Chile in the coverage of the 33 trapped miners inside of a copper mine. From there, he went to Haiti for AFP as a freelance between 2010 and 2011. In mid-2011, he went back to Chile where he continued working for AFP covering student protests. He has been a staff photographer for AFP since 2012 first in Nicaragua, and then in 2013 in Costa Rica, before heading to Haiti for 5 years where he covered the cholera epidemic. He has been based in Shanghai since 2019 and is currently in assignment in Afghanistan.



For his coverage of the Wuhan crisis, where Covid-19 was first detected, he has received multiple awards, including The Guardian Agency Photographer of the Year 2020, the “Excellence in Photography” category at the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) 2021 Awards, and first place in the “Spot News” category at POYi 2020.

“I am very happy to receive these awards. Especially because they take place at the “Salon Nacional de Fotoperiodismo” in Chile, my home country. That adds something extra for me, making it a very special award. I have seen the other award-winning reportages and they are very good. Many of them are young photographers who have done very good coverage, of high quality and that makes me very proud. Chile has a great photojournalism school, and I see it whenever I see the work of my colleagues from Chile on social media”.  

FotoPrensa is Chile's oldest photojournalism competition and one of the most prestigious in Latin America.