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Finalist 2012

Javier Arcenillas

Red Note


Honduras is said to be one of the world’s most dangerous countries. Every day, on the streets of cities like San Pedro Sula or the capital, Tegucigalpa, there are murders, hold-ups, and violence.

The ineffective domestic policy of such an unstable country has led to unrestrained drug trafficking to the United States and a lack of security in neighborhoods where the maras are present, making for a situation tantamount to war. The country, with a murder rate of 91.6 victims for every 100,000 inhabitants (according to an Organization of American States – OAS) report on citizen security in the Americas), is a place under constant threat.

The Organization of American States report highlights that in Honduras, a violent death takes place every 74 minutes and, without there being any war, Honduras was the most violent nation in the world in 2011 with a total of 7,104 murders documented by the police.

These violence rates have increased thanks to the 2009 coup d’état making Roberto Micheletti the country’s leader. They have left the country in full political disarray, with no strong government to control the tense situation generated by a veritable gold fever for cocaine. The number of direct flights between Venezuela and Colombia and the landing strips in Honduras has burgeoned, and a violent struggle is being waged for this drug corridor.

This situation has triggered the exodus of several NGOs in Honduras, who are leaving the area on alert due to the escalation of deaths and murders.


Humanist. Freelance photographer, member of Gea Photowords. He develops humanitarian essays where the main characters are integrated in societies that borders and sets upon any reason or (human) right in a world that becomes increasingly more and more indifferent.

He is a psychologist at the Complutense University of Madrid. He has won several international prizes, including The Arts Press Award, Kodak Young Photographer, European Social Fund Grant, Euro Press of Fujifilm, INJUVE, Foto Press Third Prize, Luis Valtueña of Médicos del Mundo, Journalism Doñana´s prize, Luis Ksado, Make History, UNICEF, World Photography of the Year, Fotoevidence, Finalist of the Leica Prize 2009 and Antropography 2010.

In recent years he has fulfilled photographic essays about Latin America outstanding "Territories"; in Jamaica he realized "Marihuana Traffic"; "Gladiators" from the Olympic School of Boxing in Havana and "Weapon Social Club" and love to arms in the USA society.

For his work with Médicos del Mundo about the Rubbish Cities in Central America, he has been a finalist for the Ojo de Pez Prize and his book "City Hope" summarizes his five years working on it. He has published in magazines a society portrait book "REVOLUZION" in which he sums up his daily activity alongside a photographic essay about charity in India titled "Kingdom Charity".

He is a regular photographer for Fronterad, (Global Group) and in Alcobendas´ Town Hall. His reports abroad can be found in some outstanding publications such as Time, Der Spiegel, Stern, Guatemala´s newspaper, or Miami Herald Magazine. Recently he has published "WELCOME" a book about the camp of refugees in Myanmar´s Rohingya in Kutupalong, aided Médicos sin Fronteras and worked on an article about shipbreakers in Asia, "ShipBreakers". Since the end of 2010 he´s been working on "SICARIOS". A violence and death story in Latin America shown in Photo España 2011.

Currently he is carrying out new ideas in parallel with traditional journalism to spread his projects and he is making up Audiovisual Projects with diplomatic work.