A photograph of a Honduran toddler crying as a U.S. Border Patrol officer pats down the child’s mother in Texas was named as the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year at a ceremony .
Getty Images photographer John Moore’s winning image shows 2-year-old Yanela Sanchez and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, after they were taken into custody last June 12, and it fueled debate about tough Trump administration policies that included separating families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Time magazine published Moore’s photo on its cover, producing anger over U.S. President Donald Trump’s family separation program. But Yanela’s father later told the British newspaper Daily Mail that his daughter wasn’t removed from her mother and the two were detained together.
Time stood by its use of the image, saying it captured “the stakes of this moment.”
“I think that this image touched many people’s hearts as it did mine because it humanized a larger story.” Moore said in a statement released by the context organizers.
The image also won first prize in the “spot news singles” category as awards were announced for this year’s contest, which drew 78,801 photographs by 4,738 photographers.
“It immediately tells you so much about the story. And at the same time, it really makes you feel so connected to it,” jury member and photojournalist Alice Martins said in a statement about Moore’s photo. “This picture shows a different kind of violence that is psychological.”
Photos of the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border also won a new award in this year’s contest — World Press Photo Story of the Year. Pieter Ten Hoopen of Agence Vu/Civilian Act, was honoured for a series of pictures depicting migrants in a caravan heading toward the border.
“I wanted to focus on the human aspects, on relations between the people and how they handle it,” Ten Hoopen said.
Moore and Ten Hoopen each won 10,000 euros ($11,268).
Among other winners, the “contemporary issues singles” category was won by Diana Markosian of Magnum Photos for an image of a Cuban girl called Pura being driven around her neighbourhood in Havana in a pink 1950s convertible to celebrate her 15th birthday.
Olivia Harris won the “contemporary issues stories” category for a series called “Blessed Be the Fruit: Ireland’s Struggle to Overturn Anti-Abortion Laws.”
Another Getty Images photographer, Brent Stirton, won the “environment singles” category with a photo of Petronella Chigumbura, a member of an all-female anti-poaching unit in Zimbabwe. A series of images by Marco Gualazzini of Contrasto highlighting the crisis surrounding the drying up of Lake Chad won first prize in the “environment stories” category.
Lorenzo Tugnoli, of Contrasto, for The Washington Post won “general news stories” with images of the war in Yemen.
John T. Pedersen won “sports singles” for his image of boxer Moreen Ajambo training at a boxing club in Katanga, a large slum settlement in Kampala, Uganda.