2022 Eyes of History: Still Contest: Picture Story: News

A series of news pictures that depicts a story line or single theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.

First Place

Carol Guzy, ZUMA Press
THE CROSSING: Smugglers called ‘coyotes’ provide passage, at times wearing Pikachu masks providing an ethereal scene as asylum-seeking migrants cross the Rio Grande River at the border with Mexico in Roma TX on Friday May 7, 2021.

Flashlights appear in the of darkness at midnight on a riverbank in Roma Texas and the first sound that breaks the stillness is usually a baby crying. Then the inflation of a rubber raft that soon carries a slice of desperate humanity, women and children mostly, across the Rio Grande from Mexico to their American Dream.

After an arduous journey from Central American countries, some weep or pray but there is mostly a blanket of deep weariness. It is rumored they pay between $500 - $1500 per person just to cross this narrow swath of water and perhaps over $6,000 to travel from their homeland, skirting cartel violence. The ground is littered with bracelets they wore to prove payment.

At times they are met by Texas Rangers carrying babies to shore but usually National Guard troops guide them to a patch of earth to await CBP officers and turn themselves into custody on the next step of their path. As this human drama enfolds, infants sleep in their mother’s embrace and children play with rocks in this new land. They had heard bringing children under 7 years old could ensure they would stay. Occasionally runners are captured, nearly impossible to evade the helicopters and surveillance drones overhead.

A surge of asylum-seeking migrants has arrived at the southern U.S. borders recently, overwhelming facilities and keeping border patrol bustling. Some are released with ankle monitors and instructed to appear at immigration court but there are daily deportations.

The refugee crisis in America is a divisive political football putting the new Biden administration in a quandary, but for these families it is simply the eternal quest for a better life.

Second Place

Brendan Smialowski, Agence France-Presse
Today's weather: People make their way back to a destroyed Mayfield, Kentucky. Seventy-seven people died in the system of tornados and extreme weather. The well-built and historic downtown of Mayfield was largely leveled by one of the tornados as it hit during the night of December 10th. This tornado traveled more than two hundred miles leaving a trail of catastrophe. The tornado was accompanied by extreme weather in the region affecting nine states.

Third Place

Rod Lamkey, Jr., American Reportage
Afghanistan refugees arrive in the United States: Days after President Biden implemented his plan to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Afghanistan nationals were evacuated from their homeland. On plane load after plane load, and bus load after bus load, these refugees from a war torn country they love now face an uncertain future in a new world as they arrive in the United States, some with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

Award of Excellence

Ken Cedeno, Freelance
Covid Brazil: On the heels of President Donald Trump's impeachment, the uproar for the impeachment of Brazilian President Bolsonaro just got more intense. Brazil's misfortune took a horrible turn in mid-January when news that Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, that the oxygen supplies had run out in the city's hospitals. Patients were dying, gasping for air. Bolsonaro followed Donald Trump on the chloroquine bug and has done real damage to his country. Bolsonaro has been in denial since the beginning of the pandemic, prescribing a "preventive treatment," the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine drugs that top healthcare experts reject.