Shortlist 2019

Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas is a freelance photographer who works with Human Rights organizations.  He received a degree in phycology at the Complutense University. Javier works as a coordinator at the Rae Pica

 School. He won several international prizes including the World Press Photo award; four published books: "City Hope," "Welcome," "Sicarios," and "UFOPRESENCES." Javier's news articles can be found in Time, CNN, IL Magazine, Der Spiegel, Stern, GEO, El Mundo, VICE News and many others. LUZ Agency distributes his work.

The Conflict


After years of experiencing social chaos, drug trafficking and political corruption, Latin Americans are determined to resist the violence afflicting their homelands. Armed conflict and socio-economic collapse in several Latam countries in the late 20th century forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of people, both to neighbouring states and northwards to the US. Stricter US policies in the mid-1990s led to the deportation of members of maras; Hispanic gangs formed on the streets of Los Angeles and fueled gang warfare across Latin America. All factors stated above, plus violence associated with the drug trade and the so-called War on Drugs has led to several Latam cities ranking as the most violent in the world outside of a conflict zone. This project describes the fear, anger and impotence of victims amidst the daily terror of street gangs, murder and thievery in Honduras and El Salvador. The photographer documented the heart of uncontrolled violence in Latin America, social and political factors that aggressively reinforce that violence.