Photojournalism: Report on Mexican drug war and its humanitarian consequences wins ICRC’s Humanitarian Visa d’Or award

On 1 July, the jury awarded the Humanitarian Visa d'Or to Alfredo Bosco, an Italian freelance photojournalist working with the Milanese Luz agency.

Alfredo Bosco's report, entitled Forgotten Guerrero, depicts the war between cartels in Guerrero, the largest poppy-producing region in Mexico. The work stresses the consequences of violence on the local people – murder, extortion, displacement, forced disappearance.

"I have worked in Ukraine, where it is a bit like the First World War – trench warfare. In Guerrero, Mexico, the situation is different, given the criminality, the war to control drugs. There are no trenches but 40 cartels fighting one other. The situation is more complicated
and dire for the population."

Alfredo Bosco, winner of the ICRC Humanitarian Visa d'Or award, 2020

The humanitarian consequences are similar to an armed conflict

"For the award's tenth edition, the jury chose a powerful story on the violence in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Although it is not an armed conflict, the humanitarian consequences are the same for the local population – people fleeing their homes, people going missing and civilians being killed," said Frédéric Joli, the organizer of the award and spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"I was deeply moved by the story. Of all the reports, it showed the most how civilians are trapped by the situation. They have no other choice than to be part of the conflict and are hit by all its consequences," said Claude Guibal, a reporter at Radio France and member of the jury.

Alfredo Bosco,winner of the 2020 ICRC Humanitarian Visa d'Or award

Alfredo Bosco graduated from the John Kaverdash Academy of Photography. Since 2010 he has reported on wars and social issues in France, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Alfredo Bosco will officially receive his award of 8,000 euros at Perpignan in September. His story will be exhibited at the Couvent des Minimes during the 32nd edition of the Visa pour l'Image Festival of International Photojournalism (29 August–13 September 2020).

Un jeune volontaire d’un groupe d’auto-défense de la région Centro. Depuis janvier 2019, la ville de Rincón De Chautla a subi des attaques répétées menées par le groupe criminel Los Ardillos. Mexique ; Guerrero; Rincon De Chautla; 28/01/19

Young community police volunteer from Region Centro. Since the beginning of 2019, there have been numerous attacks by a cartel against the town of Rincón De Chautla, forcing its residents to defend themselves.
Rincón De Chautla, Guerrero, Mexico, 28/01/2019


Depuis début 2019, de nombreuses attaques menées par un cartel ont frappé la ville de Rincón De Chautla obligeant ses habitants à se défendre. Portrait d'une mère avec son enfant qui a choisi de rejoindre le groupe d’auto-défense de la ville. Mexique; Guerrero; Rincón De Chautla; 10/06/19

Portrait of a mother, and her child, who chose to join the town's community police following attacks by a cartel.
Rincón De Chautla, Guerrero, Mexico, 10/06/2019

Members of the jury:

  • Magdalena Herrera, photo director, Géo
  • Isabelle de la Gasnerie, chief photo-editor, La Croix
  • Claude Guibal, reporter Radio France
  • Luc Hermann, journalist and associate producer, Premières Lignes
  • David-Pierre Marquet, conseiller en affaires publiques, CICR, Bruxelles
  • Luc Mathieu, reporter, Libération, and Prix Albert Londres, 2015
  • Benoît Schaeffer, photographer
  • Cyril Drouhet, photo director, Figaro Magazine

Jurz du Visa d'Or humanitaire du CICR 2020. De gauche à droite : Magdalena Herrera, cheffe photo Géo, Isabelle de la Garderie, cheffe photo La Croix, Claude Guibal, grand reporter Radio France, Luc Hermann, journaliste producteur, Premières Lignes TV, David Pierre Marquet, communication et affaires publiques CICR Bruxelles, Luc Mathieu, grand reporter Libération, Benoît Schaeffer, photojournaliste, Cyril Drouhet, chef photo Le Figaro Magazine.

The ICRC Humanitarian Visa d’Or award was created in 2011 and is endowed with 8,000 euros. Past winners are:


Frédéric Joli - - Tel : +33 6 20 49 46 30