The Olivier Rebbot Award 2009 (Two Winners)

Alvaro Ybarra Zavala

Alvaro Ybarra Zavala

AWARD DATE: 2009

AWARD NAME: The Olivier Rebbot Award 2009 (Two Winners)

AWARD RECIPIENT: Alvaro Ybarra Zavala

AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: Reportage by Getty Images

AWARD HONORED WORK: “The Gunmen of the Bolivarian Revolution”

Due to the high quality of the entries, the judges chose two Rebbot winners. Alvaro Ybarra Zavala’s evocative images show us the dangerous and murky underworld of political violence in the increasingly polarized nation of Venezuela. Zavala worked hard to gain access to the paramilitary groups allegedly responsible for extrajudicial killings; once his work was complete he left the country ahead of publication because he feared deadly retaliation if he remained in Venezuela.
 


CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCTOBER 2009: One of the many slums in Caracas, the traditional strongholds of the 'colectivos' in the city. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 2009: An elderly man wearing a pro-Chavez t-shirt in an old persons home funded by supporters of the Bolivarian revolution, in Artigas, one of the worst slums in Caracas. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 2009: A family mourns at the funeral of a man who was shot dead with 16 shots to the head, while coming out of his home with his daughter, by one of the 'colectivos' of Caracas. He was a member of a rival criminal gang. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. This particular group is a 'colectivo motorizado' meaning they ride motorbikes or scooters, the vehicle of choice for carrying out drive-by killings. The walls are decorated with revolutionary propaganda. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 2009: The headquarters of one of the 'colectivos' of Caracas, during a meeting. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. This particular group is a 'colectivo motorizado' meaning they ride motorbikes or scooters, the vehicle of choice for carrying out drive-by killings. The walls are decorated with revolutionary propaganda. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 2009: A senior Chavez supporter who says she is willing to die fighting for him, pictured at home in one of the many slums of Caracas, which are the traditional strongholds of the 'colectivos' in the city. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCTOBER 2009: An armed member of one of the 'colectivos' of Caracas, with one of their political posters behind him, during a meeting. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCTOBER 2009: The headquarters of one of the 'colectivos' of Caracas, with one of their weapons and political posters on the wall, during a meeting. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCTOBER 2009: A mural in the Capitolio area in the centre of Caracas, near the main train station, covered in the graffiti of various of the 'colectivos' of Caracas and icons of the revolution. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. Some groups are referred to as 'motorizado' meaning they ride motorbikes or scooters, the vehicle of choice for carrying out drive-by killings. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 2009: A family mourns at the funeral of a man who was shot dead with 16 shots to the head, while coming out of his home with his daughter, by one of the 'colectivos' of Caracas. He was a member of a rival criminal gang. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. This particular group is a 'colectivo motorizado' meaning they ride motorbikes or scooters, the vehicle of choice for carrying out drive-by killings. The walls are decorated with revolutionary propaganda. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - NOVEMBER 2009: The body of a man in the morgue, who was shot dead in his car by one of the 'colectivos' of Caracas, purely for being suspected of being anti-Chavez. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. This particular group is a 'colectivo motorizado' meaning they ride motorbikes or scooters, the vehicle of choice for carrying out drive-by killings. The walls are decorated with revolutionary propaganda. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCTOBER 2009: One of the 'colectivos' of Caracas posing with their weapons in front of the Colombian flag. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - OCTOBER 2009: One of the 'colectivos' of Caracas with their weapons and political leaflets during a meeting. 'Colectivos' are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez's administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. They are still involved in their traditional criminal activities such as the drug trade. With estimates in excess of 18,000 homicides each year in Venezuela, and various international organisations attributing many of these to the 'colectivos', the people of Venezuela are living in a state of fear. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)