A story written by Mexican journalist Aleida Rueda – which suggests Latin America is the new ‘US plastic dump’ – has won the overall prize in the annual SciDev.Net Journalism Awards.

The SciDev.Net awards are judged every year by SciDev.Net’s Editorial Advisory Group members, who said the story, published in October 2022, was a “clear winner” with Ms Rueda taking the £400 prize and accolade.

Of the story ‘América Latina, el nuevo basurero de plásticos de EEUU,’ which translates as ‘Latin America, the new US plastic dump,’ the judges said, “The feature on plastic waste being dumped in Latin America is a clear winner … A significant amount of work obviously went into the piece. It will add to awareness on the issue.”

The story highlights how, every year, the US sends thousands of tonnes of plastic waste to Mexico, El Salvador and Ecuador where the material is not recycled. The report also stresses that gaps in international regulations encourage the shipment of dangerous electronic scrap.

Ms Rueda, who graduated in journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has a master’s degree in News Agency Journalism from the Rey Juan Carlos University, in Spain, has been writing articles on science since 2004.

Several of her reports have won national and international awards, including first place in the Reporting Contest on COVID-19, awarded by the one organized by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the International Network of Journalists (IJNet).

Ben Deighton, Managing Editor at SciDev.Net, said the high standard of entries is testament to the professionalism of the journalism on SciDev.Net.

“Congratulations to all the winners in this year’s SciDev.Net Journalism Awards who continue to raise the bar in producing top quality investigative journalism which has the ability to make an impact upon policy and opinion leaders in the real world,” he said.

The full list of winners (who receive £200) and runners-up are:

Jesusegun Alagbe Smart bra aims to quicken breast cancer diagnosis
Didier Ladislas Lando Les piqûres de moustiques en journée entravent la prévention du paludisme
Adel Daghbashi The struggles of Yemeni’s beekeepers
Ranjit Devraj Cow dung fires linked to black fungus epidemic in India

Adeline Tchouakak Les droits des autochtones piétinés dans un projet minier au sud du Cameroun
Mutassim Al-Baroudi Obstacles to the sustainability of biobanks
Neena Bhandari Meeting Asia’s rising demand for disability devices
Gilbert Nakweya Rice-eating apple snail wreaks havoc in Kenya
Aleida Rueda América Latina, el nuevo basurero de plásticos de EEUU

Didier Ladislas Lando Mame Penda Ba : « Redonner toute leur dignité aux langues africaines »
Rehab Abdel Mohsen Safaa Qamari the savour of beans and legumes
Papiya Bhattacharya Q&A: ‘Community support vital’ to tackle mental health
Zoraida Portillo “Mientras más mitigación realicemos, menos pérdidas y daños tendremos”
Mouttasem Albarodi Q&A: Tech can ‘offset’ cancer gaps – AstraZeneca chief
Michael Kaloki Q&A: COP27 will be crucial for Africa – Wanjira Mathai

Royal Uche Poor dam management escalating floods in Nigeria?
Didier Ladislas Lando, Lucienne Wouassi, Abdel Aziz Nabaloum, Mardochée Boli VIH/sida : Pris à titre préventif, le traitement ARV évite la contamination

Additional information

Main image: Dozens of people separate and collect waste from the countless trucks that arrive every day at El Pueblito, in Baja California, Mexico. Image credit: Courtesy of the GAIA Tijuana Foundation for SciDev.Net.

About SciDev.Net

SciDev.Net is the world’s leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views and analysis about science and technology for global development.

Its mission is to use independent journalism to help individuals and organisations apply science to decision-making in order to drive equitable, sustainable development and poverty reduction. SciDev.Net is part of CAB International (CABI) – a not-for-profit organisation that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.
SciDev.Net operates editorially independently from CABI with its content overseen by an independent Editorial Advisory Committee whose role is to ensure our editorial independence protocol is adhered to. The protocol is available on request.