The Michael Kelly Award

image description

Azam Ahmed

The New York Times


The horrifying cycle of violence that afflicts so many Latin American countries is rendered with deeply felt humanity in Azam Ahmed’s five-part New York Times series, “Kill, or Be Killed: Latin America’s Homicide Crisis.” Ahmed explores the root causes of the many thousands of killings in the region every year. He moves beyond the numbers to paint memorable portraits: a brave Honduran pastor, a remorseful Mexican killer, a teenage Guatemalan mother. “Underpinning nearly every killing is a climate of impunity that, in some countries, leaves more than 95 percent of homicides unsolved,” Ahmed writes. “And the state is a guarantor of the phenomenon—governments hollowed out by corruption are either incapable or unwilling to apply the rule of law, enabling criminal networks to dictate the lives of millions.”


Inside Gang Territory in Honduras: ‘Either They Kills Us or We Kill Them’

He Was One of Mexico’s Deadliest Assassins. Then He Turned on His Cartel.

How American Gun Laws Are Fueling Jamaica’s Homicide Crisis

Where the Police Wear Masks, and the Bodies Pile Up Fast

Women Are Fleeing Death at Home. The U.S. Wants to Keep Them Out.


Azam Ahmed covers Mexico and Latin America for The New York Times, focusing on crime and corruption. He is the bureau chief for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Before moving to Mexico, Mr. Ahmed worked for nearly three years in Afghanistan covering the war there. He accompanied the Afghan security forces as they struggled to take over security from U.S. forces, and more broadly wrote about the deterioration of the United States’ longest-running war.

Nominate a journalist who exemplifies the fearless pursuit and expression of truth Enter Online