Aerial picture of dredges in the illegal gold mining area of La Pampa, next to the interoceanic highway between Peru and Brazil, in the Madre de Dios southern Peruvian jungle. In an unprecedented operation, Peru managed to eliminate 55 camps for illegal gold mining in the area of La Pampa, in the region of Madre de Dios, where 60,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed by this activity.
Ernesto Benavides del Solar Although I work as a stringer photographer at Agence France-Presse, I simultaneously carry out various personal photographic projects. As a freelance photographer I have published in local and international newspapers and magazines as El País (Spain), Le Monde Magazine (France), Gatopardo, Somos (Peru), 6Mois, Le Chasse Mare, and Brandeins (Germany). I am also member of Supayfotos and have participated in the expositions of this Peruvian photodocumentalist collective in 2011 and 2012. 2013 I was a finalist at the POYI awards with the “Wanu” project in the Best Photo Book Category and presented the book at MATE (Mario Testino´s gallery). In 2012, I received the second Place at the POYI Awards in the category News Picture Story, and in 2011 I was one of the winners of National Geographic Magazine’s All Roads Photography Award. In 2010, I received an award from the Inter American Press Association in the photographic essay category. I teach photography courses at two Lima universities since 2010.