Belated congratulations are in order for the journalists behind a two-part investigative report that ran in Ecuador’s El Universo about unregulated and illegal ex-gay centers for the supposed treatment of homosexuality.

The two articles were titled Prayer and seclusion to ‘cure’ gays and ‘Cured’ but still without a partner . Blogger Andr?©s Duque has helpfully translated and summarized both articles at length. Duque writes:

The disturbing articles, which also drew attention from Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin (“Ex-gay torture chambers in Ecuador“), revealed that there were more than 140 centers throughout the country claiming to cure homosexuality. Most heartbreakingly, those who were interviewed at these centers were teens or young adults sent there against their will by their parents. There was also a strong link between religious fervor and the nature of the teachings at these sites.

Today comes word that reporters Mar??a Alejandra Torres Reyes and Marjorie Ort??z received a 3rd place mention for Latin America in the prestigious Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize for both articles. The award, established in 1992 by the European Commission, “is awarded to journalists for outstanding reporting on Human Rights, Democracy and Development”, according to press materials. This year, more than 1,000 journalist entries from 133 countries were submitted for consideration.

The award was reported by El Universo on Oct. 24.

Truth Wins Out reported broadly on Exodus’ complicity in ex-gay boot camps and antigay persecution in Ecuador and elsewhere in the developing world at the time that the El Universo articles first appeared in May 2008.

Duque comments: “I hope (the award) brings additional attention to the plight of teens who are taken to these type of centers throughout Latin America, often against their will, and that it helps to shut down such illicit ventures once and for all.”