Omayra Sánchez – 1985

Omayra Sánchez

Omayra Sánchez was a Colombian girl killed in Armero, department of Tolima, by the 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, when she was 13 years old. She had been trapped in water and concrete for 3 days. The picture was taken shortly before she died and it caused controversy due to the photographer’s work and the Colombian government’s inaction in the midst of the tragedy, when it was published worldwide after the young girl’s death.

Sánchez became internationally famous through the photograph which was published worldwide and was later designated the World Press Photo of the Year for 1985. Sánchez has remained a lasting figure in popular culture, remembered through music, literature, and commemorative articles.

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