Adolfo Pérez Esquivel – Brazil

Linked with Servicio Paz y Justicia.

He got The Nobel Peace Prize 1980.

He said: “Our hands seek to speak the language of those who labor, to add to the effort to construct a new world solidarity founded on love, justice, liberty and truth” (in the Nobellecture, December 1980).

Read the article ‘Eternal Debts‘, by Adolfo Perez Esquivel, August 2004. Same in german, in french, in russian, in spanish, in arabian.
He wrote: ” … you closed your ears and your heart when the United Nations, churches, humanitarian and human rights organizations demanded that the rule of law and the consideration of the people had to prevail. You were not interested in hearing it” … (in A Letter to President Bush, April 30, 2003).

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel - Brazil two.jpg

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel – Brazil

As a child, he admired peace heroes like Mahatama Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. As an adult, he desired to put his faith into action as he had seen these men do. In the early 1970s, he traveled to Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Honduras to work for peace with local movements, often aiding poor peasants in their struggles against the large landowners. In 1976, he was arrested in Ecuador and expelled from the country during a pilgrimage across Latin America. He was arrested again on April 4, 1977 in Argentina, where he was detained for fourteen months without a trial and was subjected to psychological and physical torture.

While imprisoned, one of the awards and recognitions he received was Pope John XXIII’s Peace Memorial in recognition of his work for peace in Latin America. His time in prison allowed him to reflect on the need to work for human rights and strengthened his determination to work for peace and justice in Latin America. Adolfo Perez Esquivel is founder of Servicio Paz y Justicia, a human rights organization. Its purpose is to bring different groups in to contact with one another. He is now president of the Honorary Council of the Latin American Servicio Paz y Justicia and of the International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples in Milan, Italy. He is also a member of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal.

His passion for peace and his love for the people of Latin America are obvious both in his words and in his actions. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech he said, “Because of our faith in Christ and humankind, we must apply our humble efforts to the construction of a more just and humane world. And I want to declare emphatically: Such a world is possible… We know that peace is only possible when it is a fruit of justice. True Peace is the result of the profound transformation effected by nonviolence which is, indeed, the power of love.” (Read more on Nuclear Age Peace Foundation).
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel was born in Buenos Aires in 1931. After training as an architect and sculptor he was appointed Professor of Architecture. In 1974 he relinquished his teaching post in order to devote all his time and energy to the work of co-ordinating the activities of the various non-violent elements in Latin America. It was at a conference in Montevideo in 1968 that the decision was made to set up a joint organisation covering all non-violent elements throughout Latin America. At a conference in 1974 it was decided to give the organisation a more permanent form, and Pérez Esquivel was appointed its Secretary-General. In 1976 he initiated an international campaign aimed at persuading the United Nations to establish a Human Rights Commission, and in this connection a document was drawn up recording breaches of human rights in Latin America. In the Spring of 1977 Pérez Esquivel was imprisoned without cause being shown. In May 1978 he was released, but with the obligation to report to the police as well as being subject to various restrictions. These have subsequently been allowed to lapse, and in 1980 he had an opportunity of visiting Europe.

The organisation of which Pérez Esquivel is the leader, Servicio Paz y Justicia, is a well-established one. Latin America is divided into three regions, each with its own offices, and under these come the national organisations. Their activities are co-ordinated from Pérez Esquivel’s office in Buenos Aires.

The organisation is based on a Christian view of life, and enjoys close contact with clergy and bishops critical of present-day conditions in Latin America. The chief task of the movement is to promote respect for human rights, a phrase that is intended to include social and economic rights. On the practical level this means that Servicio provides assistance to the rural workers in their struggle for land, and to the trade unions in their struggle to protect the rights of their workers. This is done inter alia in the form of legal aid.

Despite the opposition he has encountered, Pérez Esquivel insists that the struggle must only be waged with non-violent means. (Read much more on Nobelprize.org).

See also on the english wikipedia.

On spanish wikipedia: Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (nacido el 26 de noviembre de 1931 en Buenos Aires, Argentina) es un escultor, arquitecto y pacifista argentino. Recibió en 1980 el Premio Nobel de la Paz. Es conocido por liderar las protestas contra el Área de Libre Comercio de las Américas y por alegar que la policía argentina está formando a niños en escuadrones paramilitares, una operación que compara con la creación de la Alemania nazi, las Juventudes Hitlerianas.

Pérez Esquivel estudió en la Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes y en la Universidad Nacional de La Plata donde fue formado como arquitecto y escultor. Más tarde se convirtió en profesor de arquitectura. Durante 25 años enseñó en escuelas primarias, secundarias y en la Universidad además de trabajar como escultor. En los años 1960s, Pérez Esquivel empezó a trabajar con grupos latinoamericanos cristianos pacifistas. En 1974 decidió renunciar a su trabajo docente y fue elegido coordinador general para una red de comunidades latinoamericanas para promover la liberación de los pobres a través de la No-violencia.

Con el golpe de estado militar de Jorge Rafael Videla en 1976 y con la represión posterior, contribuyó a la formación y financiación de los enlaces entre organizaciones populares para defender los derechos humanos y apoyar a los familiares de las víctimas de la guerra sucia. El “Servicio de Paz y Justicia”, que él fundó, evolucionó en este contexto y sirvió como instrumento para la defensa de los derechos humanos promocionando una campaña internacional para denunciar las atrocidades cometidas por el régimen militar.

Premio Nobel de la Paz 1980

En 1975, Pérez Esquivel fue detenido por la policía militar brasileña; fue encarcelado en 1976 en Ecuador junto con obispos latinoamericanos y estadounidenses; y en 1977, en Buenos Aires, fue arrestado por la Policía Federal Argentina, torturado y retenido sin juicio durante 14 meses. Mientras duró su encarcelamiento recibió, entre otras distinciones, la Memoria de Paz del papa Juan XXIII. En 1980 recibió el Premio Nobel de la Paz por sus esfuerzos en defensa de los derechos humanos. Desde 2003, es presidente del Consejo honorario de la Fundación latinoamericana del Servicio de Paz y Justicia y de la Liga Internacional para los Derechos Humanos y la Liberación de las personas, con base en Milán, Italia, y miembro del Tribunal Popular Permanente. Además de estos trabajos, ha publicado Caminando junto al pueblo (1995), en el que relata su experiencia con la no-violencia en América Latina. (Read much more on wikipedia).

links:

His Biography;

on universia.com;

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel on answers.com;

peace jam.

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