PROGRAMME AND PROCEEDINGS
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
Keynote Speaker at the Plenary Session
Monday, 23 August 2004, 12.45 - 13.45
"Between the walls of information and freedom"
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied in the National School of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires (Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires) and in the National University of La Plata. He was a teacher until he was dismissed during the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976).
In 1974 he was appointed the Latin American General Coordinator of the groups and movements concerned about the situation in their own countries. Their aim is to develop common policies and courses of action in dealing with violence and oppression, and to implement alternatives and solutions amidst the growing oppressed sectors of society.
Since the Argentine military coup d’etat in 1976, Pérez Esquivel has become involved in the organization of committees for the defense of human rights and has provided relief to the injured families. That is how Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Abuelas de Plaza de May, the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, the Movement for the Recovery of kidnapped and missing Children, among others, originated.
In August 1976, he was arrested, imprisoned and tortured without a trial. During his imprisonment, he received the Juan XXIII Memorial Peace Prize granted by the International Pax Cristi, among other international awards, and in 1980 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of the contribution he had made for the defense of human rights.
Together with other Nobel Prize winners, Pérez Esquivel contributed with numerous international missions and campaigns in the solution of conflicts.
He is Doctor Honoris Causa at several universities. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of San Cristóbal de Huamanga, Peru; Principal at the University of la Pau, Barcelona, Spain; and President of the Academic Board at the University of La Paz de Namur, Belgium; the University of Soka Gakkai, Japan. In addition, he is Doctor of Public Service, Honoris Causa, at the University of Rockhurst, Missouri, United States.
Currently, he is President of the Honorary Council of the Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ), where he is carrying out a project designed to help underprivileged children. He is also President of the International League for the Rights and the Liberation of Peoples with headquarters in Milan, Italy; President of the International Academy of Environmental Safety (IAES) in Venice, Italy; and Member of the Peoples’ Permanent Assembly. Besides, he is tenure teacher of the subject "Education for Peace and Human Rights", at the Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Buenos Aires. He is a member of the jury for the UNESCO’s Peace Prize "Felix Houphouet Boigny". He is a board member at the International Year for a Culture of Peace.
Furthermore, he is considered Illustrious Citizen of the city of Buenos Aires. He received the Global Citizen Award granted by the Boston Research Center for the 21st century, and the "Pacem Interris" Prize granted by the Diocese of Davenport, United States, in 1999.
He published El Cristo del Poncho, Caminar junto a los pueblos (Experiencias no violentas en América Latina), and Una gota de tiempo (Crónica entre la angustia y la esperanza). He collaborates in several publications about the condition of infancy, human rights and the sociopolitical situation in Latin America.