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“Peace and Justice in Central and Latin America,” Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Sixth Annual Ava Helen Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace

October 28, 1987

Speaker Biography

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Servicio Paz y Justicia en América Latina)

“Peace and Justice in Central and Latin America”  Watch Video

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 26, 1931. He originally trained as a sculptor and architect at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, and for twenty-five years he taught as a professor of architecture. He began working with Latin American pacifist groups in the 1960s and in 1974 gave up his teaching career to work for peace, coordinating the efforts of various non-violent protest organizations.

In 1976 Esquivel initiated a campaign for the United Nations to establish a Human Rights Commission, which eventually led to closer scrutiny of human rights violations in Latin America. In the spring of 1977, Esquivel was imprisoned without cause in Buenos Aires. He was tortured and held without trial for fourteen months before being released in 1978. While incarcerated he received several awards and distinctions, including the Pope John XXII Peace Memorial. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 for his work in support of human rights.

Esquivel is the leader of Servicio Paz y Justicia, a well-established peace organization in Latin America, where he continues his work through strictly non-violent means.