Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (1931) is an Argentine activist, community organizer, art painter, writer and sculptor.
Pérez Esquivel was born in Buenos Aires to a Spanish fisherman from Poio, Galicia, who emigrated to Argentina. His mother died when he was three, and despite his poverty, he attended the Manuel Belgrano School of Fine Arts and the National University of La Plata, where he was trained as a painter and sculptor.
He was appointed professor of architecture and worked with a variety of sculptural media, and for 25 years taught in all levels from primary to university. Pérez Esquivel began working with popularly based Latin American Christian pacifist groups during the 1960s. He relinquished his teaching post in 1974, when he was chosen as coordinator general for a network of Latin America-based communities promoting liberation of the poor through non-violence.
When systematic repression followed the March 1976 coup, which brought the dictatorship of General Jorge Videla to power, Pérez Esquivel contributed to the formation and financing of the linkages between popularly based organizations to defend human rights in Argentina and support the families of the victims of the Dirty War.
He was the recipient of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to Argentina's last civil-military dictatorship (1976-1983), during which he was detained, tortured, and held without trial for 14 months; during that period he also received, among other distinctions, the Pope John XXIII Peace Memorial.

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