Latin America

Lula deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, says Nobel laureate Pérez Esquivel

While visiting Brazil, Argentinian activist Adolfo Pérez Esquivel argues that democracy in Latin America is in danger

Brasil de Fato, en Rio de Janeiro |
Nobel laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel while visiting Maré Museum in Rio de Janeiro
Nobel laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel while visiting Maré Museum in Rio de Janeiro - Jaqueline Deister/ Brasil de Fato

During a press conference at an event in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday (17), Argentinian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel spoke about the campaign he is spearheading to nominate Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for the prize. "We’ve launched the campaign to nominate Lula for the Nobel Peace Prize because he deserves it. He has dedicated himself to those who need the most and lifted more than 30 million Brazilian men and women out of extreme poverty. No other president in the world has ever managed to do that. It’s an unparalleled case,” he said.

Esquivel spoke during a visit to the Maré Museum, in the Maré favela [slum] complex, along with social movements and members of organizations in the People’s Truth Commission (Comissão Popular da Verdade), which will be officially launched next Thursday (19). The commission is a civil society effort to investigate human rights violations by State agents during the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro.

During the press conference, Esquivel said democracy in Latin America is in danger, as fundamental rights are being lost and more and more violations are being committed. The Argentinian activist is committed to nonviolence and liberation theology and has won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980. He has recently started a petition to nominate Brazil’s ex-president for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, which already has more than 230,000 signatures. According to Esquivel, Lula lifted thousands of people out of poverty and became one of the most prominent popular leaders in the Latin American continent.

The nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize will be officially confirmed in September. Esquivel is seeking support for his pro-Lula campaign from countries such as Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. On Monday (16), he requested court permission to visit the former Brazilian president, who is incarcerated at the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba.

Edited by: Vivian Virissimo | Translated by: Aline Scátola and reviewed by Pedro Ribeiro Nogueira