//raising the voices of change

1980 – Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentine human rights activist

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel was a teacher and architect in Argentina noted for leading protests against the “Free Trade Area of the Americas” which could wipe out small manufacturers in developing countries, and then, standing up to the atrocities of the brutal Argentine military coup of 1976.

In 1974 Pérez Esquivel was Coordinator General for a network of Latin American community-based organizations working for the improvement of conditions and rights for the poor through non-violent means. When systematic repression followed the Argentine military coup of 1976 , he formed El Servicio de Paz y Justicia (“Service, Peace and Justice Foundation”), linking popular organizations to defend human rights, support the families of victims of the atrocities, and internationally denounce the military’s brutality. He was jailed in Brazil, Ecuador, and Argentina, where he was tortured and held without trial for 14 months.

photo by Peter Badge