Breaking the Cycle of Violence
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, winner of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize and an ardent defender of human rights, will draw from his experiences leading nonviolent movements to share his thoughts about our collective role in changing the world when he speaks March 21 on Regis University’s North Denver (Lowell) Campus.
He will present “Breaking the Cycle of Violence” beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the St. John Francis Regis Chapel. The Regis community and the public are invited to this free presentation sponsored by Regis’ Institute on the Common Good in partnership with PeaceJam, a Denver-based international education organization whose mission is to create young leaders committed to positive change.
Pérez Esquivel was born in Buenos Aires in 1931 to a Spanish immigrant father who made a living as a fisherman and a mother who would die when he was just 3 years old. Despite growing up in poverty, Pérez Esquivel went on to school and to become a well-known artist as well as a professor of architecture and teacher in secondary schools.
In 1974, Pérez Esquivel left teaching altogether and devoted himself to building nonviolent movements for change in Latin America. It was a time of great political unrest in Argentina — a situation that only worsened in 1976 when a military dictatorship overthrew the government and took aim on democratic rights and silencing anyone regarded as a political or ideological threat. This included Pérez Esquivel. Among other efforts, he initiated an international campaign to persuade the United Nations to establish a Human Rights Commission. He was jailed on multiple occasions and tortured for his outspokenness against the dictators’ atrocities. In 1980, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in the defense of human rights.
Pérez Esquivel continues his work as an activist today with the non-governmental organization he founded in 1974, Servicio Paz y Justicia, which coordinates nonviolent movements in Latin America.