UPDATE: Barlow and RLA Laureates mourn the killing of Cicero Guedes
In a media release issued today, “The Right Livelihood Award Foundation strongly condemns the murder of Cícero Guedes, a leader of the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement MST. The MST received the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) in 1991. Cícero Guedes dos Santos, coordinator of the Landless Workers’ Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra, MST) of Brazil was killed by gunmen on Friday, January 25th. He received some twelve shots to the head while he was bicycling away from a settlement of landless families in the vicinity of the Cambahyba sugar plant, in the municipality of Campos dos Goytacazes in Rio de Janeiro. It is yet unclear who is responsible for the murder.”
“Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award from all over the world expressed their solidarity and support to the family and colleagues of the murdered activist. The Paraguayan educator and human rights advocate Martín Almada (RLA 2002), lamented that ‘violent actions continue to claim the lives of Latin American leaders and advocates for the environment and sustainability.’”
In 2005, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, along with Polaris Institute executive director Tony Clarke, received the Right Livelihood Award for their exemplary and longstanding worldwide work for trade justice and the recognition of the fundamental human right to water. Barlow says, “To lose a cherished colleague in this terrible way reminds us that, to fight for justice, some people put their lives on the line every day. We mourn the loss of Cicero Guedes and share the grief of his family and comrades. Once I had the great fortune to visit a settlement of the landless movement in Brazil and thought I had perhaps found heaven. It was one of the loveliest places I had ever seen and the true antidote to our world of greed and unlimited growth. We will carry on our work in Cicero’s name.”
Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.