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Graciela Fernández Meijide, former secretary of the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP), introduced CADAL’s award for the defense of human rights, which carries her name. Also there to introduce the award were two of the award’s Jury members, Nora Morandini and Vicente Palermo (vice-president of CADAL and CADAL academic advisor, respectively), and CADAL president Sybil Rhodes.
The third Jury member, Rubén Chababo, sent the following message from Medellín: “Although I am unable to attend in person, I would like to recognize CADAL for its initiative in instituting a Human Rights award in the name of Graciela Fernández Meijide, a referential figure in the history of constructing memory, truth, and justice in our country, but also, and fundamentally, someone attuned to the troubles which threaten our societies in a contemporary context. Her teachings inspire us. Thank you, Graciela, for giving us so much. And I send my warm regards to my colleagues on the Jury, Norma Morandini and Vicente Palermo.”
As CADAL’s 20th anniversary event kicked off in the Espacio Aguaribay in the neighborhood of Belgrano, the NGO’s secretary, Carlos Fara, highlighted the organization’s two decades of promoting human rights and international democratic solidarity with a video compilation of media appearances between 2003 and 2022.
For his part, CADAL treasurer Bernabé García Hamilton presented a video compilation of salutations to CADAL by diplomats from the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, journalists from Colombia and Venezuela, activists from Cuba and Nicaragua, and advisors to CADAL in Argentina, Brazil, France, and Uruguay.
After the opening ceremony, CADAL General Director Gabriel Salvia presented the video “We are with Ukraine” and spoke on the organization’s work to promote the globalization of democracy as a safeguard for world peace.
The event was closed by the Atemporal Trio. The Cuban musical group played songs that have been prohibited in dictatorships, such as “Desapariciones” by Rubén Blades”, “Solo le pido a dios” by León Gieco, “Los dinosaurios”, by Charly García, “Como la cigarra”, by María Elena Walsh, “La otra Orilla”, by Frank Delgado, “Grafiti de amor”, by Carlos Varela, “Ya viene llegando”, by Willy Chirino, and “La estaca”, by Lluís Llach.
During the 20th anniversary event, CADAL also displayed works of Cuban comic art in collaboration with the digital media “El Toque”.
Besides the launch of the International Graciela Fernández Meijide Award for the Defense of Human Rights, CADAL will also implement initiatives on “75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and “40 years of Argentina’s return to democracy” to mark its 20th anniversary in 2023.