36 Notable Peacemakers in
Mexico, Cuba, Caribbean & Central America

Click here for peace monuments in Mexico. | Click here for peace monuments in other Latin American countries.
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c1484-1566 - Bartolome de las Casas - Historian, social reformer & Dominican friar. First officially appointed "Protector of the Indians."

1793-1859 - Joseph Sturge - Abolitionist. Funded British & Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. Helped found Free Villages in Jamaica.

1820-1887 - Edward Douwes Dekker - Novelist known as Multatuli. Wrote Max Havelaar (1860) denouncing colonialism in Dutch East Indies.

1839-1903 - Eugenio Maria de Hostos - Puerto Rican educator, philosopher, lawyer, sociologist & independence advocate. Known as "Citizen of the Americas."

1879-1940 - Leon Trotsky - Marxist revolutionary and theorist. Opposed Joseph Stalin. Axed by undercover NKVD agent Ramón Mercader in Mexico City.

1886-1957 - Diego Rivera - Muralist. Mural at Rockefeller Center destroyed by John D. Rockefeller. Two murals in California. Many in Mexico.

1907-1957 - Frida Kahlo - Painter. Best known for portraits. Emblematic of national & indigenous traditions. Depicted the female experience & form. Lover of Diego Rivera (qv).

1910-1989 - Larry Mellon - Philanthropist & physician. Son of financier William Larimer Mellon. Co-founded Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti in 1956.

1911-2000 - Gwen Grant Mellon - Hospital administrator. With her second husband Larry Mellon (qv), founded Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti in 1956. 2000

1911-1991 - Alfonso Garcia Robles - Diplomat. Caused Treaty of Tlatelolco (nuclear-free zone in Latin America). 1982 with Alva Myrdal

1914-2000 - Sister Maria Isolina Ferre Aguayo - Nun. Called "Mother Teresa of Puerto Rico." 1989

1916-1945 - George Maduro - Born in Curaçao. Student & army officer. Nazi resister. Madurodam Miniature City in The Hague is named for him.

1917-1980 - Óscar Romero - Fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. Spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations & torture. Assassinated while offering Mass.

1923-Alive - Robert Muller - "Philosopher of the UN." Founded UN University for Peace in 1980 in Costa Rica. Chick here for his personal website.

1924-2011 - Samuel Ruiz Garcia - Catholic liberation theologian. Bishop & peacemaker in Chiapas (Mexico).

1926-1960 - María Argentina Minerva Mirabal Reyes - Opposed dictator Rafael Trujillo. Assassinated by his henchmen along with two of her three sisters.

1928-1967 - Ernesto (Che) Guevara - Marxist revolutionary, physician, & guerrilla. Fought in Cuba, Congo & Bolivia. A ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion in popular culture.

1929-2014 - Luis Nieves Falcón - Sociologist, scholar, writer, lawyer & activist for human & civil rights. Campaigned to release Puerto Rican political prisoners in USA.

1930-2010 - Lucius Walker - Baptist minister. ExecDir of Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization in 1960's. Persistent advocate for ending the US embargo against Cuba.

1931-2011 - Jean-Claude Bajeux - Professor of Caribbean literature. Political activist. Director of Ecumenical Center for Human Rights.

1936-2011 - Gustavo Parajon - Medical doctor & pastor of First Baptist Church in Managua. Peace mediator with John Paul Lederach.

1940-Alive - Óscar Arias - President of Costa Rica 2006-2010. Museo para la Paz y el Progreso Humano (Fundacion Arias) in San José since 2003. 1987 2001
c1940-Alive - Norman Bent - Minister of the Moravian Church of Puerto Cabezas. Member of the Misquito community. Peace mediator with John Paul Lederach (qv).

1947-Alive - Alfred-Maurice de Zayas - Lawyer, writer, historian & peace activist. UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic & Equitable International Order.

1945-Alive - Paul Rivero - Poet, journalist & dissident. Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Václav Havel.

1948-2011 - Laura Inés Pollán Toledo - Teacher & opposition leader. Founded the dissident group Damas de Blanco.

1949-Alive - Alan Phillip Gross - International development professional. Emprisoned 2004-14 for taking communications gear to Jewish group in Cuba under contract to USAID.

1950-2012 - Carlos Vargas - Professor. VP of Intl Assn of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms. Helped draft "Model Nuclear Weapons Convention" for UN Gen Asby in 1997.

1952-Alive - Oswaldo Paya - Political activist. Considered Cuba's most prominent political dissident. Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Václav Havel.

1953-1980 - Jean Donovan - Maryknoll lay missionary. Raped & killed with 3 American nuns by Salvadorian army.

1955-Alive - Johanna Berrigan - Medical assistant. Catholic Worker. Co-founded House of Grace in Philadelphia. Visits poor in Haiti & Iraq.

1959-Alive - Rigoberta Menchu Tum - Promotes rights of Guatemala's indigenous peoples. 1992

1961-Alive - Óscar Elías Bicet - Medical professional. Advocate for human rights & democracy. Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Václav Havel.

1963-2011 - Sonia Perez - Activist for the rights of people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.

1964-2001 - Digna Ochoa - Human rights lawyer. Defended peasant ecologists in Guerrero. Received post mortem International Human Rights Award from Global Exchange.

1975-Alive - Yoani Sanchez - Blogger. Has received multiple international awards for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba.

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