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International Relations and Human Rights Observatory


Organization from Mexico and activists from Venezuela are winners of the Graciela Fernández Meijide Prize

The jury of the Graciela Fernández Meijide Prize for the Defense of Human Rights was composed of Norma Morandini, Vicente Palermo and Rubén Chababo. Instituted for the first time in the year 2023, the prize seeks to highlight and recognize the effort and work, in most cases in adverse contexts, of Human Rights activists and organizations from Latin America.

The jury convened by CADAL to analyze the nominations received for the Graciela Fernández Meijide Prize for the Defense of Human Rights in its 2024 edition decided to award it to the Brigada Nacional de Búsqueda (Mexico) and to the activists Javier Tarazona and Clara Ramírez of FUNDAREDES (Venezuela). A Special Mention was presented to the Diego Felipe Becerra Lizarazo Foundation - TRIPIDO (Colombia). With Gabriel Salvia, General Director of CADAL, present and after evaluating the ten applications received, the Jury decided to award the Graciela Fernández Meijide Prize in its 2024 edition to:

Category Organization: Brigada Nacional de Búsqueda (México) for representing a search model and an exercise of autonomy and democracy by collectives and relatives of missing persons who try to locate their loved ones in a context of risk, violence and impunity. Over the years, the Brigade has managed to develop a comprehensive methodology that seeks to rebuild the social fabric, generating profound changes for social transformation. Since its creation, it has served as a school for searchers and a seedbed for women human rights defenders who, in an autonomous and united manner, have been able to spread the practice of searches throughout the different territories of the country. The National Search Brigade has officiated and still officiates as a key security and accompaniment scheme in some states where the extreme situation of violence prevents families from going out in smaller search parties to find their loved ones. It is noteworthy that since 2019 to date, at least 22 searching mothers have been murdered and hundreds of them have been assaulted, threatened and displaced from their territory.

Brigada Nacional de Búsqueda de Personas Desaparecidas

Category Activists: Clara Ramírez and Javier Tarazona (Venezuela), both members of FUNDAREDES, a non-governmental organization that documents violations of the right to life in the states of Amazonas, Apure, Bolívar, Falcón, Táchira and Zulia in Venezuela, with emphasis on the victimization of women. FUNDAREDES has documented and denounced the presence of irregular armed groups in the states of Zulia, Apure, Amazonas and Bolivar, describing the impact of their activities on the indigenous communities in the area, as well as the control and influence they exert over educational centers. In these same 4 states, they provide legal advice, accompaniment, and documentation on cases of violations of personal freedoms, arbitrary detentions by state security agencies, as well as visibility for cases of forced disappearance.

Javier Tarazona

It should be noted that at the time of this award Javier Tarazona, president of this NGO, is arbitrarily detained by the Venezuelan authorities, and Clara Ramirez, with whom he shares this prize, acts in his stead as the head of this organization.

Clara Ramirez

The Jury has also decided to award a Special Mention to the Diego Felipe Becerra Lizarazo Foundation - TRIPIDO (Colombia), an organization that bears the pseudonym of the Bogotá graffiti artist Diego Felipe, a 16-year-old teenager who on August 19, 2011, was murdered by a patrol officer of the Metropolitan Police. From the moment Diego Felipe was murdered, his parents Gustavo Trejos and Liliana Lizarazo began an arduous work in search of justice to keep alive the memory of their son.

Fundación Diego Felipe Becerra Lizarazo

The Tripido Foundation's main objective is to promote education on and the promotion and responsible, social and cultural practice of graffiti, supporting urban art and preventing the abuse of authority in Colombia. The Foundation also provides support to victims of police violence and brutality through its support network that systematizes, provides legal assistance, follows cases and educates on human rights.

A representative of the National Search Brigade (Mexico) and activist Clara Ramirez (Venezuela) will be invited by CADAL to Buenos Aires to receive the Prize on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Totalitarianism, August 23, 2024, and to hold meetings with authorities, legislators, human rights referents and interviews with the media.


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