To read the rest of 2007 winner Ivan Cepeda’s acceptance speech, click here
From June 12 to June
21, 2007, Human Rights First hosted Colombian human rights defender Ivan Cepeda
Castro, the winner of the 2007 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty.
Motivated into activism by the brutal assassination of his father, Colombian Senator Manuel Cepeda Vargas, Iván is currently the Director of the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes, an umbrella organization for more than 200 Colombian human rights organizations.
Together with other human rights defenders he has participated
in a process which has documented approximately 40,000 cases of serious human
rights violations committed in Colombia since 1966. Through remarkable perseverance
he has demonstrated that paramilitary groups have committed serious human rights
violations often in complicity with members of the Colombian armed forces.
During the trip, Dr. Cepeda met with international organizations and U.S.
policymakers in Washington and New York and officially accepted the award at
a ceremony held in a private home in Manhattan on June 20, 2007.
Press Coverage of the 2007 Baldwin Award