President Aragonès handing the award to Michelle Bachelet {"name":"2023/03/22/13/34/492b7e08-b3cc-4092-83b1-509ead6ad1e3.jpg","author":"Arnau Carbonell","type":"0","location":"0","weight":3622647}

President Pere Aragonès today presented the 20th Joan Alsina Human Rights Award, granted by Casa Amèrica Catalunya, to former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet. According to Aragonès, “it is an honour” to award this distinction to Bachelet in “recognition of a lifetime of constant and steadfast commitment to the promotion and defence of human rights”.

During the event, which concluded his official trip to Latin America, the Catalan President highlighted Bachelet’s “political commitment” and indeed her entire political career, “not just in support of the Chilean people but humanity itself”, during the period in which she was the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also noted that during her presidency “there was a very notable emphasis on human rights and on policies to recover collective memories”.

The award ceremony took place at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago. The President highlighted the importance of this space “of living remembrance, where the memory and dignity of the disappeared, of the people killed by the dictatorship, and the political exiles, are constantly being recovered”. “It is an example for all democratic memory policies around the world”, he added, and stated his conviction that “it will also have an impact on how we go about making better public memory policies in Catalonia”.

Pere Aragonès also devoted a few words to Joan Alsina, who he said was “one of the bridges that unites the shared memory of both Chile and Catalonia”. Joan Alsina was a Catalan priest who was executed under Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile in 1973. The award that bears his name has distinguished, among others, the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Argentina); the Honduran environmentalist, feminist and indigenous activist, Berta Cáceres (In Memoriam); the environmentalist and social leader, currently Vice-President of Columbia, Francia Márquez; the Araguaia Association with Bishop Casaldàliga; the Chilean judge, Juan Guzmán; the Brazilian indigenous communication platform Mídia Índia, and the Argentinian lawyer, Carlos Slepoy.