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Release: Sept. 27, 1999

Argentine human rights activist to speak to foreign relations council

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Adolfo Perez Esquivel, a human rights activist from Argentina will speak to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council Friday, Oct. 1. His presentation, "Third World Debt Forgiveness" begins at noon in the Fellowship Hall of the Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St., Iowa City, and is open to the public.

Perez Esquivel is the recipient of the 1999 Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award presented by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport. A former professor of architecture, he left his teaching post in 1974 to become secretary general of Servicio Paz y Justicia, a grassroots Latin American network promoting justice, peace and human rights. He was jailed by the Argentine government in April 1977 for his advocacy for human rights.

This struggle led to his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980. The Nobel Foundation's citation read in part, "Perez Esquivel is among those Argentines who have shone a light in the darkness. He champions a solution of Argentina's grievous problems that dispenses with the use of violence, and he is the spokesman of a revival of respect of human rights." He is the author of "Christ in a Poncho," a proponent of Gandhian nonviolence, and an international delegate for peace.

New Pioneer will cater the lunch, and the cost is $6.50 for members and $8 for non-members. There is no charge for those who bring their own lunches. Checks may be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 120 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. For more information, call ICFRC Executive Director Tom Baldridge at 335-0351. They are unable to take reservations by phone but last minute adjustments may be made.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Monday, Oct. 4, following the noon news.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.