Freelance Spain
Spaniards for the 21st century

Juan Carrero Saralegui
Human rights activist and president of the S'Olivar Foundation.

Juan Carrero Saralegui was proposed as a candidate for the 2000 Nobel Prize for Peace (the award finally went to Korean president Kim Dae-jung) for his efforts to denounce genocide in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Carrera is the president of the S'Olivar Foundation in Estellencs, on the island of Mallorca. In 1999 he was given the Courage of Conscience Award granted by the Peace Abbey organization of Massachusetts.

Juan Carrero Saralegui was born in Arjona (Jaén) on February 18, 1951. At age 19, after three years of   Philosophy studies at university, he and a group of friends established a commune on the S'Olivar farm in Mallorca and spent the following four years devoted to meditation, prayer and the study of Theology. In 1974 he became one of the first conscientious objectors in Spain.

An admirer of Mahatma Gandhi, he spent three years in the Andes teaching children of the Quechua tribe in Argentina, near the border with Chile, along with his wife Susana, whom he'd met at the L'Arch community in France, and an Argentinian friend, future Nobel Peace Prize-winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel. At that time the military coup in Argentina took place, and because of their work they were at the risk of reprisals from the new regime.

Since 1994 Carrero and his foundation, which was established in 1992, have actively denounced the massacres of Hutus in Rwanda and Burundi. In 1996 he walked one thousand kilometers (more than 600 miles) to Geneva to draw attention to the situation in the Great Lakes region of Africa. One year later he went on a 42-fast in front of the European Union Council headquarters. His campaign was supported by 19 Nobel Prize winners including Rigoberta Menchú, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his friend Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

Copyright © Mark Little

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