Betto, Frei (Brasil)
Frei Betto is a Dominican monk, liberation theologist, writer, and political activist from Brazil. He was born in 1944 in Belo Horizonte. In the early 60s he was a Catholic student-leader and studied journalism. In 1964 he was imprisoned for the first time after the state strike. In 1965 he began his theology studying, although he still continued his journalism. In 1969 he was imprisoned for four years and tortured. When he was finally let free in 1973 he created the organization “Theology for the Third World.” Up until the late eighties he had published twelve theological, political and journalistic books. The intersection of Christianity and the Latin American Revolutions is one of his main focal points. He coordinated the ANAMPOS (National Coalition of People’s Movements and Trade Unions) and Center for Popular Movements. In addition to assisting with many organizations, he is also one of the founding members of the Education for All program. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Advisory Council for the Justice and Peace Commission of Sao Paulo.
Over the years he has received many awards for his work on behalf of Human Rights. After the Bruno Kreisky Prize he won awards from the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, and the Right Livelihood Award. Most recently in August of 2007, he won the Tiradentes Medal from the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro, and also became an honorary citizen of Brazil the same year. In 2013 he was the recipient of the International Jose Marti Prize of the UNESCO.