STATEMENT 102 | Photo: Right Livelihood Award.
The Commissioner Iván Velásquez Gómez received today in Stockholm, Sweden the ‘2018 Alternative Nobel Prize´ for “his innovative work in exposing abuse of power and prosecuting corruption, thus rebuilding people’s trust in public institutions.” The Right Livelihood Award Foundation granted this recognition.
Other persons recognized for their fight against corruption were also awarded, as well as human and civil rights defenders, such as the former Attorney General, Thelma Aldana (Guatemala); Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair (Saudi Arabia); Yacouba Sawadogo (Burkina Faso); Tony Rinaudo (Australia).
The Right Livelihood Award Foundation presents this award to the “courageous people and organizations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems.”
Upon receiving the prize, Velásquez said, “Corruption is a crime against humanity and human dignity. The fight against it is the fight for a dignified life for all people, and especially those who are marginalized.”
The organizers of the event noted that Commissioner Velásquez had promoted a “model of local and international legal action, unique in history and a point of reference for other countries that have faced similar challenges. The cooperation with former Attorney General Thelma Aldana and the institutions they have represented has led to several high-profile criminal investigations: especially known is the corruption case known as “The Line” (La Línea), which includes more than 60 prosecutions and the arrest of the then president Otto Pérez Molina and his vice president Roxana Baldetti”.
“Aldana and Velásquez have played a crucial role in shaping a defining era in Guatemalan history, while also rebuilding trust in public institutions. As a consequence, they have faced a sustained resistance and have endured a great personal risk. Their courageous and exemplary work has so far resulted in more than 60 criminal structures identified, more than 310 convictions, and 34 proposed legal reforms.”
As part of the award program, the Commissioner Velásquez held high-level meetings in Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany.