Media Center

Press Release

OAS Secretary General Presents Prizes for Contributions to Reduction of Poverty and Inequality in the Region

  October 15, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, presented the prizes of the Grupo Vidanta Foundation to the Mundo Mujer Foundation, of Colombia, to the Chilean organization Un Techo para Chile and to Comunidades de la Tierra, of Guatemala, for the work these organizations carry out to fight poverty in the region.

In a ceremony held in the Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, Secretary General Insulza highlighted the value of the efforts of these organizations, which structure their activities around issues related to poverty. The head of the OAS praised the work of the winners in influencing the elaboration of public policies that fight the causes of underdevelopment and for creating awareness of the negative social effects of inequality and discrimination.

The jury that chose the winners of the prize was integrated by the former President of Colombia César Gaviria, the former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados Billie Miller, the Spanish diplomat Carmelo Angulo, and the Chilean diplomat Luis Maira.

"I wish to recognize the talent of our people and the importance of taking advantage of it to benefit others,” Secretary General Insulza said. He added that the prize is given at a time when poverty rates in the region have fallen in recent years, and when despite the crisis Latin America and the Caribbean have persevered. “The reason for this has to do with public policies and with economic growth, but above all with initiatives like those undertaken by these groups, intended to fight poverty.”

Secretary General Insulza explained that “the OAS understood it had to partner with this great idea because it reflects some of the fundamental precepts of modern democracy in the Americas, stated specifically in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” Finally, he thanked the young members of the winning organizations for their “great work toward making a reality our dreams of democracy for all.”

The prize is rooted in a joint initiative by the OAS, the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and the Grupo Vidanta Foundation. Its goal is to recognize and support outstanding work carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce poverty and inequality and fight discrimination.

The annual award is given to citizens of American countries and of Andorra, Spain and Portugal. The first prize carries $100,000; the second, $75,000; and the third, $50,000.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-382/10