Secretary General

Inauguration of Luis Almagro as OAS Secretary General

Washington, D.C., May 26, 2015

The Secretary General of the hemispheric institution announced he will work with all the countries of the region "without exception" and expressed his conviction that "it is time to put an end to unnecessary fragmentations. Beginning on May 26, as Secretary General of the OAS, my efforts will be focused on making the Organization a useful tool in the interests of all the peoples of the Americas, wherever they are from," he said.

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Luis Almagro Lemes

Luis Almagro

Secretary General

Luis Almagro was re-elected for a second term as Secretary General of the OAS on March 20, 2020. He was first elected as Secretary General of the OAS on March 18, 2015, with the support of 33 of the 34 member states and one abstention. Upon taking up the leadership of the OAS, he announced that the central theme of his administration would be “more rights for more people” and that he would work “to be the voice of the voiceless.” His priority at the helm of the General Secretariat is to put the Organization in touch with people’s needs and the new realities in the Hemisphere, as well as helping to ensure greater democracy, more rights, more security, and more development and prosperity for all.

As Secretary General, Almagro has prioritized defense of democracy and human rights in his daily work and has not hesitated to speak out when democracy and human rights are being trampled, as in the case of Venezuela, where he pressed for the enforcement of the Inter-American Democratic Charter (IADC), the “Constitution of the Americas,” as he calls it. He is the first OAS Secretary General to have invoked Article 20 of the IADC.

Pursuing a type of multilateral diplomacy predicated on principles, Almagro has also played an instrumental role in the search for solutions to the crisis in Nicaragua; he has put the struggle to restore democracy in Cuba at the very top of the regional agenda; he has increased OAS support for the Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP) in Colombia; he drove the creation of the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), the first OAS mission of its kind; and he reinvigorated and expanded the OAS electoral observation missions, with the first-time deployment of missions in such countries as the USA and Brazil. Almagro also played a key role in ensuring elections in Haiti, mediated in the migrant crisis between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and deepened diplomatic efforts in the territorial differendum between Belize and Guatemala in relation to the Adjacency Zone, among other initiatives.

After announcing his intention of hauling the OAS into the 21st century, he transformed and modernized the Organization’s communications policy, bringing it closer to the citizens of the Hemisphere by giving it a more proactive presence on social media platforms. By mid-2017 the official OAS accounts had over 1 million followers. According to Twiplomacy, the Secretary General is the most followed leader of an international organization.

A career diplomat, he has extensive regional and international experience. Almagro was his country’s foreign minister from March 1, 2010 to March 1, 2015. Under his tenure, Uruguay set new records for exports year after year. He also defined several landmark initiatives of President José Mujíca’s government that put the country on the global map. Uruguay decided to take in former prisoners from Guantanamo, granted asylum to dozens of Syrian families who were victims of their country’s civil war, and secured the endorsement of GRULAC for its election to a seat on the United Nations Security Council in January 2016.

Almagro was also ambassador to China for three years, after occupying senior diplomatic posts in his country’s foreign ministry and at its embassies in Germany and Iran.

In addition, he was elected as a senator in Uruguay’s national elections in October 2014.

Almagro is a lawyer by profession, is married to Luisa Fernanda Marín and has seven children. Apart from Spanish, he speaks English and French.

Journal Articles



  • Almagro, Luis; De Icaza, Gerardo. (2020). Derecho internacional de la Democracia.
  • Iniciativa Democrática de España y las Américas (IDEA) (2017), La Crisis de la Democracia en Venezuela, la OEA y la Carta Democrática Interamericana: Documentos de Luis Almagro (2015-2017), Editorial Jurídica Venezolana International.
  • Almagro, Luis; Porto, Luis; Conde, Roberto. (2015). Pilares de Política Exterior.
  • Almagro, Luis; Porto, Luis; Conde, Roberto. (2014). 200 Resultados de Política Exterior. Balance de gestión y principales metas cumplidas 2010-2014.

Other Articles

  • Almagro, Luis (2006). En el debe del Mercosur: Inversiones y Agenda Externa. (Anuario de Oficina de Programación y Política Agropecuaria (OPYPA) del MGAP).
  • Almagro, Luis (2006). En el debe del Mercosur: Inversiones y Agenda Externa.
  • Almagro, Luis (2006). Perspectiva sobre los eventuales acuerdos de libre comercio.
  • Almagro, Luis (2005). Bases para una política de inserción comercial externa. Política Exterior del Presente.
  • Almagro, Luis (2005). Agencia del Comercio Exterior.
  • Almagro, Luis (2005). Inteligencia Comercial Externa.
  • Almagro, Luis (2005). Inteligencia Comercial Interna.
  • Almagro, Luis (2005). Estrategia de la Unidad de Asuntos Internacionales. (Anuario de Oficina de Programación y Política Agropecuaria (OPYPA) del MGAP).
  • Almagro, Luis (2005). Bases para una política de inserción comercial externa.
  • Almagro, Luis (2004). Una visión diferente sobre la inserción internacional.


  • Annual prize of the “Foro Usina de Justicia” in recognition of the Organization of American States for the Hemispheric Plan for the Prevention and Reduction of Intentional Homicide.
  • “Freedom Flame of Expression” Award by the Center for the Study of Regulations in Telecommunications in Latin America (CERTAL).
  • Americas Society Gold Medal.
  • AJC Champion of Democracy Award by American Jewish Committee (AJC).
  • CHLI Ileana Ros-Lehtinen International Leadership Award by Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI).
  • Global Equality Champion por el Human Rights Campaign.
  • Romulo Betancourt Prize for Democratic Diplomacy por el Human Rights Foundation.
  • Honorary Membership Rotary Club Bethesda-Chevy Chase, by Rotary International, April 2019.


  • 16 de marzo -Recibió el VIII Premio FAES de la Libertad. En honor a la labor de defensa de los valores y la democracia que lleva a cabo el Secretario General de la OEA en América Latina. (España).
  • 12 de abril - Alas de Libertad, Red Liberal de America Latina (RELIAL), in recognition for inspiring others to fight for liberty (WDC)
  • 8 de mayo - Premio al Liderazgo Global 2018 de @YOA_Orchestra (WDC)
  • 15 de mayo - Legislatura de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires lo designa “Turista distinguido”, en el marco de su participación en el G20 Cumbre del Consumidor. (Buenos Aires).
  • 20 de julio - Recibe las llaves de la ciudad de Medley (Florida).
  • 9 de agosto - Recibe la distinción “Referente de la humanidad” por parte de la fundación @FJovenesLideres. (Buenos Aires).
  • 25 de agosto -  Recibe la llaves de la ciudad de Miami de manos del Comisionado de Distrito, Wifredo Gort, en evento organizado por la Cámara de Comercio Uruguayo-Americana. (Florida).
  • 8 de septiembre - Recibe premio de la XV Cumbre Latinoamericana de Marketing Político y Gobernanza en Miami. @cumbre_latino. Se lo dedica a todas las víctimas de abusos de DDHH y de las dictaduras que hay en el hemisferio.


  • The Oswaldo Payá Prize, which he should have accepted from Rosa María Payá, Director of the Red Latinoamericana de Jóvenes por la Democracia on February 22 in Havana, Cuba. However, this was not possible because the Cuban government itself prevented him from traveling to Cuba to accept the award.
  • The Rómulo Betancourt Order of Venezuelan Exile, which he accepted in Doral, Florida, on April 13 from the organization Venezolanos Perseguidos Políticos en el Exilio.
  • An award during the XIV Latin American Political Consulting and Governance Summit on April 13 on the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College in Florida for his work in defense of democracy and liberty on the continent.
  • The Freedom Award from Freedom House, which he received on April 27 in recognition of his work on behalf of Venezuelan political prisoners.
  • The 2017 Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award, received on October 2 from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.
  • The Francisco de Miranda Award, received on October 27 for his work defending freedom in the region.
  • The Press Freedom Grand Prize from the Inter-American Press Association, received on October 28. The president of the IAPA, Matt Sanders, said Mr. Almagro received the Prize “for his invaluable defense and promotion of freedom of expression and of the press as the very essence of democracy, as is recognized by the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”
  • The World Peace Prize from the World Jurist Association, received on October 31.
  • Mr. Almagro was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the Universidad de San Martín de Porres, Lima, Peru, on December 7, 2017, for his work to revitalize the OAS, his fight for democracy, and his flagship policy: More rights for more people.
  • 4th place in the Top 100 Leaders List from Multilateral Organisations by Richtopia.


  • In Canada he was named one of the 10 most influential Hispanic people, an award that the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance has given out for the past 10 years.
  • He received the Oswaldo Payá Liberty and Life Prize for his “outstanding efforts in defense of democracy.” The Latin American Youth Network for Democracy announced that Mr. Almagro was awarded the prize for “his coherent response to the political and social junctures through which certain countries experiencing crisis and democratic regression in Latin America are traversing.” The award is given to people or institutions who have stood out for their effective promotion and defense of human rights, life, and democracy.
  • Secretary General Almagro also received an award from the Inter-American Institute for Democracy (IID). Headed by Carlos Alberto Montaner, the IID chose Mr. Almagro as the winner of the 2016 Francisco Miranda Prize for his committed “defense of liberty and democracy in the Americas.”
  • The Secretary General was also selected to receive one of the awards bestowed annually by the Ibero-American Association of Communication (ASICOM) at a ceremony in the Paraninfo Hall at the University of Oviedo, Spain. Sergio Jellinek, the Secretary General’s strategic communications adviser, received the award on his behalf.
  • The Secretary General was awarded the 2016 Mark Palmer Prize, which the Community of Democracies gives to diplomats or international officials in recognition of their work to strengthen democracy and promote human rights.
  • He was also the recipient of the TIC-Americas 2016 “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award granted by the Young American Business Trust in June 2016.


  • H prize Secretary General Luis Almagro was granted this distinction by Uruguayan civil society groups in recognition of his firm defense of the rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, both at national level and international level, including on behalf of Uruguay in the various international bodies and organizations of which it is a Member.
  • Foreign Policy Magazine Global Thinker.



Reports on the Situation in Venezuela

Rounds of Sessions to analyze possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela - International Criminal Court (ICC)

Panel of Experts

Report of the OAS General Secretariat and the Panel of Independent International Experts on the Possible Commission of Crimes Against Humanity in Venezuela
Washington D.C., May 29, 2018