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OAS Dedicates Commemorative Plaque to Former Mexican President Benito Juárez

  October 19, 2010

A commemorative plaque in honor of former President of Mexico Benito Juárez, known as “Hero of the Americas,” was unveiled today at Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, DC, during an event attended by Secretary General José Miguel Insulza; Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin; the Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS, Gustavo Albín; and the Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the OAS, Joaquín Maza.

The plaque carries the inscription: “Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace,” a well-known statement by the Mexican leader, who was president of his country on various occasions between the years 1858 and 1872.

Secretary General Insulza recalled that Juárez was the first president of indigenous origin in the region, that he faced difficult circumstances during his mandates, and described him as “a man of peace who had to face war, a man of letters who had to become a political leader to pull his country forward, a person who fused ideals from the cultures that existed at that moment in our continent.”

He also said that “our admiration for Benito Juárez probably should be reflected in this House of the Americas, and that is why we are filled with pride today, with joy, to inaugurate this plaque in the name of someone who has deservedly been called Hero of the Americas.”

For his part, the Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS, Gustavo Albín, said it filled him “with honor to unveil in the House of the Americas on behalf of the government of Mexico” this plaque, “in the framework of the celebrations of Mexico’s Bicentennial of Independence and the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.” Ambassador Albín highlighted Juárez’s achievements, especially in confronting a foreign invasion, with the knowledge to “lead the popular will with a State vision to save the Republic and clench, as he himself said, a second Independence for our nation.”

“A universal hero, Benito Juárez projected republican Mexico towards the future and built the great pillars of our modernity,” Albín said. “His historic legacy persists as a permanent call for the union of our countries in favor of peace, democracy and freedom, in a framework of full inclusion and social justice.”

A photo gallery of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-388/10