Bianca Jagger Shares Honour

By Duncan Campbell, The Guardian
8 October 2004

Bianca Jagger, a leading Latin American environmental scientist and a Russian civil rights organisation are this year's winners of what has become known as the alternative Nobel prize.

The Right Livelihood award, worth £150,000, is presented annually by the Swedish parliament. Founded in 1980, the award is "to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today".

Nicaraguan Ms Jagger, the ex-wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, won her award for what the jury described as "her long-standing commitment and dedicated campaigning over a wide range of issues of human rights, social justice and environmental protection, including the abolition of the death penalty, the prevention of child abuse, the rights of indigenous peoples to the environment that supports them and the prevention and healing of armed conflicts."

This year she has been part of the international campaign seeking compensation from ChevronTexaco in connection with their operations in Ecuador. She is also a leading activist on behalf of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Twentieth Century Task Force to Apprehend War Criminals, and has campaigned against the death penalty in the US.

Her fellow winner, the Argentinian scientist and environmentalist Raúl Montenegro, was given his award for his work with indigenous people in Latin America to protect the environment there. The professor of evolutionary biology at the National University of Cordoba was a founder in the 80s of the environmental organisation FUNAM (Environment Defence Foundation).

The third recipient is the Russian human rights organisation Memorial, "for showing, under very difficult conditions, and with great personal courage, that history must be recorded and understood, and human rights respected everywhere."

The awards will be presented in Sweden in December.