Pérez Aguirre, Luis (1941–2001)

views updated

Pérez Aguirre, Luis (1941–2001)

Luis Pérez Aguirre (b. 1941; d. January 25 2001), Uruguayan human rights activist. Pérez Aguirre was born to a patrician family. He had his primary education at the Richard Anderson School and his secondary education under the Jesuit fathers at Sacred Heart in Montevideo. He later studied civil aviation and in 1959 joined the Jesuits. While becoming a Jesuit priest, he undertook further studies in Chile, Argentina, and Canada in psychology, humanities, philosophy, and theology. He returned to his country in 1970 and threw himself into social work, concentrating primarily on the phenomenon of prostitution, but as the political situation worsened, he became more and more involved in the struggle for human rights.

After he was arrested for "subversive behavior," Pérez Aguirre was forced to leave the country and, under the direction of his superiors, undertook further studies at the University of Comillas in Spain. Returning to Uruguay around the late 1970s, he worked with groups of youths in the city of Las Piedras, in the department of Canelones, where he founded SERPAJ (Service for Peace and Justice) in 1984. This work gained him the support of Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, the Argentine Nobel Peace Prize laureate. From Las Piedras, Pérez Aguirre involved himself in the intense political activity surrounding the plebiscite of 1980, with which began the country's movement toward democracy. With that work complete and a SERPAJ team established in Montevideo, Pérez Aguirre began directing La Huella, a home for abandoned children and young people in Las Piedras. He also publishes books on educational and cultural themes and continues his social work with prostitutes. His work is also associated with liberation theology.

See alsoService for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ) .


Juan José Mosca, Derechos humanos (Montevideo, 1985).

Luis Pérez Aguirre, Predicaciones en la plaza (1985), Anticonfesiones de un cristiano (1988), and La iglesia increíble (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Harper, Charles R. Impunity, An Ethical Perspective: Six Case Studies from Latin America. Geneva: WCC Publications, 1996.

Luna, Héctor and Pérez Aguirre, Luis. Huellas de una vida. Montevideo: Trilce, 1997.

Machamer, Gene. Hispanic American Profiles. New York: One World, 1996.

Pérez Aguirre, Luis. La condición femenina. Montevideo, Uruguay: Ediciones Trilce, 1995.

Pérez Aguirre, Luis. "La penalizacion es injusta inútil e inmoral." Semanario Brecha, (March, 2001).

                              JosÉ de Torres Wilson

About this article

Pérez Aguirre, Luis (1941–2001)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article