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Marta Benavides

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Title: Marta Benavides  
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Marta Benavides

Rev. Marta Benavides (born in San Salvador, El Salvador) is a theologian, ordained minister, permaculturist, educator, and artist.


She is one of the last surviving activists from the original group of human rights and peace advocates who began their work during the 1970s and in a rising climate of repression. A leader of an ecumenical revolution focused on bringing peace to her country, the ordained pastor who chose “to live and not die for the revolution” has been bringing people from all fields to defend human rights and develop a culture of peace. In the early 1980s, Benavides was head of the Ecumenical Committee for Humanitarian Aid, a group sponsored by the Archbishop Óscar Romero to provide support to the victims of violence. After Romero’s assassination in 1980, she continued to work for durable peace, in 1982 Benavides went into exile and worked for the next decade from Mexico and the United States to bring an end to the war in her country, and achieve a negotiated settlement under the UN.

Work for Peace

In 1991 a year before the peace accords were signed, Benavides returned home and founded the International Institute for Cooperation Amongst Peoples, which promotes the values and practices of a culture of peace. She established community training centers and travels throughout the country conducting workshops on sustainable agriculture, human rights, the prevention of community and family violence. She has founded the Siglo XXIII, the 23rd Century Movement for Sustainable Peace which works for social transformation through culture.


In 2003, she was one of 33 Laureates of the Women's World Summit Foundation Prize for Women's Creativity in Rural Life. In 2005 she was among the 1,000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009, she was awarded the Woman Peacemaker Prize from the Institute of Joan B. Kroc for Peace and Justice in the University of San Diego, California. She is one of the co-chairs of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) and sits on various boards at the international level. She continues to work for a culture of peace in her country and the world, through various initiatives at the UN and with civil society movements.

External links

  • The Pluralism Project Research Report
  • EcoTalk
  • Earth Rights Institute
  • 1000 Peace Women

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