Washington, D.C. – On September 13, 2011, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) will be hosting a press conference preceding its 2011 Human Rights Awards gala. This year, the theme of the gala is Migration and Development: Stories that Make a Difference. WOLA will honor:
- Gael García Bernal—Internationally acclaimed actor and director who recently directed four short documentaries, The Invisibles, interviewing migrants in Mexico and revealing the untold stories behind one of the most dangerous journeys in the world;
- Ambulante—the non-profit Mexican organization founded by actors Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, and producer Pablo Cruz—for bringing the power of documentary films to places where they are rarely seen and for inspiring people to tell stories that make a difference;
- CEDECO—a pioneering Costa Rican development organization—for promoting a successful and climate-smart economic model to help small-scale farmers prosper throughout Central America.
1. PRESS CONFERENCE (Morning):
WOLA will hold a press conference with the award recipients on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 9:00am at the National Press Building’s Bloomberg Room. Space is limited, so please RSVP to Kristel Mucino at [email protected] by September 9.
The press conference will focus on the topic of migration and development. At a time when Washington is considering budget cuts, including to food aid and development programs in Latin America, it is important to remind policymakers of the links between migration and development—of the ways in which shortages of jobs, shortages of opportunities, and shortages of hope all contribute to the decision to migrate. The panelists will discuss the dangers and abuse that migrants face on their journey north. According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, over 11,000 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico in the 6-month period between April and September of 2010.
- Gael García Bernal, actor, co-director of The Invisibles, co-founder of Ambulante
- Elena Fortes, Ambulante's Executive Director
- Francisco Fonseca, CEDECO’s Executive Director
- Joy Olson, WOLA’s Executive Director
- Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz, co-founders of Ambulante, are also invited
2. AWARDS CEREMONY and GALA (Evening):
The awards will be given on the evening of September 13, 2011, at the Organization of American States (OAS), 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW.
The awards ceremony will start at 7:00 pm. Pre-set time for cameras is 6:20 pm. Final access time for journalists and still photographers is 6:45 pm. Space is limited, so please RSVP to Kristel Mucino at [email protected] by September 9.
Journalists are advised that there will be no Q&A session during the awards ceremony.
During their visit to Washington, our awardees will hold private meetings with congressional offices and government officials, public screenings of the documentary film “The Invisibles,” and participate in other events. WOLA will send details at a later time.