We are deeply saddened by the passing of Javier Diez Canseco, a friend and longtime colleague of WOLA, on May 4. Javier was a tireless defender of human rights and a colleague of exceptional importance for WOLA. In fact, Javier was one of the key people who alerted WOLA to the human rights violations in Peru in the early 80s. Javier played a large role in leading organizations like WOLA and the wider international community to care about the issue of human rights in Peru during the most difficult years of Peru’s internal armed conflict and to fight for the restoration of democracy during the Fujimori dictatorship. During his many years in the Peruvian Congress, he conducted major research on human rights violations and corruption. He will always be remembered for his unwavering dedication to human rights and social justice, and his commitment to the poorest people of Peru and his struggle to build a more just country.
Javier has always accompanied us in our work in Peru and we will miss him. He faced his illness with the same attitude he has faced other difficult situations in his life: with courage, fighting spirit, and a good sense of humor. Until the end, he served and will continue to serve as an example for those who share his values and principles.
We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Liliana, his children, and his friends.