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Profile of Bianca Jagger
Bianca Jagger is a prominent international human rights advocate. For over twenty years she has campaigned for social and economic justice and environmental protection throughout the world.
She was born in Nicaragua, Bianca Perez-Mora Macias, on May 2 1950. In the mid-sixties she left her native country armed with a French Government scholarship to study Political Science in Paris.
During the eighties, Ms Jagger campaign against the Contra War and US-sponsored military interventions in Central America. She campaigned against the murder, torture, and disappearance of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. She was awarded an honorary Humanities Degree by Stone Hill College, Massachusetts, in 1983 for her work on behalf of human rights in Latin America
In the nineties, Ms. Jagger began to campaign on behalf of indigenous populations and the tropical rain forests in Latin America. Her commitment to this cause brought her to her native Nicaragua, to Honduras, and Brazil. In 1991 her efforts proved instrumental in stopping a logging concession which would have endangered the Miskito Indians’ habitat on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. A few years later Ms Jagger petitioned the Brazilian Federation Courts to demarcate and protect the lands of the Guarani peoples of Brazil, and in 1994, participated in a similar effort to protect the Yanomami people of Northern Brazil from invasions of their lands by gold miners who polluted their water, causing many deaths among this ancient tribe. In recognition for her efforts, she was presented the 1994 United Nations Earth Day International award. And in 1997, she was the recipient of the Green Globe award by the Rain Forest Alliance, “for her extraordinary conservation efforts and achievements over the past ten years”.
In 1993, Ms. Jagger’s efforts brought her to the former Yugoslavia to document the mass rape of Bosnian women by Serbian forces as part of their campaign of ethnic cleansing. For many years Bianca Jagger urged the International community to stop the genocide that was taking place in Srebrenica and since then she has campaigned to make the perpetrators accountable before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Her work on behalf of the countless victims of conflicts throughout the world, earned her several awards, among them the Amnesty International/USA Media Spotlight Award for leadership “in recognition for her work on behalf of human rights around the world, exposing and focusing attention to injustice”.
Ms Jagger has campaigned on behalf of countless death row prisoners. On 22 June 2000, she witnesses the execution of Gary Graham in the state of Texas. He had been sentenced to die based on a single eyewitness testimony. Evidence, subsequently uncovered, calls into serious question this witness identification. Six other witnesses signed affidavits stating that the killer was not Gary Graham. He could have been saved by The State Board of Pardons and Parole and yet they denied clemency. Governor George W. Bush, could have granted a reprieve and yet he washed his hands and refused to intervene. Ms Jagger continues to this day to denounce the lack of meaningful appellate review in commutation proceedings in many states in the US and she continues to denounce the defendants’ poor access to executive clemency and the State’s lack of recognition for the defendant’s capacity for change, rehabilitation and remorse.
On June 29, 1996, Bianca Jagger was made recipient of the “Abolitionist of the Year Award” by the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty “for her tireless efforts and heroic dedication in achieving clemency for Guinevere Garcia”.
Ms Jagger has denounced George W. Bush’s “War on Terror” and his assault on international law, human rights and civil liberty. His efforts to develop a parallel justice system, circumventing decree by decree the oversight of Congress and the Courts “violate the fundamental rights guaranteed under US Constitution” and “Any curtailment, suspension or elimination of the constitutional liberties weaken rather than strengthen the war on terror”.
On 16 December 2003 Bianca Jagger was appointed Council of Europe’s Goodwill Ambassador “For the Fight against the Death Penalty”
On 9 December 2004 Bianca Jagger received the Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Prize for 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."
Ms. Jagger is Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador, member of the Executive Director's Leadership Council for Amnesty International USA and member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch/America. She is a member of the Twentieth Century Task Force to Apprehend War Criminals; a Board member of People for the American Way and the Creative Coalition
Ms Jagger has written articles for the op-ed page of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Observer (UK), The Guardian (UK), The Independent (UK) The Mail on Sunday (UK), The Sunday Express (UK) The New Statesman (UK), The Scotsman (UK) Liberation (FR), Le Journal du Dimanche (FR), Le Juriste International (FR), Panorama (IT) and the European (UK), The Dallas Morning news, the Columbus Dispatcher, to name a few.