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Ryszard Kapuscinski and Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino

Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 2003

The Jury for the Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities 2003, convened in Oviedo, comprising Lluis Xabel Álvarez, Ignacio Bayón, Raúl Bocanegra, Isabel Gómez-Acebo, Javier Gómez Cuesta, Javier González Ferrari, Miguel Ángel Gozalo, Manuel Lombardero, Hans Meinke, Jaime Montalvo Correa, Beatriz de Moura, Pedro Páramo, Ernesto Sáenz de Buruaga, José Antonio Sánchez, Ricardo Senabre, Jesús de la Serna, Enrique Ybarra chaired by D. Juan Luis Iglesias Prada and with D. Román Suárez Blanco as secretary, have unanimously decided to grant the Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities 2003 to Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino and Ryszard Kapuściński.

Ryszard Kapuściński, the Polish writer of long-standing experience, has been a model of the independent journalist for half a century, reporting faithfully from different continents on many of the major conflicts of our times, even at the risk of his own life. Rather than just keeping to a description of merely superficial facts, he has sought their causes and analysed their repercussions, particularly as they have affected the poorest in society, towards whom he feels profound commitment. His works are not only valuable reports and incisive reflections on the reality that surrounds us, but also examples of personal and professional ethics in a world where unfettered, undoctored information is an ever-increasing necessity.

The Peruvian theologian, Gustavo Gutiérrez, is the founder of the spiritual trend for renovation known as the Theology of Liberation, which calls for particular attention to be paid to the most underprivileged of society, in the belief that the liberation preached in the message of Christ does not only apply to Mankind's spiritual facet, but also to his physical and social conditions. Rather than being no more than a theoretical stance, this concept put forward by the Theology of Liberation constitutes a practice that has led to new-found dignity in the living conditions of millions of human beings, particularly in the less developed nations.

The Jury considers that Gustavo Gutiérrez and Ryszard Kapuscinski are both admirable ethical role-models of tolerance and profound humanism, in the light of their shared concern for the most underprivileged social strata, and their independence in the face of the many pressures that have attempted to distort their message.

Oviedo, 30th April 2003

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