TOP > News > Details

Farewell to Rodolfo Stavenhagen

Date : 2016.11.16

Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen, one of IMADR board members, passed away on November  5, 2016 in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He was 84 years old. As a sociologist, researcher and human rights defender, Rodolfo dedicated his life to the realization of human rights of indigenous peoples and minorities in the world. We have lost a great human rights defender, but he will be in our memories. Goodbye Rodolfo!

Rodolfo Stavenhagen_14th IMADR Board Meeting

Messages from the Board of Directors 

“I wish before anything else to express my deepest condolence to the family and to the close colleagues of Rodolfo. He has been a mentor for me since the end of the 1970s when he joined the UN Programme on human and Social Development where we have thanks to him develop ed many activities related to indigenous peoples. His guidance was enlightening IMADR all the way from the 1990s till today. I was just about to contact him to find out if I could not visit him while I am attending the Cancun bio-diversity COP 13 in December not knowing about his health. I wish to express my solidarity with all IMADR colleagues in praying for him and for his family, and in our resolution to continue the struggle he led so well against all forms of discrimination and racism.”

Kinhide Mushakoji (Japan)

“He was such a support to us and always had faith in me to be the President of IMADR. At times when I was not sure whether to continue to remain he was one who always urged me to keep going saying we are with you.”

Nimalka Fernando (Sri Lanka)

“It is with profound sadness that I learned about the passing away of our co-director Rodolfo Stavenhagen. His personality combined the great values of wisdom, dedication and scholarship which he also applied over the years to the benefit of IMADR. I have known Rodolfo since the eighties of last century after he terminated his prominent function as Assistant Director General of UNESCO and became an internationally respected professor at the Collegio de Mexico. I was very pleased that he accepted to be a member of the Board of Directors of IMADR which had his full backing in terms of vocation and practice. Rodolfo also served with distinction as the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a mandate that is closely linked with IMADR’s mission. As a personal note I remember that Rodolfo occasionally spoke to me some words in the Dutch language dating back to his youth when his parents fled the nazi regime in the late thirties and settled for a short while in the Netherlands and managed to escape and to save their lives after the Germans occupied the Netherlands. No doubt this fact of history had an imprint on Rodolfo’s life. We will continue to remember Rodolfo Stavenhagen with great affection and hold him in our hearts and minds with deep feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Yours as ever,”

Theo van Boven (Netherlands)

“I had no Idea Professor Stavenhagen was ill. It was a bit of a shock for me. It’s very sad indeed. He will be missed.”

Hélène Sackstein (Switzerland)

“I knew from long time ago the Rodolfo sickness. I took with him three year ago in Buenos about his health. The prognosis was not very hopeful. It is an enormous loss for the Human Rights cause in General and for the Indigenous Populations in particular. He was also a great Scholar and a dear personal friend. “

Mario Yutzis (Arzentine)

“It is a very sad news demise of Rodolfo Stavenhagen. I was really impressed by his thought and knowledge on the issues of discrimination and Racism. My heartfelt condolence to him and may his soul rest in peace!”

Durga Sob (Nepal)

“This is very sad new.! Professor Stavenhagen gave so much to scholarship and activism. He will be sorely missed. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.”

Michael Sharpe (USA)

“I am very sad at the loss of Professor Stavenhagen who, as a scholar, was committed himself to the establishment of human rights of indigenous peoples. I have memories of him in the following situations. With Harada Funds, we supported his proposal to make database of minorities in the world long before. Later, we invited him to Japan to give his presentation in 1991. In early days, he developed the theoretical concept of minority rights in the globalization. When IMADR Board Meeting was held in Cuernavaca, Mexico on November 15 and 16, 2004, he invited us to his house where we met indigenous peoples.”

Kenzo Tomonaga (Japan)

“My deepest condolence to Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen who has been on the front of the struggle for establishing rights for the indigenous peoples and minority communities.”

Shigeyuku Kumisaka (Japan)

Back Number

Copyright © IMADR. All Rights Reserved.