Alfredo Vázquez Carrizosa was born in 1909 in Bogota, Colombia. He was already 82 years old at the time he received the Bruno Kreisky Prize. He was a lawyer and expert in questions of international politics. He was the Foreign Minister from 1970 to 1974 and during this time period he promoted human rights within Colombia. In the late eighties he took on the position of Speaker for the Permanent Committee for the Protection of Human Rights, the Comite Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos. When he took on this duty, the human rights situation in Colombia was dire. The right-winged death squadrons, the drug wars, and the guerrilla war all presented problems. In the first half of 1990 over 5,000 politics-related deaths were counted. It took considerable boldness to stand against such odds. Alfredo Vázquez Carrizosa died in 2001.