Sofía Macher, a leading human rights advocate in Peru, received the 2004 Notre Dame Prize at an event in Lima. Rev. James McDonald, csc, Latin American affairs advisor to Rev. Malloy, presented the award on behalf of Malloy and the University of Notre Dame. Macher has played a central role in her country's pursuit of transitional justice and healing after two decades of civil war. Over the past four years, she has helped Peru to take crucial steps in its ongoing project of political recovery, including establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation after Peru returned to relative political normalcy in 2000 and, more recently, investigations by the Commission into crimes against citizens. She served on that commission and more recently has helped to implement its recommendations. Her career as a social justice advocate spans 24 years.
Macher donated the $10,000 matching component of her award to a new Fund for Children and Youth of Huancavelica, which will focus on rebuilding educational opportunities for young people in Peru's Huancavelica state, an area especially hard-hit by poverty and political violence.