The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday announced its decision to award Brazilian intellectual and theologist Frei Betto the 2013 UNESCO/Jose Marti Prize for his contribution to social justice and human rights.
Betto has made "an exceptional contribution to building a universal culture of peace, social justice and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean," said UNESCO in a statement.
"The laureate was selected in recognition of his work as an educator, writer, and theologian; his opposition to all forms of discrimination, injustice and exclusion; and his promotion of a culture of peace and human rights," said UNESCO.
UNESCO selected Betto for the prize based on the recommendation of an international jury.
The prize, named after famous Cuban politician and intellectual Jose Marti, will be awarded in Havana on Jan. 30, at the Third International Conference on World Balance, which marks the 160th anniversary of Marti's birth.
It rewards outstanding contributions by organizations and individuals to the cause of Latin American and Caribbean unity and integration based on the respect for cultural traditions and humanist values, UNESCO said, adding it was also established to raise awareness of equity and human rights, particularly among decision-makers.
Betto was born in 1944 and became a Dominican friar in 1965. He is a supporter of Liberation Theology in Latin America.