François Houtart: A Unique Extraordinary Human Being

OBITUARIES, 19 June 2017

Alexandra Valiente | Internationalist 360º - TRANSCEND Media Service

The death of François Houtart, intellectual, political analyst, Marxist sociologist, priest and practitioner of liberation theology, the ‘pope of anti-globalization’, tireless fighter and friend, has taken us by surprise. He died on 6 Jun 2017 in Quito, Ecuador at the age of 92.

We have always seen him standing on the side of the excluded, of the marginalized, whether they were indigenous peoples, displaced peasants or unemployed youth. He was always concerned about the South and its people on how to help build that possible and necessary better world. In Viet Nam, Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Haiti, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Syria, or by the side of the Cuban people. There was no just cause that was alien to him.

Francois was the founder of the Tricontinental Centre, the magazine “Alternatives South”, the Alternative World Forum, where he dedicated his critical reflection and action to the defense of peace with social justice and the creation of alternatives involving deep social transformations that leave behind the predatory capitalist model that produces inequalities. François worked in recent years in what he called a new paradigm: “The Common Well of Humanity”, that discussed, reported, and incessantly defended different scenarios. He leaves with us more than 70 published books that hold the essence of his fruitful work.

A member of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity, since its birth in Mexico in 2003, Francois has been an admirable companion of struggles and was intelligent and sensitive in his actions. It is for this that we are dismayed today with the loss of this critical, loyal and wise man.

Francois Houtart. Photo credit: Sur y Sur

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