Three top artists from across the Americas to join Amnesty International as first ‘Honorary Consuls’

  • Saúl Hernández: celebrated, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, singer, guitarist, bassist (Caifanes, Jaguares)
  • Gabriela Montero: award-winning and bestselling American-Venezuelan concert pianist, recording artist, and composer
  • Peter Sís: Czech-American internationally acclaimed illustrator, author and filmmaker

Mexico City, Saturday 9 May: Amnesty International today announced its first three ‘Honorary Consuls’ – global artists who will mobilize support for human rights and Amnesty International among the general public and within the artistic community.

The Honorary Consuls have been chosen because of their ability to inspire others through their art and personal passion, as well as their individual commitment to human rights. They today joined Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, in a ceremony in Mexico City to mark their new roles.  

“Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of members, supporters and activists who work together to fight injustice. I am delighted that three brilliant and inspiring artists have today joined our cause,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Through their art and their huge audiences across the Americas and beyond Saúl Hernández, Gabriela Montero and Peter Sis have the ability to take our human rights messages and campaigns to exciting new audiences. I am extremely grateful to them for their generous commitment to our work.”

Information on Honorary Consuls

Saúl Hernández

Saúl Hernández is a celebrated, Grammy Award-winning songwriter, singer, guitarist, bassist (Caifanes, Jaguares). Born in Mexico City, Saúl Hernández's music has transcended geographical and generational boundaries. He has composed more than 140 songs throughout his lifetime which make up the soundtrack to the lives of millions of people in Mexico, Latin America and the United States. His audiences are spread over several generations and share common dreams. His latest album is called 'Mortal' and features both classic and new songs.

Photo credit: Saúl Hernández

Gabriela Montero

Gabriela Montero is an award-winning and bestselling concert pianist, recording artist, and composer. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Gabriela Montero gave her first public performance at the age of five and has since worked with the most prestigious orchestras on some of the most notable concert stages in the world. She was a featured performer at the first inauguration of President Barack Obama, has been nominated for a Grammy Award and has won two Echo Klassik Awards in Germany. She was also a twice featured speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and was recently nominated by the Human Rights Foundation for Outstanding Work in the Field of Human Rights. In addition to her interpretations of the classical piano repertoire, Gabriela Montero is also celebrated for her unique ability to improvise, creating new works in real time. In 2011, she made her debut as an orchestral composer with “Ex Patria”, a musical portrait of Venezuela and her emotional response to the country’s descent into lawlessness, corruption, and violence. The piece was recorded with the YOA Orchestra of the Americas and conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, and will be released on 25 May 2015.

Photo credit: Shelley Mosman

Peter Sís

Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, and filmmaker. Born in Brno, then-Czechoslovakia, he began his film career by winning the Golden Bear Award at the 1980 West Berlin Film Festival, and his film work can now be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He turned to publishing in 1984 and quickly became one of the leading artists in the field. He has received many decorations including the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the Bologna Ragazzi Award (twice), and the Caldecott Honor (three times), and he is an eight-time winner of The New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2003. In 2007 he published The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. In 2012 he was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen lifetime achievement medal for illustration. His latest book is Ice Cream Summer and will be published by Scholastic on 27 May 2015. Peter Sis has designed two tapestries in support of Art for Amnesty which can be found in the Prague and Dublin airports. His public art mosaics can also be found on the Lexington Line in Manhattan, New York.

Photo credit: Todd Church