César Estrada Chávez: a human rights champion

César Estrada Chávez was born on March 31, 1927 and died on April 23, 1993. He was an American trade unionist and activist, famous for his struggles in favor of agricultural workers of Hispanic origin.

He grew up in a family of Mexican American origins. After his parents lost their farm during the Great Depression, the family moved to California. The son of Mexican immigrants, together with Dolores Huerta, he founded the National Union of Peasants in 1962. He also supported animal rights and was vegan.

Cesar Chavez defended the human rights of farmers but also of workers in general, and he also defended animals.

He dedicated his life to gaining recognition of the rights of agricultural workers, inspiring and organizing them into the National Association of Agricultural Workers, which later became the union known as the United Agricultural Workers. He was inspired by Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience in India and the example of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy.

He supported the struggle of farm workers in the United States to improve their working and living conditions through negotiating contracts with their employers. Through marches, strikes and boycotts, Chávez forced employers to pay adequate wages and provide other benefits, and was responsible for the first law that enacted the Document of Agricultural Workers’ Rights.

In 2014 the film about story of his life was released, titled “Cesar Chavez”, with Michael Peña in the role of Chavez.

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Alberto Alessandro Buscema




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