BIANCA JAGGER Biography - Activists, Revolutionaries and other freedom fighters


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Bianca Jagger was born in 1950 in Nicaragua, where she experienced the harsh             
US-backed military rule of the Somoza family, which ruled Nicaragua for almost           
half a Century until 1979. At the age of 16 she won a scholarship to study at             
the Paris Institute of Political Studies. She was married to Mick Jagger from             
During her childhood and adolescence she witnessed first hand the terror of               
Somoza's National Guard, and when she returned to the capital Managua as a young         
woman in 1972 to search for her parents after the disastrous earthquake that             
left 10,000 dead - she witnessed the Somoza regime profiting from the tragedy of         
the victims, ruthlessly pocketing millions of dollars Nicaraguans were meant to           
receive from humanitarian aid. Ms Jagger’s early experiences had a profound               
effect on her life and inspired her to campaign for human rights, social and             
economic justice throughout the world. Over the years she has received                   
international attention as both a passionate and effective campaigner.                   
In 1981, she was part of a US congressional fact-finding mission visiting a UN           
refugee camp in Honduras, when an armed death squad from El Salvador crossed the         
border, entered the camp and abducted 40 refugees, and proceeded to march them           
towards El Salvador. Bianca Jagger and fellow members of the delegation gave             
chase along a dry riverbank, armed only with cameras. The abductors pointed               
their guns at them, but were told, "You would have to kill us all or we will             
denounce your crime to the world.” There was a long silence and without                   
explanation, the death squads released their captives and disappeared.                   
In the 1990s Ms Jagger evacuated 22 children from the worst war zones in Bosnia.         
Mohamed Ribic, a boy 8 years old, lived with her in New York for a year after a           
successful heart operation, before returning to his parents. In 1993, Ms. Jagger         
went to the former Yugoslavia to document the mass rape of Bosnian women by               
Serbian forces as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing. For many years she             
campaigned to stop the genocide in Bosnia and make the perpetrators accountable           
before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Her         
reports on the war crimes against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo contributed to the           
international community decision, to intervene and stop the genocide. She has             
been on many fact-finding missions, which have taken her to Nicaragua,                   
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, to remote rainforests in Brazil and Ecuador,           
to Bosnia, Kosovo, Zambia, Afghanistan, Iraq, India and Pakistan.                         
In the 1990s she also spoke out on behalf of indigenous populations rights in             
Latin America, and to save the tropical rainforests where they live, campaigning         
on behalf of the Miskito Indians in Nicaragua against the government's granting           
of a logging concession to a Taiwanese company which would have endangered their         
habitat on the Atlantic Coast; helping demarcate the ancestral lands of the               
Yanomami people in Brazil against an invasion of gold miners; and working with           
other rainforest groups against the threatened clearance of about 40 per cent             
of the Amazon rainforests for soybean plantations for international export.               
In 1996, she was given the Abolitionist of the Year Award by the National                 
Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in the USA for her efforts on behalf of           
Guinevere Garcia, a death row prisoner in Illinois, whose sentence was commuted,         
after Jagger's campaign. In November of that same year, Ms Jagger received a             
Champion of Justice Award as a “steadfast and eloquent advocate for the                   
elimination of the death penalty in America”. Her articles, lectures and press           
conferences on the subject continue to challenge a penal system that is unfair,           
arbitrary and capricious, and jurisprudence fraught with racial discrimination           
and judicial bias. In 2004 she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the Fight         
Against the Death Penalty by the Council of Europe. Jagger has also been a               
goodwill ambassador for the Albert Schweitzer Institute and has worked for               
Amnesty International on their "Stop Violence Against Women", "Torture" and               
"Death Penalty Campaigns". She spoke at the anti war rallies in London in spring         
In 2004 Jagger added her name to the international campaign seeking compensation         
from ChevronTexaco for gross environmental damage in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The           
US-based oil company is accused of creating a ‘Rainforest Chernobyl’, turning             
the Ecuadorian Amazon into an environmental quagmire. During two decades of               
operations in Ecuador (1971-1992) Texaco (now ChevronTexaco) dumped more than 50         
per cent more oil into the rainforest environment than that spilled during the           
Exxon Valdez disaster. The waste has spread over many years to contaminate               
groundwater, rivers and streams on which 30,000 people  - including five                 
indigenous groups – depend for water.                                                     
Jagger was part of a fact-finding mission to the area in October 2003 and 2004.           
She confronted ChevronTexaco’s CEO at the company's annual shareholders' meeting         
in April. "Instead of a single, dramatic spill that captured headlines around             
the world, what happened in Ecuador was far more... insidious," she said. "Over           
the course of 20 years, Texaco slowly poisoned the residents of the Oriente               
Region by dumping toxic waste and crude oil into the water systems. None of my           
past experiences as a human rights’ campaigner prepared me for the environmental         
devastation I witnessed in the provinces of Orellana y Sucumbios. Nor was I               
prepared for the sad stories of human suffering and the heightened incidents of           
cancer and spontaneous abortions."                                                       
She argued that the oil company neglected to use the technology available at the         
time to protect the environment. "The reason why they did not do it is they               
believe life in the third world is worth nothing,” she said. "That's why this             
case is so important.  We need to make them accountable." In an earlier speech           
in Ecuador itself, she said: "These visits lead me to conclude that until                 
ChevronTexaco addresses the environmental damage it has caused in Ecuador, it             
should be treated as an outlaw company that does not deserve the right to do             
further business or make further investments in any country anywhere in the               
world." Jagger also played a prominent role with Greenpeace in the launch of             
their "Boycott Esso campaign".                                                           
On June 9, 2004 Bianca Jagger received the World Achievement Award from                   
President Gorbachev for "Her Worldwide Commitment to Human Rights, Social and             
Economic Justice and Environmental Causes".                                               
In March 2004 Jagger made a keynote speech at the launch of Amnesty                       
International's Stop Violence Against Women campaign. She plans to make                   
campaigning against sexual exploitation of children a central plank of her               
future work.                                                                             
Bianca Jagger is a member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Council for             
Amnesty International USA, member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights               
Watch -America.  Ms. Jagger also serves on the Advisory Board of the Coalition           
for International Justice. She is a member of the Twentieth Century Task Force           
to Apprehend War Criminals; a Board member of People for the American Way and             
the Creative Coalition.