Driven by the desire to find and consolidate paths for the peace of the human family, William Soto has worked for over fifty years creating and promoting projects, programs and campaigns in defense of human rights, global initiatives that seek to integrally sow a culture of peace within human beings, societies and nations.
William Soto Santiago was born on June 14, 1940 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, and from a very young age, he was known for his profound ideals of service to humanity.
William Soto Santiago received an Honorary Doctorate in Theology from Cambridge International University, in addition to being awarded the title of Professor Publicus Ordinarius by the same University. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities by Universidad Interamericana del Norte in Mexico.
Furthermore, the Cambridge Faculty of Theology of the Anglican Province of Ecuador awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Religious Studies. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Human Rights by Universidad Metropolitana de Asuncion in Paraguay. And he was granted the title of Professor Honoris Causa by Universidad Autonoma Gabriel Rene Moreno of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
—Saul Rosas Ferrufino, Rector of Gabriel Rene Moreno University—
“This is undoubtedly a transcendental event for the University community. On behalf of this entire University community of professors, students and administrative staff, Dr. Soto, I want to award you this recognition, which you deserve, in these times in which living in peace is always complicated..."
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Oscar Berger Perdomo, President of Guatemala (presidential term 2004 - 2008)
He has received honors and awards from authorities and congresses in different countries.
—Nicanor Duarte Frutos, President of the Republic of Paraguay (presidential term 2003 - 2008)—
"Doctor, once again, I want to thank you for your visit and for everything ..."
—Luis Federico Franco, Vice President of Paraguay (term 2008 - 2012)—
"We will help not only affectively but effectively; we have the best intentions. My thanks to the people of AMISRAEL though our friend, Dr. William...”
—Fernando Lugo Mendez, President of the Republic of Paraguay (presidential term 2008 - 2012)—
"Dr. William Soto Santiago, President of the Forum, I extend my warm greetings to you and to the members of the Forum from different countries. In Fernando Lugo you have an ally and a peacemaker.”
2008 Jerusalem Prize - Santiago de Chile
“Paulista Citizen” - Sao Paulo, Brazil
“Friend of Roraima” - Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil
Recognition for Work in Favor of World Peace - La Paz, Bolivia
World’s Meritorious Peace Award - Monterrey, Mexico
Keys to the City of Tijuana - Tijuana, Mexico
“Bearer and Sower of the Seed of Peace” - Venezuela
Keys to the City of Lambare - Lambare, Paraguay
“Illustrious Guest of Santa Cruz de la Sierra” - Bolivia
Recognition by the Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas - Jerusalem, Israel
Recognition by the Departmental Assembly of Antioquia - Colombia
Recognition as a Pacifist by the town of Sucre - Sincelejo, Colombia
“Illustrious Amazonense Citizen” - Manaus, Brazil
Recognition as a Pacifist - Acapulco de Juarez, Mexico
“Distinguished Guest of Juarez” - Juarez, Mexico
“Illustrious Visitor of Vicente Lopez” - Vicente Lopez, Argentina
“Citizen of Goiania” - Goiania, Goias, Brazil
“Ambassador of Peace” - Asuncion, Paraguay
“Distinguished Guest of Villahermosa” - Villahermosa, Mexico
Recognition by the Anglican Church - Bogota, Colombia
Recognition for Work in Favor of Humanity - Cayey, Puerto Rico
Honorable Mention Award - Asuncion, Paraguay
Jose Sarney, President of the Senate and former president of Brazil (presidential term 1985 - 1990)
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His work has also impacted the native communities of the Continent. Many Indigenous groups have acknowledged him as a spiritual leader, including the Guarani, Aymara, Ashaninka and Mapuche groups.
Recognition by the Chief of the Mapuche People and the Cano Antinao Community - Chile
Recognition at Tikal Park - Guatemala
Jairo Gaitan, Chief of the Vichada Community - Colombia
Recognition by the Kuripako People - Guainia, Colombia
Dr. Soto with the Ava Guarani Community - Paraguay
Dr. Soto is declared a Kapac Malku (Spiritual Guide) - Copacabana, Bolivia
“Ponchos Rojos” Recognition - Ancoraimes, Bolivia
Dr. Soto with the Tiwanaku Community - Bolivia
The Municipality of Tiwanaku - Bolivia
Aymara New Year 5515 and Winter Solstice - Bolivia
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He directed and promoted various projects in favor of peace, and in defense of human rights and universal values.
[Images: "Freedom to Gilad Shalit." / Manifestations of peace in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru]
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Among his many projects, Dr. Soto promoted the campaign A SINGATURE FOR PEACE, carried out in various countries during the war in the Middle East, collecting over two million signatures for peace, which were delivered to the United Nations during the General Assembly of that year.
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"I am an Agent of Peace!"
One of the largest campaigns initiated by William Soto was the AGENTS OF PEACE campaign, launched during his conference on September 13, 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, which drew millions of volunteers to work as promoters of peace around the world.
—Alvaro Uribe Velez, President of Colombia (presidential term 2002 - 2010)—
“If you were to ask me: ‘Do you want to be an Agent of Peace?’ Yes, I want to make a contribution, to persevere in this struggle for security as a major contribution towards peace.”
Aid to Haiti Earthquake Victims - January 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
One Million Toys for Peace Campaign - Monterrey, NL, Mexico
[Image: Relay with the American Cancer Society]
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“I officially declare the Jerusalem International Conference open.”
As the president of the Jerusalem International Conference, held from 2006 to 2010, he brought together government officials, and political, religious, academic and social leaders and researchers to visit Jerusalem, creating the ideal setting to promote dialogue among authorities from different parts of the world.
—Francisco Rosas Escalante, President of the Superior Court. Lima, Peru—
"I congratulate you and the Parliament of Israel, and I also congratulate Mr. Soto, here present, for having united representatives of various nationalities around the world."
—Benjamin Benmelor, Knesset member - Israel—
"I enjoyed very much this meeting and I have a lot of respect to each one of you. I want to thank very much Dr. William Soto...”
[Images: William Soto Forest - June 2009]
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Through interreligious dialogues, he has fostered the approach, dialogue and friendship of different religions.
—Bishop Manoel Ferreira, Federal Deputy - Brasilia, Brazil—
"Dr. William Soto, President of AMISRAEL!"
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Another one of his greatest achievements was the campaign RAISE OUR VOICE: PEACE IN THE HOLY LAND, a call to authorities to promote the resolution of conflicts between Israel and Palestine, but through bilateral agreements and mutual recognition, not unilateral decree.
Roberto Alejos, President of the Congress of Guatemala
Juan Carlos Espinosa, General Director of Foreign Policy - Panama
“A ‘no’ and the rejection of the creation of a Palestinian State by unilateral decree.”
"Peace in the Holy Land! Peace in the Holy Land!"
He took this initiative to the congresses of many countries.
Andres Chadwick, Minister of Interior - Santiago de Chile, Chile
Patricio Melero, President of the Chamber of Deputies - Santiago de Chile, Chile
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His most recent contribution is the project TRACES TO REMEMBER, which aims to create opportunities of reflection in parliaments, embassies, universities, schools, museums and public places, in order to teach about genocides, especially the Holocaust and its consequences, but above all, to educate new generations and thus prevent these acts from happening again.
Foreign Ministry of Panama
National Congress of Chile
San Lazaro Legislative Palace – Honorable Chamber of Deputies - Mexico
Luis Guillermo Velez Auditorium
Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica
Senate of the Republic of Colombia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala
Congress of the Republic of Paraguay
William Soto Santiago
Global Ambassador of Peace