Today we received the very sad news that Eduardo Bustelo, my good friend and extraordinary colleague, passed away. I am writing this note without believing that this news is true. I have been incredibly lucky to know Eduardo and to have worked together with him for a long time – 25 years to be exact.
Eduardo was a great, amazing and creative thinker. He was the quintessential innovative contributor and activist for a better society. He was a person who spent his life moving ideas into action.
With Eduardo I had the experience of sharing ideas and hopes, discussing and arguing. The interactions created a richness that I treasure so profoundly. I am sure that everyone who crossed Eduardo’s path feels the same way, not just those of us who had the good fortune to be close to Eduardo, but also those who benefited from his illuminating insights, persuasiveness / clarity and powerful actions.
First and foremost Eduardo was a good person, a deep person. He was moved by the pain of others and always fought for a better state of wellbeing for all those whose lives he came across. He was an innovator and emancipator whose substantive ideas were original and liberating. He always saw beyond what others saw and observed.
Today we are left behind. Eduardo was a brilliant, creative shooting star whose contributions lifted his ideals from the mind into action. Eduardo was dedicated to “childhood” in a way that was rooted in promoting societal and world change. In his exraordinary book entitled “Recreating Childhood”, he argues that childhood is a category of emancipation and should be viewed as the first step toward freedom – it represents, in his view, the possibility of changing patterns that form the basic fabric of our society. It is the opportunity for equality that we all seek.
Eduardo’s concept of change and freedom formed the foundation of a book that we wrote together some years ago, entitled: “Everyone In: Proposals for an Inclusive Society”. Since then, each time we met we talked about writing a second edition to the book. There was always so much to say. And, it seemed, there was time enough to wait on that project. So we left the second edition for later and now the book’s next chapter will have to reside within all of us, flowering and multiplying through Eduardo’s ideas in mind and spirit.
Eduardo, so many people on this earth loved you so much. Today I am flooded with thousands of images — such as the day of our packed International Congress on the Rights of the Child, held in San Juan, Argentina in 2012. There, as in many other congresses that we organized and attended together, thousands of people gathered to learn from you, to hear you and to applaud you.
You will always be near.
Alberto Minujin, July 31, 2014
Eduardo Bustelo received his diploma in Political and Social Sciences from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, where he graduated with the Gold Medal for distinguished merit of the highest classification. He achieved his post-graduate degree from FLACSO Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, where he received his Master of Political Science and Public Administration. Later, he received his Master of Science degree in Politics and Social Planning at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Eduardo started his professional career after graduation as Director and Professor of the Department of Political Science in the Social Sciences Division of the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He led the Teaching Faculty of the Politics and Social Planning Department at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. He served as University Professor in various academic institutions throughout Argentina and abroad in the areas of social indicators, formulation and evaluation of projects and political and social programming.
Eduardo served as Vice Minister of Social Development for the Republic of Argentina He was elected Provincial Deputy and First Vice President of the Legislature for the Province of San Juan, Argentina.
Eduardo assumed the presidency of “Parliamentary Forum on Infancy” for the Republic of Argentina; he founded the UNICEF office in Argentina and was it first director from 1989 to 1993. He served in UNICEF’s Regional Offices for Latin America and the Caribean as Social Policy Advisor until 1997.