In Memoriam: Peter Bell

peter bell Inter-American Dialogue

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Peter Bell’s passing strongly impacted me, and I am still struggling to collect myself. I feel like it was yesterday when he and Karen received me with such affection in their beautiful house in Gloucester. I went, in part, to catch up on Peter’s ongoing efforts in this region of the world. I always felt that during the formative period of his career, he became fond of these parts and ways of viewing the world from the South. From the outset, he had empathy, an empathy that allows us to better understand why he gave so much to so many of us during a dark era for our region. We are grateful not only for what he gave us, but for the manner in which he did it — a result of his profound commitment to human dignity and people’s unalienable rights that must be respected. He devoted himself completely to this end. The struggles he waged during that time were crucial for better understanding between North and South. It has always been difficult to have a peaceful relationship between these regions, but with Peter it was easy, and we advanced towards a common purpose in several areas of cooperation.

Peter Bell will be sorely missed as we face the tasks ahead. He was a great builder, and there remains so much to be built. He who constructed so many bridges when there are still so many bridges left to build!

In bidding farewell I want to extend a big hug to Karen, who accompanied him throughout his journey. She has my respect, affection, admiration and gratitude for giving us the gift of friendship with the unforgettable Peter Bell.