Sociology Index

Herbert José de Sousa

Herbert José de Sousa, conhecido como Betinho was a sociologist and activist against economic injustice and government corruption in Brazil and founder of the Brazilian Institute of Social Analysis and Economics (IBASE). In 1963, he became chief of staff in the Ministry of Education, but exiled himself after the military took power in the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état. Betinho's contribution in the fight against the HIV/AIDS is considered to be immense. According to some who appreciate his role, the eyes of Betinho were lighthouses that guided and illuminated ways to be trod. In 1992 Herbert José de Sousa launched Movement for Ethics in Politics, and in 1994 he started an annual drive, "Christmas Without Hunger."

Herbert José de Sousa was the leading figure in the foundation of the social and political organisation "Acao Popular" ("popular action"), a non-marxist leftist movement engaged in mobilizing the poor majority of the Brazilian population. In a 1994 article, Betinho anticipated one of the main trends of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brazil: its pauperisation. On November 12, 2014 the Brazilian Congress voted to honor Betinho by changing the name of the bridge linking Rio de Janeiro and Niterói from Costa e Silva to Betinho.

The Betinho Prize is offered by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) in the field of information and communication technologies. "The Internet has not yet been converted into a giant online shopping mall. There are thousands of projects big and small working online around the world that prove that the Internet can be, and is being, used as a powerful tool for development and social justice." Its goal is to focus on "exceptional and sometimes little known initiatives". In 2003 and 2005 the Betinho Prize was offered in recognition of outstanding examples of information and communication technologies use specifically based in Latin America and the Caribbean.