Thor Halvorssen is a Venezuelan human rights activist and a film producer. He is of Norwegian (paternal) and Venezuelan (maternal) descent. His paternal grandfather, who was also the Norwegian’s king consul during World War II, helped redirect all of Norwegian’s merchant fleet to Venezuela after the Germans invaded his homeland. His mother descended from the very fist president of Venezuela, Cristobal Mendoza and also Simon Boliviar, a military leader who contributed to help Latin America win their independence from Spain. His career of advocating human rights began when he was a young adolescent in 1989, in London England, as he organized opposition against the South African apartheid. Thor at Facebook .
Halvorssen’s journey as full-time individual rights activist has definitely had it’s trials and tribulations. In 1993, his father was incarcerated in Venezuela for allegedly exposing government corruption while working as a drug czar. While in prison, his father was brutally beaten and tortured by prison guards. Later on in 2004, during a political protest against former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, his mother was shot by Venezuela’s government security apparatus. Even though he has dealt with this two family crisis, Halvorssen has never been the one to feel sorry for himself. If anything, these problems only seemed to motivate him to push himself even farther. In 2005, Halvorssen launched the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, a foundation dedicated to freeing political prisoners and promoting civil rights around the globe. Since launching this company, the Human Rights Foundation has successfully released seven prisoners of conscience, provided evidence to Truth Commissions and even publish two books on individual rights and responsibilities of the state. Due to the success of his foundation, Halvorssen has been called “the champion of underdogs and the powerless” by The New York Times.