The Manuel F. Ayau Award: A Life for Freedom is a recognition conferred on prominent figures of the pro-liberty movement in Latin America, who through their work have contributed to the building of a freer future in the region. This award is granted by Students For Liberty and the Francisco Marroquin University.

Historical Recipients


The award was granted to Piñera during the celebration of the 1st Latin American Conference of Students For Liberty in Santiago de Chile for his work within the Chilean public sector, from where he promoted a set of public policies that led, among other aspects, to the privatization of the pension system.

Likewise, José Piñera has continued to promote the ideas of liberty as founder and president of the International Center for Pension Reform (Santiago), Distinguished Academician of the Cato Institute (Washington), Distinguished Academician of the Bruno Leoni Institute (Milan), and member of the Advisory Board of the Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe (Vienna). 


Leading Guatemalan educator and entrepreneur, Giancarlo Ibargüen received the 2nd Manuel F. Ayau Award, during the Latin American Conference of Students For Liberty in Guatemala in 2014.

Ibargüen was a key figure for the liberalization of telecommunications and the free negotiation of foreign currency in Guatemala and, in addition, he had an outstanding career within the Francisco Marroquín University, being rector of this institution between 2003 and 2013. He was also Secretary-General of the Board of Directors of the Mont Pelerin Society. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Society from 2008 to 2012. He was a member of the Liberty Fund board in Indianapolis since 2007.

Giancarlo Ibargüen passed away on March 9, 2016. 

In a new stage of the award, Students For Liberty and Francisco Marroquín University confer the 3rd Manuel F. Ayau Award to Ricardo Salinas, at the inauguration of the first Latin American LibertyCon, held in February 2019, in Mexico City.

Salinas has been a leading entrepreneur in the banking, financial and telecommunications sector, being a promoter and defender of the free market system.

Ricardo Salinas is also the founder of Caminos de la Libertad, a foundation that promotes the discussion of pro-liberty ideas through competitions, conferences, study circles, book presentations, and exhibitions.