Aniceto Guterres Lopes
Aniceto Guterres Lopes in 2017
President of the National Parliament
In office
19 May 2020 – 22 June 2023
Preceded byArão Noé da Costa Amaral
Succeeded byMaria Fernanda Lay
In office
5 September 2017 – 2018
Preceded byAdérito Hugo da Costa
Succeeded byArão Noé da Costa Amaral
Personal details
Born (1967-04-16) 16 April 1967 (age 56)
Maliana, Bobonaro, Portuguese Timor
NationalityEast Timorese
Political partyFretilin

Aniceto Guterres Lopes (born April 16, 1967 in Tapo, East Timor)[1] is an East Timorese politician and human rights lawyer.

Early life

On December 7, 1975, Lopes and his family fled the country to Builalu, Indonesia to escape from the Indonesian troops that invaded East Timor.[2] Upon their return to East Timor a year later, the Lopes family discovered their village of Tapo was destroyed, and moved to Maliana.[1]


In 1985, Lopes studied law at the Udayana University in Bali,[3] after obtaining a scholarship from the governor of East Timor.[1]


While studying in Indonesia, Lopes joined the National Resistance of East Timorese Students (Portuguese: Resistência Nacional dos Estudantes de Timor-Leste (RENETIL)) in 1989. Lopes was in charge of relaying political information to and from East Timor and other parts of the world.[3]


After moving back to East Timor in 1991, Lopes worked for a NGO in Dili.[4]

From 1992 to 1996, Lopes served as the secretary general of the East Timor Agriculture and Development Foundation (ETADEF).[5]

Lopes began his law practice in 1996 by starting a law firm in East Timor where he represented clients in cases where human rights were violated.[4]

Yayasan HAK

Lopes co-founded the Human Rights and Justice Foundation (Yayasan Hukum, Hak Asasi dan Keadilan, abbreviated as Yayasan HAK[6]) in 1997, when East Timor was still ruled by Indonesian armed forces. The organization offers legal services to human rights victims,[3] and records violations of human rights.[2] Lopes led Yayasan HAK from 1997 to 2002.[7]

United Nations

At a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 1999, Lopes spoke about the problems he and other East Timorese were encountering during Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.[2] Lopes explained that Indonesian supported militia destroyed his home and office in September 1999. Lopes mentioned that he had also been receiving death threats because of his position as a human rights lawyer.[2] Lopes was sworn in as a member of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor's Transitional Judicial Service Commission in 2002.[8]

Truth commission work

Lopes was named as a commissioner of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR) in 2002, during the UNTAET administration, and elected as chair of the commission.[5] The commission lasted until 2005 and looked into cases of human rights abuse that occurred during the invasion of East Timor.[9] He also served as a commissioner on the Indonesia–Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship.[10]

Political career

Lopes is a member of FRETLIN, one of East Timor's major political parties. He was first elected in 2002 and would become his party's parliamentary leader. In 2017–18, when FRETILIN was in government, he was president of the National Parliament.[11]


In 2001, Lopes was named as a fellow of the Ashoka Innovators of the Public.[4] Lopes was also awarded the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay Award of Emergent Leadership, for his courageous stand for justice.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Lopes, Aniceto Guterres Biography". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "UN Commission on Human Rights – Special Session on East Timor: Statement by Aniceto Guterres Lopes". reliefweb.nt. 24 September 1999. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Lopes, Aniceto Guterres Citation". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Ancieto Guterres Lopes". Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Commissioners sworn in to lead Reconciliation Body" (Retrieved on February 15, 2008)
  6. ^ "Yayasan HAK". Reliefweb. 8 September 2001.
  7. ^ "Magsaysay awardee wants to give prize to east timor people". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Members of judicial service commission swore in". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Truth Commission: Timor-Leste (East Timor)". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  10. ^ AJAR. "Commission for Truth and Friendship Indonesia-Timor Leste (CTF)". Asia Justice and Rights. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  11. ^ Catholic News Service (6 September 2017). "New East Timor leader says he's ready to work with church, society". Crux. Archived from the original on 13 December 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
Political offices Preceded byAdérito Hugo da Costa President of the National Parliament 2017–2018 Succeeded byArão Noé da Costa Amaral