Spain's King Juan Carlos declared Tuesday that the defense of human rights is "essential," as he presented an award to the Mexican coalition Todos los Derechos de Todas y Todos (All the Rights of Everybody).

"Human dignity is an essential premise of every just social structure," the monarch said at the University of Alcala de Henares in awarding the 5th King of Spain Human Rights Prize.

After accepting the honor from Juan Carlos, the executive secretary of the TDT, Agnieszka Raczynska, said the prize will allow the coalition "to give greater visibility to the serious human-rights crisis we are going through in Mexico," with more than 100,000 killed and 27,000 "disappeared" in the last seven years.

The 73 organizations that make up the TDT are, according to Raczynska, "the voice of the voiceless."

"This honor strengthens and encourages us to continue along the path we have chosen to create a different Mexico, a Mexico free of violence, where the life and dignity of the people prevail over special interests," the activist said.

In his speech, Juan Carlos praised the work of associations like the TDT and recalled that Spanish society "feels close and committed to those who struggle daily on behalf of people's basic rights in any part of the world," above all in Ibero-America.

He noted that solidarity and the search for justice is a "task for everyone," which requires the involvement of democratic governments but also needs "the most modest projects of community and neighborhood service." EFE