Washington. D.C. — Now in its 45th year, the Institute for Policy Studies’ powerful annual ceremony to remember late IPS colleagues Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who were assassinated on this site in 1976 by agents of the Pinochet dictatorship, will take place in-person on Sunday, September 19 at Sheridan Circle in Washington, D.C.
This event will feature the 2021 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awardees, represented by Léonce Byimana, Executive Director of domestic awardee Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC), and Carla Garcia, New York representative of international awardee the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH).
Other featured speakers will include renowned Argentine-Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman, who worked at IPS while in exile after the Pinochet coup. Among other works, he is the author of the play Death and the Maiden, which starred Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley in the film adaptation.
The event will also feature music by Patricio Zamorano and will be emceed by Tope Folarin, John Cavanagh, and Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies. The program will end with attendees placing flowers on the Letelier-Moffitt monument at Sheridan Circle and the Orlando Letelier statue, erected in 2018 in front of the nearby Chilean ambassador’s residence.
The pursuit of justice for Letelier and Moffitt and other victims of the Pinochet regime has led to numerous international human rights victories and legal precedents. And the pursuit continues today, nearly 15 years after Pinochet’s death. Just last month, a Spanish court reopened an investigation into whether Banco de Chile helped Pinochet and his associates launder millions of dollars overseas. Plaintiffs in the case, representing more than 20,000 victims of the dictatorship, are represented by Juan Garcés, a former IPS visiting fellow and a 1999 Letelier-Moffitt Award recipient.
“In my first year as the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Studies and the 45th year of the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards, it has been my privilege to recognize both the legacy and the future of social justice movements around the world, as we honor two organizations that are deeply committed to championing human rights and that truly embody the spirit and the legacy of our late colleagues Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt,” said Tope Folarin, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Studies. “TASSC and OFRANEH not only advocate for the communities they serve, but by courageously shining a light on human rights abuses and demanding accountability, they have each also made significant impacts on social justice movements that have reverberated around the world.”
The event is open to media. To RSVP as press, please contact Olivia Alperstein at (202) 704-9011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: 45th Anniversary Sheridan Circle Letelier-Moffitt Memorial Program
When: Sunday, September 19 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET
Where: In-person, outdoor program at Sheridan Circle, 23rd and Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
About the 45th annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards
The 45th annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards will take place virtually on October 13 at 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET and will honor Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) and the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) for their efforts to advance the critical fight for human rights and human dignity through their work to support and uplift torture survivors and advocate for a global end to the practice of torture and to demand justice, self-determination and freedom from persecution for the Garífuna people and all Hondurans, respectively. Read more about the Letelier-Moffitt awardees in the official press release.