46th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

The 46th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards will be held in person on October 13 at the Friends Meeting of Washington, DC located at 2111 Decatur Place NW Washington, DC 20008-1912. This year, we are hosting a hybrid event with an option to join us either in-person or virtually via live stream. Limited in-person tickets will be available.

The event will start with a reception at 4:00 pm, followed by the awards ceremony at 5:00 pm. Instead of our usual gathering at Sheridan Circle in September, after the awards ceremony we will invite all attendees to walk with us from the Friends Meeting to Sheridan Circle (about three blocks) to honor Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen-Moffitt.

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The Institute for Policy Studies invites you to join our special guests:

IPS Executive Director, Tope Folarin
Long-time IPS Director, John Cavanagh
IPS Board Chair, Sarita Gupta
IPS Deputy Director, Kathleen Gaspard

as we celebrate and honor our 2022 award-winners.

HONORING:

Domestic Awardee:

Amazon Labor Union

Officially formed on April 1, 2022 by the workers at the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, Amazon Labor Union is the first U.S. labor union exclusively representing Amazon workers. Through grassroots organizing catalyzed by the treatment of Amazon workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the ALU achieved a landmark victory, showing what is possible for workers attempting to organize and collectively bargain.

and

International Awardee:

Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en Mexico

Beginning in 2015, the Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en Mexico is a movement of families across Mexico searching for truth and justice for their disappeared loved ones. Made up of over 80 groups from 24 Mexican states, the Movimiento has led extraordinary efforts to excavate mass graves across the country and pass the first piece of legislation in Mexico on the issue while facing drug cartels, corrupt officials, and an indifferent bureaucracy.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements of this year’s special guest speakers and performances!

For more details, please contact Development Manager, Brittany Alexander, at brittany@ips-dc.org.

Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

After 40 Years, the Fight for Justice Continues

Since 1976, IPS has hosted the Letelier-Moffitt Awards to honor our fallen colleagues, Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, and celebrate new champions of the human rights movement.

Forty years after the car bombing that took their lives, the pursuit of justice for Orlando, Ronni, and other victims of the Pinochet regime continues.

In May 2016, Chile requested the U.S extradite three former Pinochet agents for the murder of UN diplomat Carmelo Soria. All three were also involved in the Letelier-Moffitt assassination. Michael Tigar and Juan Garcés, recipients of the Letelier-Moffitt Award in 1992 and 1999, helped advance this case.

In June 2016, a Chilean court reopened its investigation into Ronni’s murder. Three former Pinochet agents were indicted.

Also in June 2016, a U.S. jury found a Florida resident liable for the torture and murder of iconic Chilean folk singer Víctor Jara during the Pinochet era. The Center for Justice and Accountability, recipient of the Letelier-Moffitt Award in 2015, played a critical role in this victory.

40th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

40th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

History

In 1973, ten years after the Institute for Policy Studies opened its doors with the belief that progressive thought, advocacy, and action can build a better society, Chile’s democratically elected government was overthrown by a military coup. These two histories became inextricably linked on September 21, 1976, when agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet detonated a car bomb that killed former Chilean diplomat and Director of IPS’s Transnational Institute, Orlando Letelier, and IPS Development Associate Ronni Karpen Moffitt in Washington, D.C. Until 9/11, it was the most infamous act of international terrorism on U.S. soil.

In addition to his work as director of IPS’s New International Economic Order Program, which stressed the relationship between economic rights and political freedom, Letelier had become one of the most outspoken critics of Pinochet. Moffitt ran a “Music Carryout” program to make musical instruments accessible to all, and her fundraising work demonstrated that we will not further democracy and equity in this country unless we stand with those seeking justice abroad.

A massive FBI investigation traced the crime to the highest levels of Pinochet’s regime.

Following these assassinations, IPS established the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards to honor our fallen colleagues and recognize individuals and groups in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas most dedicated to the struggle for human rights.

30 Years: Families Struggle for Justice

A short tribute to the families of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, detailing measures they took to ultimately bring Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to trial.

Past Awardees

2020

Awood Center
The Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB)

2019

Zero Hour
Comité Municipal en Defensa de Bienes Comunes y Naturales del Municipio de Tocoa

2018

New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice
Derechos Humanos y Medio Ambiente (DHUMA)

2017

Opal Tometi and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
Javier Rojas Uriana

2016

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the assassinations of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, IPS honored all of its past Letelier-Moffitt Awardees.

2015

Daryl Atkinson and the Southern Center for Social Justice
Almudena Bernabeu and the Center for Justice and Accountability

2014

Robin Reineke of the Colibrí Center for Human Rights The Mesoamerican
Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders
Juan E. Méndez (Special Recognition Award)

2013

As part of its 50th Anniversary Celebration, IPS honored all of its past Letelier-Moffitt awardees.

2012

City Life / Vida Urbana
The Chilean Students Movement (Confederación de Estudiantes Chilenos)

2011

Wisconsin Progressive Movement
Bethlehem, The Migrant’s Shelter (Mexico)

2010

National Day Laborer Organizing Network
Honduras Human Rights Platform
Guatemalan Police Archives (Special Recognition Award)

2009

Domestic Workers United
La Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería Metálica en El Salvador

2008

Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos (Peru)
Indian Workers Congress

2007

Senator Gustavo Petro (Colombia)
Appeal for Redress
DC Vote (Special Recognition Award)

2006

Maher Arar and Center for Constitutional Rights
Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign

2005

Judge Juan Guzmán
Barrios Unidos

2004

Seymour Hersh
Military Families Speak Out

2003

Nancy Sanchez Mendez
CASA de Maryland
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Special Recognition Award)

2002

Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini (Guatemala)
Jobs with Justice
Naúl Ojeda (Special Recognition Award, posthumously)

2001

25th Anniversary
All prior recipients honored

2000

Oscar Olivera, Coordinator in Defense of Water and Life (Bolivia)
November Coalition

1999

Juan Garces
Kensington Welfare Rights Union

1998

Rose Sanders
Coordinacion Colombia-Europa

1997

The Rev. Dr. Mac Charles Jones (Special Recognition Award, posthumously)
Sin Fronteras Organizing Project
Alianza Civica

1996

Pharis Harvey (Special Recognition Award)
Asian Immigrant Women Advocates
Leo Valladares

1995

Jennifer Harbury (Special Recognition Award)
Rose Johnson, Georgia Project Director of the Center for Democratic Renewal
Haitian Human Rights Platform

1994

Harry Belafonte (Special Recognition Award)
Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras
CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador)

1993

Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia and Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center in Chiapas, Mexico
Marian Kramer and the National Welfare Rights Organization

1992

Evans Paul, Mayor of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
Sam Buffone and Michael Tigar, lawyers for the Letelier-Moffitt Case
Saul Landau (Special Recognition Award)

1991

Jorge Gomez Lizarazo, President, Regional Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, Barrancabermeja, Colombia
La Mujer Obrera, El Paso, Texas

1990

The National Human Rights Coordinating Committee of Peru
Richard Trumka, President, United Mine Workers Union of America
Father Jim Felts and Proyecto de Cristo Rey (Special Recognition Award)

1989

The Union of Indigenous Nations of Brazil
The National Labor Committee in Support of Democracy and Human Rights in El Salvador
Robert Scherrer (Special Recognition Award)

1988

Radio Soleil (Haiti)
Charles L. Clements, M.D.

1987

Bishop Mario Melanio Medina (Paraguay)
Washington Office on Latin America

1986

The Vicariate of Solidarity (Chile)
Pete Seeger

1985

The Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM) of Guatemala
The Free South Africa Movement
Frances Arbour (Special Recognition Award)

1984

Dr. Ramon Custodio, President, Committee for Human Rights in Honduras
The Sanctuary Movement
Reverend Charles Harper (Special Recognition Award)

1983

Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) of Argentina
Father J. Bryan Hehir, U.S. Catholic Conference

1982

Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns of Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Infant Formula Action Coalition

1981

Jacobo Timerman
The Congregation of Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic

1980

The Legal Aid Office of the Archdiocese of San Salvador
Reverend William Wipfler, National Council of Churches

1979

The Association of Relatives of Disappeared People, Chile
Alfred “Skip” Robinson, United League of Mississippi

1978

Samuel Rubin
Reverend Benjamin Chavis, Jr.

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