45th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

October 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, hosted online

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The Institute for Policy Studies invites you to join our special guests:
IPS Board Member, Danny Glover
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 2021 award-winners.


Domestic Awardee:

TASCC international logo

Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC)
and its founder, Sr. Dianna Ortiz (1958-2021)

This award will be presented by Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Martin Sheen, Actor and Activist.

The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) was founded by Sister Dianna Ortiz, who died on February 19th. She was a survivor of torture in Guatemala. She spent nearly three decades advocating against torture and in doing so helped to create the unique survivor-centered model of healing that TASSC represents.


International Awardee:

Sign reading

Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)

Award presented by Opal Tometi, co-founder, Black Lives Matter

Since 1978, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) has served as the representative organization and a leading voice in Honduras for the self-determination and dignity of the Garífuna people in Honduras, a matrilineal people who are both Indigenous and Afro-descendent. Their ancestral territory in Honduras is principally along the northern coast and under constant threat from African palm plantations, Canadian and U.S. tourist operations, mining, energy projects, and drug trafficking.

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

For more details, please contact Development Manager, Brittany Alexander at (202) 787-5242 or brittanya@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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos (Peru)
Indian Workers Congress


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


Maher Arar and Center for Constitutional Rights
Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign


Judge Juan Guzmán
Barrios Unidos


Seymour Hersh
Military Families Speak Out


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


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


25th Anniversary
All prior recipients honored


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


Juan Garces
Kensington Welfare Rights Union


Rose Sanders
Coordinacion Colombia-Europa


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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)


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)


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


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


The Vicariate of Solidarity (Chile)
Pete Seeger


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


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


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


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


Jacobo Timerman
The Congregation of Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic


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


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


Samuel Rubin
Reverend Benjamin Chavis, Jr.

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