47th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

The 47th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards will be held in person on October 12 from 5:30-8:00pm at the Friends Meeting of Washington, DC located at 2111 Decatur Place NW Washington, DC 20008-1912. This year’s event will be a hybrid event and tickets will be available for the in-person and virtual portions of the event soon. Sponsorships are now open!

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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 2023 award-winners.


Domestic Awardee: This year’s domestic award recipient is Black and Pink, a trans-led organization founded in 2005 that is dedicated to abolishing the criminal punishment system and fighting for LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDs through advocacy, support, and organizing.

International Awardee: Our international award recipient is Tutela Legal Maria Julia Hernandez, a leading group of lawyers in El Salvador who are committed to defending thousands of innocent people who have been detained under the Salvadoran State of Emergency and victims of human rights violations during that country’s civil war.

This event will be hybrid; in-person at the Friends Meeting of Washington DC and livestreamed through IPS.

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

For more details, please contact Aviah Krupnick, at aviah@ips-dc.org.

Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

More than 45 years later, the fight for justice continues

IPS established the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards in 1976 to honor our fallen colleagues, Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who were assassinated by the Pinochet regime for their work to defend democracy and human rights in Chile. Today, these awards celebrate new champions of human rights and memorialize the victims of the Pinochet dictatorship.

Every year, IPS awards one group from the United States and one from Latin America and the Caribbean. We aim to recognize the often unsung heroes throughout the hemisphere who fight for economic, cultural, social, and civil rights. Our joyful ceremony each October celebrates the victories, struggles, and stories of those who fight for justice in the Americas.

The LM Awards boost visionary voices. Awardees have gone on to become progressive presidents in Brazil, Colombia, and Chile, overthrow Chile’s Pinochet-era constitution, win landmark unionization campaigns against corporate powers, and stand strong against multinational companies trying to displace Indigenous peoples from their lands. Together, all of our awardees help create the future we aspire to share.


In 1973, 10 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 in Washington, D.C. that killed Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean diplomat and Director of IPS’s Transnational Institute, and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, an IPS Development Associate, in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his work at IPS, 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. Her fundraising work at IPS stressed 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 and over the past decades there have been measures of justice, including the prosecution of numerous individuals involved in the bombing, a successful civil suit against the Republic of Chile on behalf of family members, and the indictment of Pinochet himself in his home country.

The Letelier-Moffitt Awards have played a vital role in the fight for justice for our fallen colleagues and in fueling struggles against injustice all over the world.

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


Amazon Labor Union
Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en Mexico


Torture Abolition And Survivors Support Coalition International
Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)


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.