Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

Print Friendly
Camila Vallejo and Noam Titelman accept the 2012 Letelier-Moffitt Award

2012 Letelier-Moffitt Awardees Camila Vallejo and Noam Titelman from the Chilean Students Movement

On September 21, 1976, agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet detonated a car bomb that killed IPS colleagues Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean diplomat and director of the Institute’s Transnational Institute, and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, an IPS development associate, in Washington, DC. Each year in October, the Institute for Policy Studies hosts the annual human rights award in the names of Letelier and Moffitt to honor these fallen colleagues while celebrating new heroes of the human rights movement from the United States and the Americas.

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 the Institute’s Transnational Institute, Orlando Letelier, and IPS development associate Ronni Karpen Moffitt in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his work as director of IPS’s international 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.

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

Excerpt from “30 Years: Families Struggle for Justice”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nSlByRWk4s

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. Chilean diplomat Letelier and Moffitt were killed in a car bombing on September 21, 1976 on Embassy row in Washington, DC. Until 9/11, it was the most infamous act of international terrorism ever to take place in our nation’s capital. Letelier and Moffitt were colleagues at the Institute for Policy Studies, where Letelier had become one of the most outspoken critics of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Moffitt was a 25-year-old fundraiser who ran a “Music Carryout” that made musical instruments accessible to all. A massive FBI investigation traced the crime to the highest levels of Pinochet’s regime.

Past Awardees

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.