Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards

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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.

Join IPS in remembrance and solidarity on September 21, 2016 for the 40th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Awards.

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.

Join us in celebrating these measures of justice.

LM 2015 award winners

2015 Letelier-Moffitt Awardees Daryl Atkinson and the Southern Center for Social Justice (third from the left), and Almudena Bernabeu and the Center for Justice and Accountability (center)

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.

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.

Past Awardees

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.