Peru: Pax Christi International member organisation DHUMA receives international human rights award
11/10/18 - On Thursday 4 October, Pax Christi International member organisation, Derechos Humanos y Medio Ambiente (DHUMA), received the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt human rights award from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a think tank based in Washington, D.C.
Since 1976, the human rights award has been given each year to two organisations, one from the United States and one from the international community, in memory of Orlando Letelier, a former diplomat who was exiled from his home country of Chile after the coup in 1973, and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, an IPS staff member. In late September 1976, Moffitt, her husband Michael and Letelier were in a car in Washington, D.C. when a bomb was detonated, killing Letelier and Ronni Moffitt.
DHUMA works in the Puno region of southern Peru to promote social and environmental justice. Working on behalf of indigenous Puno communities, DHUMA recently won two significant legal battles that help communities resist the expansion of mining in the region. DHUMA has successfully defended and uplifted the rights, needs and power of Indigenous people in Peru through capacity-building, advocacy and legal counsel, and resisted the presence of exploitative and extractive mining corporations.
The award recipient from the United States was the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, which was founded after Hurricane Katrina (2005) to protect the rights of workers; it is a multiracial member-led grassroots movement focused on democracy and a just economy.