TNI marks 35th anniversary of assassination of Orlando Letelier

21 September 2011

35 years ago, on 21 September 1976 Orlando Letelier, former TNI Director, was killed by a car bomb in Washington DC. TNI remembers his life.

Orlando Letelier, previously Chilean Foreign and Defence Minister and Ambassador to the US under the Allende government, was appointed director of TNI in 1976.  Letelier not only persuaded the Dutch government to cancel a $60 million loan to the Pinochet regime for Chilean industrial development, but also began a major programme to promote the New International Economic Order.

On 21 September, 1976 Orlando Letelier together with Ronni Karpen Moffitt, a young fundraiser at IPS, were brutally assassinated in Washington DC with a car bomb. TNI and IPS investigators working in cooperation with the FBI, revealed the involvement of the Chilean secret police, DINA.

TNI and IPS have continued to fight to bring to justice those responsible for the death of Letelier and thousands of other Chileans. Each year, IPS hosts the Letelier-Moffit human rights award to honour these fallen colleagues while celebrating new heroes of the human rights movement in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas.