This morning, as the Pope addressed the U.S. Congress, GHRC’s founder Sr. Alice Zachmann was a special guest of Representative Tim Walz.

“I am proud to have Sister Alice as my guest as the Pope addresses Congress,” said Representative Walz in a statement on his webpage. “Her lifetime of dedication and service is an inspiration and her commitment to improving the lives around the world serves as an example for all of us.”

Sister Alice founded GHRC in 1982 and served as director for 20 years, fearlessly supporting Guatemalan victims of torture and abuse, accompanying families of those killed and disappeared, and pushing for justice in cases such as the torture of Sr. Dianna Ortiz and the disappearance of guerrilla leader Everardo Bamaca.

“Alice embodies what it means to speak truth to power,” said current GHRC director Kelsey Alford-Jones. “We strive to maintain the powerful vision and conviction with which Sr. Alice led the organization.”

On our 30th anniversary, GHRC inaugurated the Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defenders Award in her honor. The award recognizes individuals, organizations or communities who have demonstrated a commitment to the defense of human rights through non-violent methods, for which they have been exposed to threats, violence or attacks. This year’s award will be presented to community media group ‘Prensa Comunitaria’ on November 3 at St. Stephen’s Church in Washington, DC. (RSVP here).

GHRC salutes Sr. Alice for her decades of tireless work to support the rights of Guatemalans, survivors of torture, and victims of abuses around the world.