Human Rights Defenders
GHRC responds to threats and attacks against defenders, providing direct support, advocacy and solidarity.Learn More
Thematic Areas of Focus
GHRC currently monitors and provides analysis of five thematic areas that have affected human rights: militarization...Learn More
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Dianna Ortiz, OSU, died on February 19, 2021, at 62 years old. She fought for the rights of all and fought bravely. We are proud and honored to have had her on staff and in our hearts at GHRC. Please visit her full memorial page on our site here.
Dianna first came to Washington to participate in GHRC’s 1992 conference against torture in Guatemala, giving the keynote speech. As a result of her work with an indigenous community, teaching Mayan children as a missionary in San Miguel Acatan, Dianna had been abducted and tortured by Guatemalan security forces in 1989. GHRC’s founding director, Sister Alice Zachmann, fought for Dianna’s release and was instrumental in connecting her with a torture treatment center in Chicago, the Marjorie Kovler Center. A couple of years later Dianna joined GHRC’s staff of three, advocating for the rights of the Guatemalan people and playing a pivotal role in supporting Jennifer Harbury’s efforts to learn the fate of her husband, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, efforts that resulted in the disclosure of continued and close US collaboration with and funding of Guatemala’s military death squads.
Dianna was an example of strength, generosity of spirit, and courage. All who knew her were touched by her and all she touched was improved. We are blessed to have had her with us at GHRC and we know she will remain with us in spirit and with all who fight for human rights.