Our community experienced a great loss on February 19, 2021 with the passing of Dianna Ortiz, OSU. Dianna was serving as Pax Christi USA’s Deputy Director at the time of her death and had previously been on staff as director of programs and the internship program coordinator from 2009-2012. She was the recipient of the Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Award in 2000.
Read our statement here with links to the memorial page on the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition website, the obituary from her community, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph in Kentucky, and a column from her friend and Assisi community member, Rev. Joe Nangle.
- 1979: Enters Ursulines
- 1980: Ursuline novitiate
- 1987: Goes to Guatemala on two-year assignment with Ursulines in Huehuetenango Province.
- 1989: Abduction in Guatemala
- 1990: Filed a case with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 1990 based on her abduction and torture by agents of the Guatemalan government in 1989.
- 1998-2008: Founder and director of Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC International)
- 2000: Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace award
- 2001: Dianna Ortiz and TASSC International receive the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) Eclipse Award for their extraordinary service for the protection and healing of torture survivors, and for the prevention of torture.
- 2003: US Catholic Award for furthering the cause of women in the Catholic Church
- 2004: Published The Blindfold’s Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth (Orbis)
- 2005: Dianna Ortiz and TASSC receive Oscar Romero Award of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, TX.
- 2005: Ana Castillo publishes Psst … I Have Something to Tell You, Mi Amor (Wings Press)—two plays on the life of Dianna Ortiz
- 2006: Published “Theology, International Law, and Torture: A Survivor’s View” in Theology Today, a journal of Princeton Theological Seminary (October 1, 2006)
- 2009-2012: Pax Christi USA Director of Programs and Internship Program Coordinator
- 2012-2018: Assistant director of the Education for Justice Program at the Center for Concern
- 2020-2021: Deputy director for Pax Christi USA
Some key resources about Dianna:
- Sojourners feature article in July-August 1996, “Death’s Dance Broken”
- Interview with the RFK Human Rights Center
- Article introducing Dianna on the Ursulines website
- TASSC interview with Dianna
- Interview with Democracy Now in October 2005
- Obituary in The Washington Post, February 19, 2021