Dieter Müller, a prominent figure in international solidarity movements, passed away unexpectedly on 12 August 2023, as reported by Medico International. Known for his commitment to justice, equality, and support for liberation movements in Central America, Müller’s life and work are celebrated in a heartfelt tribute by his colleagues.
Müller was deeply involved in solidarity movements in Central America, particularly Guatemala. Unlike many contemporaries, Müller’s focus was on practical engagement, despising the professionalised development aid that settled in comfortable offices. He worked for over 30 years at Medico International, a Frankfurt-based humanitarian organisation committed to health, dignity, and social justice. Creating “Islands of Reason,” such as an ecological showcase centre in Guatemala, Müller collaborated with local organisations to repair regions ravaged by civil war. His work with Medico International exemplified a dedication to hands-on support, moving beyond traditional aid to foster empowerment and self-determination in communities.
Müller’s dedication to social justice extended to the West Bank, where he consciously avoided the insulated world of international NGOs, choosing instead to regularly visit the Gaza Strip. His family life, anchored by his wife Carmen, children Chantal and Aljoscha, and four grandchildren, provided stability in his relentless pursuit to confront the injustice and destruction wrought by colonialism and neocolonialism. After more than three decades with Medico, Müller transitioned to a new role as the office manager for the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung in Mexico, a return to Latin America, a region he considered his second home.
“He was happy in his role, working day and night, never valuing comfort,” stated the Medico piece on his passing, which describes it as unexpected, adding “the colleagues from Medico International are heartbroken at the loss of an indomitable man.”