Rigoberta Menchú Tum

Nobel Peace Prize 1992

Human Rights Activist

RIGOBERTA MENCHÚ, conferenciante, derechos humanos, premio nobel

Rigoberta Menchú Tum was born in 1959, in the village of Chimel, Guatemala, a community continuing the millennium-old Maya-Quiché culture. In her youth she worked in the fields and later in the city as a domestic employee. She lived in the midst of the injustice, misery and discrimination suffered by the Indigenous Peoples of Guatemala.

Various members of her family were tortured and assassinated by the repressive armed forces. Persecuted, Rigoberta Menchú Tum  was exiled to Mexico in 1980.

Self-educated, she has shown herself to be a natural leader of great intelligence. Rigoberta Menchú Tum became a vociferous political activist  for a number of human rights groups as well as fighting the authorities in order to secure  basic civil rights for all Indigenous People. In 1983, her autobiography, I, Rigoberta Menchú, An Indian Woman in Guatemala was published to wide acclaim. She has since published a number of her poems and most recently her highly moving book Crossing Borders.

Through her work, Rigoberta Menchú Tum  has received world-wide recognition and several honorary doctorates. In 1993, she was nominated by the United Nations as Goodwill Ambassador for the International Year of the Indigenous Peoples. At present, she is the Promoter of the International Decade of Indigenous Peoples, mandated by the General Assembly of the United Nations and she was also appointed to be the Personal Advisor to the General Director of UNESCO. Concurrently Rigoberta Menchú Tum  presides over the Indigenous Initiative for Peace.

A highly emotional and forceful speaker, the flamboyant Guatamalian is now in great demand as a speaker on political and human rights issues at conferences the world over. Rigoberta Menchú Tum  delivers her presentations in Spanish.

Rigoberta Menchú. An Indian Woman in Guatemala- 2010

Now a global bestseller, the remarkable life of Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan peasant woman, reflects on the experiences common to many Indian communities in Latin America. Menchú suffered gross injustice and hardship in her early life: her brother, father and mother were murdered by the Guatemalan military. She learned Spanish and turned to catechistic work as an expression of political revolt as well as religious commitment. Menchú vividly conveys the traditional beliefs of her community and her personal response to feminist and socialist ideas. Above all, these pages are illuminated by the enduring courage and passionate sense of justice of an extraordinary woman.

Rigoberta Menchú. An Indian Woman in Guatemala- 2010

Crossing Borders: An Autobiography- 1998

Rigoberta Menchu is a worldwide symbol of courage in the continuing fight of indigenous peoples for justice The Guatemalan Indian leader first came to the world's attention with the publication of her autobiography I, Rigocerta Menchu in 1984. The book chronicled the terrible hardship of her childhood in Guatemala, including the murder of her brother, father and mother at the hands of a ruthless military. But it also captured the dignity of Indian daily life in a cadence which was beautifully simple. I, Rigoberta Menchu has become an international best seller with one million copies in print. In Crossing Borders, Rigoberta picks up her story where the first volume left oft. In 1981 she fled from Guatemala to Mexico City, deeply traumatized by the violence against her family and community. She resolved to dedicate her life to the Indian cause and painstakingly built a solidarity movement with the Indians living as outlaws in Guatemala's mountains. In 1988 she returned to Guatemala as a representative of the opposition in exile. She was immediately arrested and was released only after an international outcry. Danielle Mitterand and Desmond Tutu were amongst the leading names in an international campaign to secure the Nobel Peace Prize for Rigoberta, which she was awarded in 1992. The long struggle to build effective representation for indigenous peoples has taken Rigoberta around the world and its telling is a thread throughout this book. But Crossing Borders is more than an account of a political campaign. In these pages Rigoberta also talks with deep affection about her mother and the traditions of her Mayan background. In her introduction to I, Rigocerta Menchu the ethnologist Elizabeth Burgos Debray writes: "Her voice is so heart-rendingly beautiful because it speaks to us of every facet of the life of a people and their oppressed culture. Her story is overwhelming because what she has to say is simple and true." In Crossing the Borders that story continues to enchant and inspire.

Crossing Borders: An Autobiography- 1998