2.08.2007

Presidente Rigoberta Menchú?

Rigoberta Menchú, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, author and human rights advocate, is said to be considering making an historic run for the presidency of Guatemala.

If successful, not only would Menchú become the first woman president of the country, but she would join Bolivia's Evo Morales as only the 2nd person of indigenous heritage to lead a Latin American country.

Another way that she'd make history is that Menchú represents the very people the Guatemalan elites have for so long oppressed. Menchú's own father was killed by a military death squad for protesting human rights abuses, and Menchú's own life was threatened for her human rights crusade. Menchú herself had to flee to Mexico in 1981 where she was cared for by members of a Roman Catholic group.

In a sign of the challenges ahead for Menchú, she told a Reuters reporter the following: "There are some Guatemalans who would be very scared to see Rigoberta Menchú as president because they are racists," said the 48-year-old Menchú, who wears traditional Mayan clothes elaborately embroidered with birds and flowers.

Menchú is considering running under the banner of Encounter for Guatemala Party, a left of center political party led by Nineth Montenegro, a former Menchu ally and human rights advocate.