Nobel laureate says she’s hopeful regardless of Guatemalan authorities crackdown

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchú Tum says she sees indicators of hope in her native Guatemala regardless of the federal government’s intensifying crackdown on on journalists and anti-corruption prosecutors.

State of play: President Alejandro Giammattei’s authorities over the previous couple of years has charged or jailed almost two dozen prosecutors engaged on anti-corruption circumstances and journalists whose protection uncovered authorities wrongdoing, in keeping with native media experiences.

What she’s saying: In an interview with Axios carried out after she spoke at a summit on digital innovation in Mexico Metropolis final week, Menchú Tum stated she is optimistic regardless of the crackdown.

  • Menchú Tum cited the authorized victory for a bunch of Mayan ladies sexually assaulted by members of a paramilitary group throughout the civil battle as one cause to be inspired. The lads have been every convicted and sentenced to 30 years in jail this yr.
  • The ladies’s dedication to push that case ahead “exhibits Guatemala remains to be the cradle of many courageous individuals,” Menchú Tum stated.
  • “I believe it’s a blessing that we lived by an period of such violence and are nonetheless alive, and having life compels us to maintain preventing in opposition to impunity, violence, femicide … to show that violence, discrimination, racism mustn’t and won’t be forgotten,” Menchú Tum advised Axios Latino.

Flashback: Menchú Tum was born in 1959, a yr earlier than Guatemala’s civil battle broke out, in a distant neighborhood that’s majority Mayan Ok’iche’.

  • Her dad, mother and youthful brother have been murdered at separate instances within the late Nineteen Seventies as a part of a authorities marketing campaign in opposition to Indigenous peoples and anybody thought of a “subversive home enemy.”
  • She was pressured to flee to Mexico in 1981 over her activism and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.
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Greater than 200,000 individuals — over 80% of them Mayan — have been assassinated or forcibly disappeared in Guatemala between 1960 and 1996, in keeping with a UN-backed report from a fact fee.

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