Rigoberta Menshú

By: Mick Yates

At first, the fight of Rigoberta Menshú for justice for the indigenous people of Guatemala went largely unnoticed. After the deaths of her parents and brother at the hands of the Guatemalan authorities, she taught herself Spanish and several Mayan languages. Rigoberta also became increasingly active in the fight for social reform.

Forced to flee to Mexico, in 1981, after large demonstrations in the capital, she continued organizing resistance to oppression in Guatemala, and support for the struggle for Indian rights.

In 1992, she became the youngest and the first Indigenous recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. This was one of many awards she has received as recognition of her advocacy of ethnic recognition. A leader of unflinching courage and determination.

Zoë Williams

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I Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchú (1983)