Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum Finishes Sixth in Guatemala’s Presidential Election
Nobel Peace Laureate and human rights activist Rigoberta Menchú Tum lost her bid for Guatemala's presidency Sunday, finishing sixth in a field of 14 candidates. The country's first indigenous presidential candidate, Menchú Tum garnered three percent of the vote after a difficult campaign marked by inadequate funds, sexism, and discrimination based on her Mayan-Indian background.
"I have the great honor of being able to open up this space," Menchú Tum told the Associated Press in March. "Things will never be the same here again."
According to Reuters, the campaign was marred by the worst political violence the country has seen since the end of its civil war. At least 50 people involved in the election were killed, including two activists that were distributing leaflets for Menchú Tum campaign.
The Feminist Majority Foundation honored Menchú Tum with a Global Women’s Rights Award in 2006. She has continuously campaigned for the rights of women and indigenous people, who have long suffered poverty and racism in Guatemala and who faced torture and massacres during Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war.
Media Resources: The Associated Press 3/31/07, 9/5/07, 9/10/07; Reuters 9/9/07; The New York Times 9/11/07; Chicago Tribune 9/2/07