Rigoberta Menchu Túm

Nobel Peace Laureate 1992

Country of focus: Guatemala

Rigoberta Menchu Túm (@RigobertMenchu) is the first Indigenous person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  A Mayan, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples in her native Guatemala. Afterward, she established the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation to promote the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world. From 1994 to 2003, she served as the official spokesperson for the United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Peoples.

Rigoberta ran for the presidency of Guatemala in 2007 with the then newly-founded Encuentro por Guatemala political party. Subsequently, Rigoberta made important contributions in spearheading the first Indigenous party in Guatemala, and garnering enough votes to make her WINAQ party official, and to run for president again in 2011. She was not elected, but remains a steadfast presence in Guatemalan politics and the struggle to end impunity for atrocities against Indigenous peoples. In 2013 the Autonomous National University of Mexico  appointed her as a Special Investigator within its Multicultural Nation Program.