Q&A: Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú hails Guatemala's 'great awakening'

By David Boddiger

GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalan Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú sees the unprecedented protests calling for the ouster of President Otto Pérez Molina as a historic moment for a country long torn by violence, poverty and inequality.

Speaking just before Guatemala’s Congress voted Tuesday to strip Pérez Molina of his immunity over allegations of massive corruption — the first such decision in the Central American country’s history — Menchú told AFP the protests represent “a great awakening of the people.”

Menchú, an indigenous activist persecuted by the regime during Guatemala’s long civil war, which lasted from 1960-1996, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her fight for social justice and reconciliation between the country’s ethnic and cultural groups.

The 56-year-old Quiché Mayan leader is a long-time critic of Pérez Molina, a conservative ex-general who has refused to stand down before his term ends on Jan. 14.

AFP sat down with Menchú on Tuesday to discuss Guatemala’s recent events. Excerpts follow:

What do you make of the protests sweeping the country since April?

It’s a great awakening of the people, but also an example of good citizenship. I have been impressed by the diversity and peacefulness of the marches.

It has set an example that should be followed all the … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times