Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu weighs run
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Rigoberta Menchu, who won the 1992 Nobel Peace
Prize, said some political leaders are urging her to run in Guatemala’s
September presidential elections, but she said she would have to weigh the
If elected, Menchu would become the second Nobel laureate serving as
president in Central America. Oscar Arias, who won the Nobel Peace Price in 1997
for helping broker an end to Central America’s civil wars, took office as Costa
Rica’s president in May.
“I owe my loyalty to a series of Mayan leaders, and we would have to
see what these parties have in store for Mayan people,” Menchu said, referring
to political parties that have reportedly offered to back a potential
The newly formed Encounter for Guatemala party recently announced it
was considering backing her for president; Menchu, a proponent of Indian rights,
did not say which other parties may have approached her.
“We would have to sit down” and consider such proposals, but “we’re not
in any rush” to so, she said. She has mentioned several times that she would not
rule out a run for the presidency, and has also held out the possibility of
forming an Indian party with a view to the 2011 elections.
Menchu made the comments following a press conference in which she
urged the government to arrest former officials wanted in Spain for a 1980 fire
at the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City that killed Menchu’s father and 36
The fire occurred during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war, in which
200,000, mostly Mayan Indians, were killed or disappeared.