Rigoberta Menchú Tum is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1992 to Rigoberta Menchú Tum.

It is a particular pleasure for us to welcome you, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, here in Oslo to receive the award. Welcome to this little winter country in the far north, so far from your own country and your own world. The distance, both geographically and culturally, is vast, but the occasion of this award, in particular, should prompt us to think about nearness. Wherever in the world they take place, conflicts and wars have in our time become the whole world's concern. Even at this distance, we feel threatened by a local conflict in Guatemala, not militarily, but because it affects the world's future. The situation in Guatemala acquires a special significance because it is such a clear case of general problem that we must all contribute to solving. I refer to such matters as ethnic and racial segregation, the rights of aboriginal peoples, the environment and the sharing of resources, the gap between the poor and rich. I refer to the role of women in society. The path Guatemala takes in all these respects is important to us. So we commit ourselves.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum (born 9 January 1959, Laj Chimel, El Quiché, Guatemala) is an indigenous Guatemalan, of the K'iche' Maya ethnic group. Menchú has dedicated her life to publicizing the plight of Guatemala's indigenous peoples during and after the Guatemalan Civil War (1960–1996), and to promoting indigenous rights in the country. She was the recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize and Prince of Asturias Award in 1998. She is the subject of the testimonial biography I, Rigoberta Menchú (1983) and the author of the autobiographical work, Crossing Borders. Later, American anthropologist David Stoll visited Guatemala and found that some claims in Menchú's Nobel Prize-winning autobiography were inaccurate.

Menchú is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. She has also become a figure in indigenous political parties, running for President of Guatemala in 2007.