To be what I am is not a something to be proud of; it is a shame. I do not represent the women of my country. The majority of indigenous women, starting with my mother, are illiterate. We are millions of Maya and only two women have a Doctorate degree (Ph.D.). I do not want to go by without raising the voice because the ones that have governed this country have taken away our dignity. —Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj
This is Irma’s answer to the question of “Marco Antonio Flores says you are one of the most authentic indigenous intellectuals, what do you think of his statement?” as it appeared in an interview in Revista D, of Prensa Libre (rough translation through Google). Irma Alicia was not allow to enter a bar-restaurant called “El Tarro Dorado” (The Golden Mug) in Guatemala City in June 2002 because she was wearing her Guatemalan indigenous dress. She tells the story herself in English .
If you considered that somewhere between 50 and 60% of the population is Maya, this act of discrimination is unacceptable. I feel so enraged to hear this kind of acts of discrimination. Yet, this happens everyday in this country to many people. I do not know where are the Maya women are going, but I wish that they achieve their goals and the justice is available to them. Believe when I say this country is very complex.
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