Rigoberta Menchú for President

Graffiti of Rigorberta Menchú

No, this stencil-art graffiti portrait of Rigoberta Menchú is not part of Banksy‘s art portfolio. According to NEARsyx, our Guatemalan expert in uban art, this portrait is quite possibly the work of H.I.J.O.S. (Sons and daughters for the Identity and Justice against Oblivion and Silence), a collective of sons and daughter of the disappeared during Guatemala’s civil war. Their main objective is to bring justice and to not let Guatemalans forget the recent history; The Peace Accords were barely signed 11 years ago in 1996.

Who is Rigoberta Menchú, anyway? Well, she thought you may want to know, so she coauthored a book by the name of “Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así­ me nació la conciencia” (My name is Rigoberta Menchú and this how my Consciencie was Born) back in 1982. TThe book became a great success when translated into English (as “I, Rigoberta Menchú“), giving her a role on the international stage at the time of the ongoing conflict in Guatemala [source: Wikipedia]. If you have the means to buy the book, available through Amazon, you should get it if you are interested in learning a bit about Guatemala’s recent history. You can also read the entry about Rigoberta Menchú in Wikipedia. She was the recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize and Prince of Asturias Award in 1998.

What is Rigoberta Menchú’s Mission, anyway? She has embarked in an impossible mission. She is running for the Guatemalan Presidency. So what, why is this an impossible mission? Isn’t she Guatemalan and thus possess the legal rights to run for the presidency? Well, yes, that is correct. But, and this is a big but, she is a woman; worst yet, she is an indigenous woman; even worst, she is an indigenous woman from the left.

See, not everything is fine and dandy in the paradisiac lands of Guatemala. Real democracy is still over a century behind. In Guatemala, a woman could not get elected as president, just yet, although it has happened several times in Latin America (even in Central America). In Guatemala, an indigenous person could not get elected as president, just yet, although it has happened twice in the American continent with Benito Juárez and Evo Morales. In Guatemala, a person from the left could not get elected as president, just yet, even though most countries in South America and even Nicaragua in Central America have elected people from the left.

Now you can see why her candidacy for the presidency of Guatemala is such an impossible mission. I guess she decided that one can be part of the problem or part of the solution; she opted for the latter. Who was it that said, those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

If you could vote in the next elections in Guatemala, would cast your vote for a woman? for an indigenous person? for somebody from the left (democrat)? would you cast your vote for Rigoberta Menchú? or none of the above?

Graffiti of Rigorberta Menchú in La Antigua Guatemala

© 2007 – 2020, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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