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Rigoberta Menchú

Rigoberta Menchú Tum (born in Chimel, Guatemala, January 9, 1959) was the recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, given "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples".

Her prize is based in part on her 1987 autobiography I, Rigoberta Menchú. Detractors claim that the book contains many fabrications (see Journalism fraud for details of these allegations). Her defenders claim that any dishonesties are offset by the overarching importance of her tale of U.S-funded Guatemalan suppression of the Indian people.

In 1991 she participated in the ongoing preparation by the United Nations of a declaration of the rights of indigenous people. She is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

She has been seeking to have Guatemala's ex-military dictator and current presidential candidate Efraín Ríos Montt tried in Spanish courts in 1999 for crimes committed against Spanish citizens. But these attempts have faltered. In addition to the deaths of Spanish citizens, the most serious charges include genocide against Guatemalan Maya people.