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Nobel Prize Laureate Menchu May Run For Guatemala Presidency February 1, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.

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 possibility.

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 presidential bid.

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 do 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 others.

The fire occurred during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war, in which 200,000, mostly Mayan Indians, were killed or disappeared.


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