Mexico/National: Controversial participation of Rigoberta Menchú as an electoral observer

Foto @ La Jornada de Jalisco

Photo @ La Jornada de Jalisco

The Guatemalan Rigoberta Menchú Tum, recipient of the Nobel Peace Price, visited Mexico from 26 to 30 May on the invitation of the National Electoral Institute, which paid $10,000 to the Rigoberta Menchú Foundatjon for the Guatemalan indigenous woman to be present to promote voting and liberal democracy. The INE confirmed that it spent said amount ($153,157 MX) after Menchú conceded in an interview that she had received $10,000 “as well as taxes.” The INE social communication coordinator reported that the amount had been transferred because “at the very hour a benefactor intervened,” explaining that, to pay for Rigoberta’s visit, the INE had taken these resources as a sort of payment for electoral training. The annual rate was said to be unknown.

In the first place, Menchú Tum was accredited as a foreigner by the INE council president Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, who had recently provoked a scandal after mocking an indigenous leader during a telephone conversation. This scandal led different organizations from Oaxaca to publish a communique demanding “the immediate resignation of C. LORENZO CÓRDOVA VIANELLO, who up to now has ostentatiously held the office of President of the [INE], due to his discriminatory and backward attitude toward indigenous people. His insults offend the dignity of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.”

Subsequently, Rigoberta Menchú participed in an event in Acapulco, Guerrero, to promote the vote, when a Guerrero youth interrupted the event to say that many different comunities such as San Luis Acatlán, her Nahua community of origin, are subjected to violence. She added, “Ms. Rigoberta Menchú, our indignation and rage cannot end, and I know you understand. One other thing: we cannot continue to ask for a minute of silence for the disappeared, because to request just a minute for each murder and each disappearance in the country or our own state, we would be remain silent eternally.” This intervention was met with great applause.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sobre las declaraciones de Rigoberta Menchú (Change.org, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Cooperó el INE con 10 mil dólares para estancia de Rigoberta Menchú (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2015)

¿Por qué el INE dio 10 mil dólares a Rigoberta Menchú? (Red Política, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Organizaciones civiles de Oaxaca exigen destitución inmediata del titular del INE (Educa, 26 de mayo de 2015)

INE acredita a Rigoberta Menchú como observadora electoral (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2015)

Consígueme a un indígena” (El Financiero, 29 de mayo de 2015)

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