1992 – Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Indigenous Rights leader
After losing her mother and brother to Guatemalan death squads in the late 1970s, Rigoberta Menchu Tum followed in her father’s footsteps to become a human rights activist and leader in her country.
A Mayan Indian, she publicly protested human rights abuses against Guatemala’s indigenous peoples by the country’s repressive military government. In 1981 she fled to Mexico and joined the international fight to stop the brutal repression of Guatemalan Indians peasants.
Today, at home in Guatemala and around the world, usually dressed in the traditional clothing of her people, she is a warm and powerful voice for the rights of indigenous people everywhere.