Students react to Guatemalan elections
September 18, 2007 8:34 AM
Nobel Peace prize winner and Mayan activist Rigoberta Menchu ran and lost in the recent presidential elections in Guatemala that left more than 50 candidates, activists, and their relatives dead.
According to New York Time reports, Menchu placed sixth out of 14 candidates and is the first woman to run for president in Guatemalan history.
Menchu has visited SF State three times in the last 10 years and has a room on the top floor of the Cesar Chavez Student Center named in her honor.
“The fact that she is a woman may be one reason for explaining why
"There is a lot of racism and sexism within the government," Revolorio said, although he thinks Menchu would have made a better president than either of the remaining candidates. Since winning the Nobel Prize in 1992 "she has been distant from grass-roots organizing, distant from Guatemala." Revolorio moved to the U.S. six years ago to live with his family.
Although there are many speculations for why Mechu did not fair well in the election, reasons for why the murders occurred remain unknown. Since the country endured brutal civil war from 1960 to 1996, gangs, or "maras," and drug lords hold power in many areas of Guatemala including government and military. The murders are most likely the acts of powerful criminals, in an attempt to push their choice for president to the frontlines, Revolorio said.
Alvaro Colom and Otto Perez Molina were selected as Guatemala's final presidential candidates. Because neither candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held on Nov. 4 to determine the presidency.
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