Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Wikileaks: Colom called Nobel Prize Laureate Menchú “a fabrication”

March 10, 2011

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colomo referred to Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú as a “fabrication” created by French anthropologist Elizabeth Burgos, according to a WikiLeaks cable published on Jan. 16.

The comments were apparently made in July 2008. The remarks came during a contentious time where the government had police arrest 47 community leaders in San Juan Sacatepéquez for opposing the construction of a cement plant there.

Indigenous communities protested the Guatemalan corporation Cementos Progreso, believing cement production would use up the area’s water supply and cause pollution.

Colom seemed to believe Menchú manipulated the indigenous communities into starting the protest.

Menchú’s long battle for indigenous rights in Guatemala became known around the world after Burgos transcribed a series of interviews with the Mayan leader. The subsequent autobiography “I, Rigoberta Menchú” was published in 1983.

According to Latinamerica Press, after the cable was published early this year by the Guatemalan press, Menchú responded: “It is embarrassing for a president to be involved in a situation of this sort. If he really made those statements, I think it’s disrespectful and rude.”

Colom, who promised to build better relations with Guatemala’s indigenous community when he came to power in 2008, said he had apologized to Menchú for the incident during a telephone call.

“I have always had an excellent relationship with Mrs. Rigoberta Menchú and I apologize if the former U.S. ambassador misinterpreted my words. I have paid my respects and the conversation was as amicable as always,” he said.
 

You may be interested

News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airports
Costa Rica
4724 views
Costa Rica
4724 views

News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airports

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until November 18
Costa Rica
3010 views
Costa Rica
3010 views

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until November 18

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 8, 2020

Costa Rica's Immigration Administration is offering foreigners extra flexibility as countries continue to restrict travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.…

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 8, 2020
Costa Rica
21220 views
Costa Rica
21220 views

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 8, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 8, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 350 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 5,836 cumulative known cases, the Health…