Blog post

Rigoberta Menchú: "We waited 33 years for justice"

Natasha Lewis15 May 2013

Today, Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú appeared on Democracy Now! to talk about the conviction for genocide of former US-backed dictator in Guatemala, Ríoss Montt.

In her memoir, I, Rigoberta Menchú, the author tells the story of the Guatemalan genocidal war in which approximately 250,000 people were killed.

In the interview, Menchú stressed the importance of last Friday's verdict, which made Montt the first head of state ever to be convicted for genocide within his own country. Though the verdict is a victory for the victims and their supporters who have been fighting for three decades, Menchú warned, "this is a delicate moment for Guatemala." She called for respect for the court and verdict, and protection for the judge, victims and witnesses:

A lot of people who are responsible for genocide are still free, and they are very aggressive, because they said that the victims were communists and subversives, and that's why they deserved to be exterminated. And they accused the court and the judge of being communists, as well. And so, that shows that very little has really changed in Guatemala. So, we're no longer in the Cold War, but certainly the rhetoric smacks of Cold War rhetoric.

Visit Democracy Now! to watch the interview in full.