The second installment of the life of the Nobel Peace prize-winning activist. Rigoberta Menchu is a worldwide symbol of courage in the continuing fight of indigenous peoples for justice. The Guatemalan Indian leader first came to the world’s attention with the publication of her autobiography “I, Rigoberta Menchu” in 1984. The book chronicled the terrible hardship of her childhood in Guatemala, including the murder of her brother, father and mother at the hands of a ruthless military. But it also captured the dignity of Indian daily life in a cadence that was beautifully simple. “I, Rigoberta Menchu” has become an international bestseller with one million copies in print. In “Crossing Borders,” Menchu picks up her story where the first volume left off. In 1981 she fled from Guatemala to Mexico City, deeply traumatized by the violence against her family and community. She resolved to dedicate her life to the Indian cause and painstakingly built a solidarity movement with the Indians living as outlaws in Guatemala’s mountains. In 1988 she returned to Guatemala as a representative of the opposition in exile. She was immediately arrested and was released only after an international outcry. Danielle Mitterand and Desmond Tutu were amongst the leading names in an international campaign to secure the Nobel Peace Prize for Menchu which she was awarded in 1992. The long haul to build effective representation for indigenous peoples has taken Menchu around the world and its telling is a thread throughout this book. But “Crossing Borders” is more than an account of a political campaign. In these pages Menchu also talks with deep affection about her mother and the traditions of her Mayan background. In her introduction to “I, Rigoberta Menchu” the ethnologist Elizabeth Burgos Debray writes: ‘Her voice is so heart-rendingly beautiful because it speaks to us of every facet of the life of a people and their oppressed culture. Her story is overwhelming because what she has to say is simple and true’. In “Crossing Borders” that story continues to enchant and inspire.
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Published August 17, 1998
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy.