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Rigoberta Menchu Tum: A peacemaker from the start

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  1. Civil War in Guatemala
  2. Tum's early life.
  3. Tum and TheCommittee of Peasant Unity.
  4. Tum's flight to Mexico.
  5. I, Rigoberta Mench.
  6. Running for President of Guatemala.
  7. Conclusion.

Rigoberta Menchu? Tum, a great nonviolent leader, born in 1959 in Guatemala, struggled through many hardships with her family. Her mother and father, community leaders working towards their goal of giving power to the peasant workers, fought through to the end when tortured and killed by the Guatemalan government. Different from her parents, she envisioned a democratic Guatemala, instead of the current communist regime. At this time the Guatemalan government treated all lower class citizens poorly by making a low minimum wage and having unsafe agricultural working conditions. Although Tum experienced the violent reality of Guatemala in 1960, she took a peaceful approach to creating a more cooperative relationship between the government and the proletarian forces.

[...] With this organization, Tum took part in two major strikes the first taking place in 1980 for Pacific Coast farmers to attain better work conditions, over 100,000 farm workers participated and the strike raised minimum wage from 1.2 Guatemalan Quetzales to 3.2 Guatemalan Quetzales, with their goal of raising it to six Guatemalan Quetzales, the second taking place in 1981 at Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, a revelation of feelings and stories. Tum also helped erudite the native Indians to fight against the government by joining the 31st of January Popular Front. [...]


[...] At this age, Tum joined an association called Daughters of Mary, a Catholic organization, to influence teens to contribute to the community.[2] This organization brought young children and adolescent to realize their duty in helping the community and compassion to serve their country and indigenous people. Though Catholic imperialists convinced many to convert and to give up old tribal traditions, many of the young people, who participated in this organization, did not truly believe in the Catholic religion. Tum, being strongly influenced by her Quiche Mayan tradition, joined the group to educate herself and others about the struggles in her community and country. [...]

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