Guatemala nominates Rigoberta Menchú for OAS Secretary General

Monday, January 10, 2005

World locator map with Guatemla highlighted in green.
World locator map with Guatemla highlighted in green.

Guatemala has nominated a Nobel Peace Prize winner, indigenous rights worker Rigoberta Menchú, 46, to become the next Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The post became available after the previous Secretary General, Miguel Ángel Rodriguez, served for only 24 days of his term of office, before returning home to Costa Rica to face corruption charges.

Luigi R. Einaudi, the former Assistant Secretary General, is serving as Acting Secretary General until the OAS decides who will serve for the remainder of the current term of office.

Before Menchú was nominated, the Central American states had decided that the candidate should be from Central America. But the Rodriguez scandal has made it difficult for the Central American states to find another candidate they could all endorse.

Chile and Mexico have proposed their own candidate for the job.

President Oscar Berger of Guatemala agrees that Menchú should be the Central American candidate. Menchú has said that if the Central American nations are in agreement, she will happily stand as their candidate.

An indigenous Guatemalan, Menchú won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, and was also prominent in her opposition to the previous FRG government which Berger defeated.

Menchú works for the current government as Good Will Ambassador for the 1996 peace accord.