Danilo Valladares interviews Rosalina Tuyuc, winner of the Niwano Peace Prize.
This was on the Global Issues website and is from Inter Press Service.
'To achieve peace, it is necessary for the truth to come out, and for the victims to receive reparations. And part of this is that cases of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Maya people must come to trial,' says Guatemalan indigenous leader Rosalina Tuyuc.
Tuyuc, a 55-year-old Kakchiquel Maya Indian, lost her father and her husband during the 1960-1996 armed conflict between the army and leftwing guerrillas, which left 250,000 — mainly rural indigenous — people dead and missing, according to the U.N.-sponsored Historical Clarification Commission.
The prominent human rights activist has been fighting for justice and peace as head of the National Coordinating Committee of Guatemalan Widows (CONAVIGUA), which groups survivors of the civil war, since 1988.
On May 10 in Tokyo she will become the first indigenous woman to receive the prestigious Niwano Peace Prize, which recognises Tuyuc’s 'extraordinary and dogged work for peace,' according to the Japan-based Niwano Peace Foundation.
The committee that selects the recipients of the prize created in 1983 also stated in its press release that Tuyuc 'is an inspiring example of how victims of discrimination, drawing on their faith, are empowered by working together, to defeat human rights violations and reverse the causes that have hurt them so deeply.'
Excerpts of her interview with IPS follow: