MADRE Statements

Votes from Silenced Voices

Posted on: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Keywords: Guatemala, Latin America, Indigenous Rights

Rigoberta Menchu Foundation Update: Votes from Silenced Voices

Many Indigenous women in Guatemala can’t register to vote. They are disenfranchised because they lack birth certificates and other nationally recognized forms of identification.

These are women who survived decades of a brutal US-backed war. Many were displaced and lost all of their possessions, including identification documents.

MADRE’s partner organization in Guatemala, The Rigoberta Menchu Foundation, is providing Indigenous women with national identification cards that will enable them to exercise their voting rights. As voting citizens, they will be able to demand changes in policy to support their families and communities.

This vital project recently expanded from 20 to 28 municipalities in Guatemala. Now, a total of more than 10,000 Mayan women ranging from 20 to 70 years of age, have obtained identification documents!

MADRE applauds this important initiative to equip Indigenous women with tools to amplify their political voices. Now they will be able to help create a future that will guarantee their human rights.

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Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
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