Known for movies

Short Info

FactBiography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, vol. 135, pages 273-277. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.

Rigoberta Menchú was born on January 9, 1959, in the small village of Chimel, in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala. Her parents, Vicente Menchú and Juana Tum, were both members of the Maya-Quiché ethnic group and subsistence farmers. When Rigoberta was two years old, her younger brother, Petrocinio, died of malnutrition. Two years later, her father was killed in a confrontation with the Guatemalan army. Her mother then took Rigoberta and her remaining siblings—her sisters, Rosa and Juana, and her brother, Miguel—to live with their grandparents in the nearby town of Uspantán.

Rigoberta’s early education came from her grandfather, who taught her to read and write in Spanish and Maya-Quiché. She also attended a Catholic school in Uspantán for a few years. In 1975, at the age of 16, she married Pedro Chan, a young man from a nearby town. The following year, she gave birth to her first child, a son named Gerardo.

In 1978, Rigoberta’s family was forced to flee their home in Uspantán after her grandfather was killed by the Guatemalan army. They eventually settled in the town of Cobán, where Rigoberta began working with the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG), a leftist guerrilla group that was fighting against the Guatemalan government. In 1980, she gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Elizabeth.

In 1982, Rigoberta’s husband, Pedro, was captured and tortured by the Guatemalan army. He eventually died as a result of his injuries. Rigoberta herself was forced to flee Guatemala after receiving death threats from the army. She eventually settled in Mexico, where she continued her work with the URNG.

In 1983, Rigoberta published an autobiography titled I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. The book quickly became a bestseller and made Rigoberta an international celebrity. In 1992, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in promoting human rights in Guatemala.

Rigoberta currently lives in Guatemala with her husband and two children. She continues to work for social justice and human rights in her country.

General Info

Full NameRigoberta Menchú
ProfessionPolitician, Writer, Activist


ParentsVicente Menchú, Juana Tum Kótoja


AwardsNobel Peace Prize, Glamour Award for The Peacemaker

Social profile links


1Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, vol. 135, pages 273-277. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
2Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.




Rigoberta Menchu: Daughter of the Maya2016DocumentaryHerself
Democracy Now!2013-2015TV SeriesHerself
Women Crossing the Line2014DocumentaryHer self
Harvest of Empire2012DocumentaryHerself (Nobel Peace Prize winner)
Mayan Renaissance2012Documentary
Els matins a TV32004-2012TV SeriesHerself
2012: The True Mayan Prophecy2010DocumentaryHerself
BBC World Peacemaker Debate 22006TV MovieHerself
Ambassadøren2005TV Movie documentaryHerself
Premios TV y novelas 20042004TV MovieHerself
30 minuts2003TV Series documentaryHerself
Der Frieden und sein Preis - Das Vermächtnis des Alfred Nobel2001TV Short documentaryHerself - Laureate 1992 (as Rigoberta Menchú Tum)
La mirada crítica2001TV SeriesHerself
Gala por los pueblos indígenas iberoamericanos2001TV MovieHerself
El primer café2000TV SeriesHerself
El tercer grado1998TV SeriesHerself
Caiga quien caiga1998TV SeriesHerself
Viaje al centro de la selva (Memorial Zapatista)1994DocumentaryHerself
Rigoberta Menchu: Broken Silence1992TV Short documentaryHerself
Jakten på Mangas Coloradas1992TV Mini-SeriesHerself
When the Mountains Tremble1983DocumentaryHerself

Archive Footage

Democracy Now!2011-2014TV SeriesHerself
Las tragedias de los famosos2011TV SeriesHerself
La independencia inconclusa2010DocumentaryHerself
Catalunya.cat2008TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
La tele de tu vida2007TV SeriesHerself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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