Dressed in the Guatemalan indigenous attire, Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú-Tum addressed about 150 people in the state Capitol building as part of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
The Guatemalan peace activist was greeted with a standing ovation. Menchú-Tum discussed her civil rights work, her new political party, and her plans to extend her work to California in the near future.
"My fight began when I saw that my people were being humiliated, discriminated against and put down by the armed forces of my country in the '60s, introducing the bloodiest violence ever seen in Guatemala," she said.
That conflict, which lasted until the early '80s, left 200,000 people dead and 50,000 missing.
These days, Menchú-Tum is working diligently to create her own political party and have it registered by 2010.
"We want to fight to create a different kind of politics, politics that fully value the neediest people in the country as they deserve. We cannot remain stalled. We have to give all of our people the room they deserve to realize the changes they've craved for so long in Guatemala," she said.