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The Lewis Legacy-Issue 82, Autumn 1999

In the Footsteps of Rigoberta Original Article

According to the April 1999 issue of World Press Review, the GuatemalanQuice Indian who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 had fabricated the events
in her 1983 book I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala.
Menchu’s coauthor, a Venezuelan anthropologist named Elisabeth Burgos, says
she realized by 1990 that much of the story was fabricated. (For example,
Rigoberta’s brother Nicolas did not die of hunger; he is still alive.) In
January 1999 anthropologist David Stoll published Rigoberta Menchu and the
Story of All Poor Guatemalans, 400 pages of detailed information about the
Rigoberta myth and the actual suffering and abuse of Guatemalan Indians. In
February Rigoberta admitted at a New York press conference that her “true
story” is not actual autobiography after all. Nevertheless, some of her
loyal readers are outraged at David Stoll.