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A Letter from the Indigenous Women’s Platform to Kamala Harris

Left to right, top to bottom: Rigoberta Menchú T (Maya k’iche), Rosalina Tuyuc V, (Maya Kaqchikel), Otilia Lux de Coti (Maya k’iche), Aura Leticia Teleguario S. (Maya Kaqchikel). Derecha de arriba hacia abajo: Irma Alicia Velázquez N., (Maya k’iche), Medarda Castro (Maya Tz’utujil), Mina Griselda González (Maya Tz’utujil), Angelina Aspuac (Maya Kaqchikel). 

Originally published in La Hora.

16 November 2020
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Ms. Kamala Devi Harris
Senator and Vice President Elect of the United States of America
The Office of Her Excellency Madam Vice President Elect,

Cordial greetings from the Indigenous Women’s Platform, an entity that promotes economic, social and political development in Guatemala. Our vision seeks equity and the inclusion of all peoples, but above all, indigenous women of all ages and status.

We wish to express our most sincere and deepest congratulations, for being elected as the first female Vice President of the United States of America. This historic moment demonstrates and ratifies the desire and vision of the country’s voters for inclusion of those making political decisions at the highest level; the same vision shared by those of us who subscribe to this letter.

Aware of the reality and challenges that women face at a global level, particularly in Guatemala, we have been working to strengthen and consolidate strategic alliances to increase the political participation of women, but especially of indigenous women in public and private arenas. spaces. Since indigenous women  are not part of the power structure, the problems in the Central American region will be exacerbated and our societies will advance more slowly in the achievement of prosperity, equity and inclusion. At this moment where public needs and problems are exacerbated by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hurricane Eta, unemployment, malnutrition and migration of undocumented people, powerful actions that include indigenous women are required in order to benefit the population.

We urge you to work with tenacity, awareness and commitment that characterize the public policies needed, with a focus on human rights as a fundamental pillar of our obligations as human beings. 

Since immigration policy is a priority for your country and for Guatemala, a nation of origin as well as transit for migrants. We are open to helping with the programs of the United States government so that they address the structural origins of and increased migration of undocumented workers, which reflects the absence of employment opportunities and education, and the prevalence of violence in our societies. 

From this moment on, we pledge to be your strategic allies with the firm commitment to work and join your efforts so that the Central American region, in particular Guatemala, can serve as a model of economic and social development where an inclusive and sustainable vision is consolidated and strengthened. Furthermore, we commit to combating corruption and impunity to achieve prosperity, security and good governance.

We hope soon, to have the joy of greeting you personally and to strengthen bonds of affection and communication, but, above all, to work together for a strengthened America for the present and for future generations.


Rigoberta Menchú T (Maya K’iche’), Rosalina Tuyuc V, (Maya Kaqchikel), Otilia Lux de Coti (Maya K’iche’), Aura Leticia Teleguario S. (Maya Kaqchikel). Derecha de arriba hacia abajo: Irma Alicia Velázquez N., (Maya K’iche’), Medarda Castro (Maya Tz’utujil), Mina Griselda González (Maya Tz’utujil), Angelina Aspuac (Maya Kaqchikel)

Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj

Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj is a Maya-K’iche’n anthropologist and journalist, currently a visiting professor at Stanford University. Irma Alicia is the lead protagonist in Skylight's documentary film "500 YEARS" and serves on Skylight's Board of Directors.

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