Peace Nobel prize winners arrive in Mérida for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.
The world renown four-day event began on Thursday Sep. 19 and all of the sudden, Mérida is in a global spotlight.
But the summit’s main thrust is promoting peace & global harmony.
For the 1992 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Guatemalan human rights activist Rigoberta Menchú Tum, the summit not only sends a message of hope, but also “-an active peace, that builds up-” Menchú was received by state General Secretary María Fritz Sierra, at the Mérida aierport.
In a brief interview, the indigenous leader that Merida was proposed as the venue several Peace Nobel Prize winners.
“I think it was two events ago that they wanted to come to Mexico and Merida ende up hosting the summit which is a distinction but also a big responsibility,” she said.
When asked about her expectations of the event, Menchú highlighted the importance of having a group of peacemakers gather in the same space.
RigobertMenchú will address indigenous issues, leading workshops on human mobility, migration and youth.
“We are going to have some workshops, we are going to have time to talk to the press, we are very grateful for the expectation that has been generated and we recognize the effort done by the local authorities,” said Menchú. “What an honor to receive here the proponents of peace from around the world. ”
Another honored guest, Dr. Ira Helfand, was received at the airport by the secretary of health, Mauricio Sauri Vivas. Helfand is a representative of the International Association of Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, an organization that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Helfand arrived from Springfield, Massachusetts.
He was accompanied by Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, former Colombian president and present-day Harvard professor. He was the sole recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts negotiating a peace treaty with FARC-guerrilla rebels.
Among other Peace Prize laureates in Merida are former presidents Frederik Willem de Klerk from South Africa; José Ramos Horta from East Timor; Lech Walesa from Poland and Lord David Trimble, first minister of Northern Ireland.
Shirin Ebadi, first female jurist in Iran; Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian peace activist who helped to end a civil war; and Tawakkol Karman, Yemeni human rights activist and founder of Women Journalists Without Chains, are also on the agenda.