AUSTIN, Texas—Rigoberto Quemé Chay, mayor of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second- largest city, and a prominent spokesperson for indigenous political engagement, will give a keynote address during a conference on Cultural Rights and Decentralization in Latin America on Tuesday (April 24) at The University of Texas at Austin.
The 5:30 p.m. speech in the Knopf Room of the Flawn Academic Center primarily will be conducted in Spanish, and is free and open to the public. The Flawn Academic Center is located in the Undergraduate Library on the UT Austin main campus.
The first indigenous mayor to take office in the Guatemalan electoral system, Quemé Chay symbolizes the end of an era of exclusion and the beginning of an era of participation for indigenous people from Quetzaltenango and throughout Guatemala. Now in his second term as mayor, his skills as a negotiator and broad base of support have made him one of the most important indigenous leaders in Guatemala. In 1995, The New York Times described him as a potential indigenous candidate for the presidency of Guatemala, with strong possibilities of getting elected.
The conference Quemé Chay will address is designed to examine the convergence of two major developments across the Americas — cultural rights movements and decentralization. Although both of these processes have been subjects of extensive research and analysis, scholars rarely have examined the intersection of the two.
For additional information about scheduling and registration, contact Adriana Dingman at (512) 232-2406, or visit: <www.lanic.utexas.edu/ilas/conference/CRHprogram.final.web.pdf>.
To read more about Quemé Chay, visit: <www.revuemag.com/articles/1999/may/mayor.htm>.