Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez
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Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez is a Mayan human rights activist and recipient of the 2012 Niwano Peace Prize. Born to a poor Christian family in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala, Tuyuc worked as a teacher and auxiliary nurse and belonged to women's groups and handicraft, agriculture, and animal breeding cooperatives. During Guatemala's long civil war her father and husband were kidnapped, tortured, and believed to be murdered. Tuyuc was also sought by the Guatemalan government for her activism. In 1988, Tuyuc and other affected widows founded the National Association of Guatemalan Widows (CONAVIGUA), now a leading Guatemalan human rights organization that pioneers active, peaceful resistance. It promotes full equality for women and respect for human rights, challenging Guatemala's military ethos and governance. Several thousand women, organized into 300 local groups, address issues such as sexual violence and the impunity of paramilitary structures. She has held various positions in Guatemalan politics, including National Congress member and magistrate in the first Court of Conscience of Guatemalan Women.