Anabella de León
Political Participation Award, 2003
Anabella de León has devoted her professional career to promoting the rule of law and protecting the rights of all citizens, particularly women and indigenous peoples. Since 1995 she has been a member of the parliament. A rare product of meritocracy in Guatemala, she worked her way through a prestigious private law school and assumed a series of increasingly responsible legal jobs, including Chief Council in Guatemala City. Since 1995, she has been a member of Guatemala’ s Congress. Her committee assignments have included participation in the body charged with overseeing implementation of the peace accords that ended Guatemala’ s 36-year civil conflict in 1996.
Anabella is unafraid to point out corruption and cronyism regardless of the party affiliation of the perpetrators. Due to these activities, the Organization for American States Inter American Human Rights Commission has requested that the Guatemalan government take steps to ensure her safety and has granted Anabella “precautionary measures” status.
Anabella’ s concern for human rights is deeply felt, and she has struggled against the entrenched prejudice that afflicts Guatemala’ s majority indigenous population and women. She is currently a member of the Guatemalan Association of Lawyers and Notaries.