Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Laureate from Guatemala, will be in Postville Saturday, Nov. 8, to express her solidarity with the almost 400 immigrants, nearly all Guatemalans, arrested during the May 12 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid.

The immigration raid was the largest ever carried out at a single workplace - Agriprocessors meat packing plant - which lost half of its workforce. The company's management is now facing charges of child labor and wage violations, as well as charges of abetting aggravated identify theft.

As a staunch defender of human rights, Menchu is concerned about the treatment and well being of those arrested and their families, who are mainly Guatemalan Mayan Indians like herself.

The following events will take place at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Postville and are open to the public:

• From 10 a.m. to noon Menchu will hear the testimonies from those arrested or affected by the arrests, including women who have been wearing electronic monitoring bracelets which prevent them from working or leaving the country; underage workers caught in the raid; men who have served five months in jail, and who have been recalled as federal witnesses; a mother who was unable to see her underage son who was arrested May 12 and held in detention for over four months; a mother who served a five-month sentence in jail despite the fact she had two underage children at home; and minors and family members affected by the raid.

• 2 to 3 p.m. Menchu will meet with the media and the press

• Menchu will participate in an ecumenical service at St. Bridget's Church

• 4:30 to 6 p.m. Menchu will participate in a silent peaceful walk from St. Bridget's Church to Agriprocessors and back. The public is invited to participate holding a lit candle.

Groups participating in the event include, St Bridget's Catholic Church, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Postville; American Friends Services Committee, Des Moines; Catholic Charities, Des Moines; The Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC); General Board of Church and Society of UMC; National Plan of Latino/Hispanic Ministries of the United Methodist Church, Northeast District of the United Methodist Church; and Luther College.

Menchú, who was the subject of the testimonial biography "I, Rigoberta Menchú" and is the author of the autobiographical book "Crossing Borders," is widely known as a leading advocate of human rights and peace making, not only in Guatemala but throughout the Americas. She ¬has received several international awards for her work.