We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Pachakutik and the Rise and Decline of the Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement

Kenneth J. Mijeski

Publication Year: 2011

 One of the most important stories in Latin American studies today is the emergence of left-leaning social movements sweeping across Latin America includes the mobilization of militant indigenous politics. Formed in 1995 in Ecuador to advance the interests of a variety of people’s organizations and to serve as an alternative to the country’s traditional political parties, Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement (Pachakutik) is an indigenist-based movement and political party.

In this critical work, Kenneth J. Mijeski and Scott H. Beck evaluate the successes and failures experienced by Ecuador’s Indians in their quest to transform the state into a participative democracy that would address the needs of the country’s long-ignored and impoverished majority, both indigenous and nonindigenous. Using a powerful statistical technique and in-depth interviews with political activists, the authors show that the political election game failed to advance the cause of either Ecuador’s poor majority or the movement’s own indigenous base.
Pachakutik and the Rise and Decline of the Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement is an extraordinarily valuable case study that examines the birth, development, and in this case, waning of Ecuador’s indigenous movement.

Published by: Ohio University Press


pdf iconDownload PDF

Title Page / Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF
p. v

read more

Preface and Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-viii

In 1995 the original goal of our research in Ecuador was to work with Ecuadorian students who were studying in a university bilingual educational program to become teachers in their rural communities. We were planning to train them to do interviews in the communities to gain insight into the extent to which indigenous people were conscious...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-xiv

read more

Introduction: Indigenous Political Mobilization

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-6

North American political scientist George I. Blanksten reached these conclusions at the end of his 1951 study of Ecuador’s government and politics (1964, 177). This was a time when the country’s political and social elites viewed Ecuador’s indigenous population as a drag on development and modernization. Indians’ “disappearance” via miscegenation...

read more

Chapter 1. The Genesis of Indigenous Organizing

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 7-20

In response to five hundred years of domination and oppression, first at the hands of the Spanish and later by those who inherited the postcolonial spoils, Ecuador’s indigenous peoples1 began to organize systematically beginning in the middle of the twentieth century. Although early efforts in this regard were frequently initiated and abetted...

read more

Chapter 2. Social Movements and Political Change in Latin America

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 21-35

Many writers refer to the third wave of democracy1 and to the strengthening, or reemergence, of civil society in Latin America (Ag

read more

Chapter 3. The Birth of Pachakutik

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 36-46

By 1995 the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), then almost ten years old, was widely seen as the head of the most powerful national indigenous organization in Ecuador and in all Latin America. The struggles in the 1970s and early 1980s regarding class (campesinismo) versus Indian (indianismo) consciousness as organizing and mobilizing principles that characterized the formative years of...

read more

Chapter 4. Pachakutik and the Politics of the Ballot

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 47-61

With very limited resources, precious little time, and some confusion, CONAIE and the CMS launched a new political movement—the Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement–New Country (MUPP-NP), or Pachakutik— that would contest the 1996 elections. Heady with optimism, Pachakutik quickly mobilized across the country. While the initial plan was for Pachakutik to nominate candidates for local office only (interview...

read more

Chapter 5. The Indigenous Movement as Sisyphus: The Zenith and the Nadir of Power, 2000–2003

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 62-88

On January 21, 2000, a surprising and historically significant event took place in Quito. A few thousand indigenous protestors, aided by union and leftist militants and sympathetic elements of the military, took control of the National Congress building, the Supreme Court building, and finally the presidential palace.1 Some hours after the elected...

read more

Chapter 6. How to Lose by Winning: From the 2002 Elections to the 2006 Elections

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 89-113

Since Pachakutik’s stunning 2002 presidential election victory in alliance with Lucio Gutiérrez’s Partido Sociedad Patriótica (PSP), the electoral movement and its indigenous parent organization, CONAIE, have fallen on hard times. Even before Gutiérrez took office, in January 2003, there were strains between leaders of Pachakutik and the new president that only deepened in the early months of his presidency...

read more

Chapter 7. The Rise and Decline of the Indigenous Movement

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 114-132

Commencing with the formation of the Shuar Federation in the 1960s, Ecuador’s late-twentieth-century indigenous movement took wing in the following decade with the development of local organizations across much of the country, finally coalescing into two regional confederations, one in the Sierra (ECUARUNARI) and one in the Oriente...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 133-136


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 137-144


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 145-154


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 155-159

E-ISBN-13: 9780896804777
Print-ISBN-13: 9780896802803

Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 728660914
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Pachakutik and the Rise and Decline of the Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Movimiento de Unidad Plurinacional Pachakutik-Nuevo País.
  • Indians of South America -- Ecuador -- Politics and government.
  • Indians of South America -- Ecuador -- Government relations.
  • Politics and culture -- Ecuador.
  • Social change -- Ecuador.
  • Political activists -- Ecuador.
  • Ecuador -- Politics and govenrment.
  • Ecuador -- Ethnic relations.
  • Indian activists -- Ecuador.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access