Pachakutik and the Rise and Decline of the Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement
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.
Published by: Ohio University Press
Title Page / Copyright Page
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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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...
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Introduction: Indigenous Political Mobilization
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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...
Chapter 1. The Genesis of Indigenous Organizing
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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...
Chapter 2. Social Movements and Political Change in Latin America
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Many writers refer to the third wave of democracy1 and to the strengthening, or reemergence, of civil society in Latin America (Ag�ero 1998; Zamosc 2007) as occurring during the late 1970s to the late 1980s. Whether one causes the other or they are mutually reinforcing has also generated considerable academic discussion. In Ecuador, formal electoral multiparty...
Chapter 3. The Birth of Pachakutik
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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...
Chapter 4. Pachakutik and the Politics of the Ballot
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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...
Chapter 5. The Indigenous Movement as Sisyphus: The Zenith and the Nadir of Power, 2000–2003
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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...
Chapter 6. How to Lose by Winning: From the 2002 Elections to the 2006 Elections
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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...
Chapter 7. The Rise and Decline of the Indigenous Movement
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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...
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Publication Year: 2011