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The Rise of Ethnic Politics: Indigenous movements in the Andean region

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Laura Fano Morrissey traces the rise of indigenous movements in four Andean countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. By analysing how these movements have formed, she discusses issues of identity and belonging and the role these concepts have played in making indigenous groups a growing force in the continent. She also provides an account of the new constitutions adopted in Bolivia and Ecuador and the innovative traits they have introduced in the political discourse on ethnicity and identity.

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  1. For a more detailed account of the indigenous campaign against the celebrations of the discovery of the Americas in 1992 see Hale, 1994. See also Porto-Gonçalvez, 2009,, accessed 3 September 2009.

  2. Accurate figures on the dead and the disappeared are difficult to provide. Estimates vary from the official version of 24 police officers and five natives killed to that of the indigenous groups of 50–60 dead and 400 displaced. The protesters also said they witnessed the police throwing bodies from a helicopter in plastic bags.

  3. Some indigenous sectors in Bolivia do not regard Evo Morales as their leader, rather a representative of the cocaleros, the coca growers’ movement.

  4. Upside Down World, ‘Peru: Indigenous Organizations Aim for the Presidency’,, accessed 23 June 2009.

  5. For more information on the concepts of buen vivir and indigenous cosmovisión see Acosta, 2009 and Walsh, 2009.

  6. IPS, ‘Q&A: “The Order Was to Kill Us”’,, accessed 17 June 2009.


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Discusses issues of identity and belonging in the rise of indigenous movements in the Andes

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Morrissey, L. The Rise of Ethnic Politics: Indigenous movements in the Andean region. Development 52, 495–499 (2009).

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