By Rodolfo Stavenhagen. Published 2002.
In this paper Rodolfo Stavenhagen explores the evolution of indigenous movements in Latin America. Indigenous organisations have sprung up in their thousands since the 1960s and have become a new and formidable force for social and political change. Stavenhagen describes the factors which account for the rise of awareness within indigenous communities, such as disillusionment with the land reform and populist indigenista policies. He goes on to discuss the way in which small, grassroots organisations, concerned largely with specific socio-economic issues, have developed into large, country-wide coalitions calling for autonomy and self-determination. Although these movements have no universal ideology as such, Stavenhagen argues that the discourse created has changed both indigenous peoples' self-perception and the way in which they are viewed by the political elite both at home and abroad. Moreover, this, in time, and in tandem with the important constitutional and legislative changes already achieved, should encourage the intercultural mestizaje which he sees as the only means by which Indians and Ladinos can live on equal terms.