Sarah Brigham

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2009

Capstone Advisor

Matthew Cleary

Honors Reader

John Burdick

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Citizenship and Public Affairs

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies | Latin American Studies


For my Capstone Project, I compared and contrasted indigenous movements in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. In my preliminary research of Latin American indigenous movements, I noted that Ecuador and Bolivia have had the most successful indigenous movements at the national level in the region while Peru’s indigenous groups have lagged behind the mobilization fervor. Although Peru has a large indigenous population, even higher than the proportion of indigenous groups in Ecuador, its indigenous movement has not transpired passed the local level.

To help explain this anomaly, I consulted several texts to compare theories about what made indigenous movements in Bolivia and Ecuador successful nationally and about why Peru lacked an indigenous movement. On the basis of the theories I researched as well as lessons learned from prior courses, I drew conclusions that I applied in my thesis.

Most importantly, I found that Peru’s indigenous case is not a result of geographic hindrances or elite oppression since its geography and existent racist attitudes are similar to Ecuador and Bolivia. Rather, the violence caused by Sendero Luminoso, the Peruvian military, and the Fujimori regime inhibited indigenous mobilization in Peru because its indígenas did not have the same resources available to indigenous peoples in Ecuador and Bolivia (such as funding from transnational actors). Although indigenous movements in Ecuador and Bolivia are not identical, the comparisons between these two movements and Peru’s indigenous peoples highlight the hindrances of its indigenous mobilization.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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