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Christopher Raymond and Moisés Arce, "The politicization of indigenous identities in Peru," Party Politics, 19 (July 2013), 555-576 [Available at ]

First paragraph:
On 17 April 2009 the Peruvian daily newspaper El Correo published on its front page a picture of congressional representative Hilaria Supa Huama´n from Cuzco, the first elected politician to take the oath of office in her native language of Quechua in 2006. The front-page picture, however, was not meant to highlight Supa's Quechua-speaking roots or her traditional indigenous clothing. Instead, the picture directed attention to the grammatical and orthographical mistakes contained in the hand-written notes the selfeducated Supa had taken in Spanish. In an editorial Aldo Maria´tegui, the director of the newspaper, criticized the illiteracy and lack of legislative professionalism of elected representatives like Supa. Congressional representatives across party lines, several media outlets and other professional organizations quickly denounced the overt racial overtones of the newspaper and its director, who, ironically, is the grandson of Jose´ Carlos Maria´tegui, a well-known indigenous rights advocate

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Indigenous and Mestizo party preferences in three elections.
Table 2. Estimates of party preferences for Peru´ Posible (Toledo's Party in 2001).
Figure 1. Indigenous and Mestizo party preferences.
Figure 3. Differences in support between PNP and UPP

Last Paragraph:
These findings suggest that the missing element to the formation of an indigenous cleavage in Peruvian politics has been the absence of political identities, which were not created until 2001 with the campaign of Alejandro Toledo. As the results of this study confirm, the findings of previous research demonstrating the importance of political actors to the formation of political identities cross-nationally (Bartolini and Mair, 1990; Enyedi, 2005; Evans, 2000: 410-11; Evans et al., 1999; Torcal and Mainwaring, 2003), the actions of parties in creating these political identities appear paramount to explaining the presence or (apparent) absence of indigenous political representation, not just in Peru, but in every other case of ethnic political competition. Future research, therefore, should lend more weight to explanations of the emergence of indigenous politics that are based on the emergence of political identities.

Last updated November 2013