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POWER IN PERU

Farhad Khan

Friday, January 28, 2011


ESSENTIAL QUESTION

I’ll get back to this later. I need an essential question that


relates to my whole project.

Friday, January 28, 2011


POLITICAL SCIENCE

If indigenous people represent half of the population, why is


it that the elected leaders do not represent the indigenous
people in terms of their heritage and political convictions?

Is there an ideological divide between indigenous


groups?

Is there a political dynasty consisting of European


descendants at the national level? If so, why is it so
hard for natives to break through into national
politics?

Friday, January 28, 2011


HISTORICAL ERAS

To answer these questions, you have to look at Peru’s


history. We’ll be looking at 3 eras during this presentation:

Inca Empire: 1438-1532


Spanish Rule: 1532 - 1810
Quasi-Independence and Aristocratic Rule: 1810-1930
First Taste of Democracy: 1931-1968
Military Reform Government: 1968-1975
Military Junta: 1975-1980
Restoration to Democracy: 1980-present

Friday, January 28, 2011


GOVERNMENT
CENTRALIZATION
Centralization is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those
regarding planning decision-making, become concentrated within a particular location
and/or group. In political science, this refers to the concentration of a government's
power - both geographically and politically, into a centralized government.

What this means is that when you’re building a state, the powers that be have to earn
some jurisdiction over small communities, like the government here does in the sense
that it is federal law to wear seat belts while you are driving. Such an issue isn’t decided
by the City of Westmount.

In Peru, 1931 marked a beginning. What essentially happened was that the country was
coming out of either Spanish or aristocratic rule. The Spanish elite and the indigenous
citizens held little bearing over the political process held the power. Peru’s nation-
building process started in 1931, and all of this changed.

Friday, January 28, 2011


FIRST TASTE OF
DEMOCRACY: 1931-1968

In this era, the newly formed government’s methods of centralization was perceived as liberating
rather than coercive.

Before 1931, the state apparatus was controlled by the Civilista Party, which represented the
interests of select regional elite whether they be mine owners, north coast plantation owners
(sugar), and Lima industrialists and merchants.

In order to grow their political power, they had to maintain a connection with the elite. However,
the regional elite’s access to power was gradually denied, so that the regions could grow
autonomous.

The central government controlled the unrestricted use of armed force by regional elite,
particularly when they threatened the central government. In absorbing many of the elite powers
and privileges, the centralized government expanded its bureaucratic apparatus. In the process,
this bureaucratic structure increasingly undermined the position of these elites as mediators,
controlling the flow of local resources from region to centre and dominating subaltern classes
within their spheres of influence.

Friday, January 28, 2011


INTEGRATING A
NATION (1931-1968)
At this point, virtually all of the population’s interdependencies, whether they were
material, social, political or religious were regional in nature. There wasn’t a sense of a
national identity. The government has tried to overcome these obstacles. During the
first half of the 20th century, they have made massive investments in the infrastructure
of communication, transportation, and education.

First, by expanding the circulation of commodities, the annihilation of regional space


has helped to create newer dependencies upon the population. This also has led to a
growing national (as opposed to regional) economy through the emergence of a national
market.

Secondly, by integrating communication and education into its agenda as a priority, the
government was able to extend the nation as a single community rather than several
regional communities.

Friday, January 28, 2011


THE PLIGHT OF THE
CHACHAPOYAS (BEFORE 1930)

Before 1930, the Chachapoyas were divided into three broad classes; landed elite, a remote
middle class (artisans, petty merchants, bar owners) and rural peasantry. Political hegemony
granted the ruling casta (breed) the powers to carry out administrative duties in the region. In
order to advance itself, the ruling casta had to maintain the regional area from threats of other
castas. The ruling casta would then appoint its own to virtually all of the administrative and
judicial posts available. They combined favouritism and intimidation to ensure the loyalty of the
population. They often served political favours to who were integral to extracting wealth and
maintaining order. All the important castas had exercised political hegemony at some time,
during which they had established clientele both in the town of Chachapoyas and throughout the
region's smaller towns and peasant communities. The fact that such hegemony was unstable and
shifting, however, meant that each coalition had only temporary control over the means of force
with which it could augment its tributary control over space, people, and goods for what were
often relatively brief periods.

Friday, January 28, 2011


THE DOWNFALL OF
CASTA RULE
The  conditions  of  the  early  half  of  the  20th  centuries  were  such  that  both  parties  state  and  region  
sought  to  rede8ine  their  interrelations.  The  massive  expansion  of  North  Atlantic  capital  already  
allowed  the  central  government  to  assert  itself  within  the  regional  elites,  castas  and  affaires.  Along  
with  reasserting  itself  through  the  aforementioned  methods  (the  expansion  of  the  state  apparatus  in  
rural  areas,  and  the  elimination  of  rural  space),  trade  relations  with  region  and  centre  began  to  
unravel.  Large  scales  of  succession  and  revolt  started  to  break  out  due  to  the  1929  economic  
depression  crisis.  The  central  government  was  forced  to  attack  the  powers  and  privileges  on  which  
casta  rule  was  based;  the  ability  of  coalition  leaders  to  appoint  their  own  to  key  positions  of  
administration.  The  national  election  law  of  1931  made  voting  obligatory,  which  made  it  impossible  
for  ruling  castas  to  manipulate  elections  through  intimidation  and  fraud.  Key  positions  began  to  
divide  amongst  different  classes,  with  no  one  casta  able  to  maintain  hegemony,  and  reproduce  
wealth  and  power.

In  1933,  what  allowed  the  native  underclass  to  thrive  was  the  fact  that  the  government  replaced  the  
gendarmes  (militia)  of  the  elite  and  the  castas  with  a  new  peacekeeping  force  that  would  not  serve  in  
the  interest  of  local  power  holders,  but  instead  serve  responsive  to  the  centre.  

Friday, January 28, 2011


A DEMOCRATIZED NATIVE PERU
(1931-1968)

Due to the downfall of casta rule, and the surging flow of investment capital, the indigenous
people had prospered within this period of time.

The central government saw native development as a big deal, to such an extent that president
Ugarteche inauguranted the Bagua-Chiclayo highway by traveling its entire length, ending his
journey in Chachapoyas. From this point onward, for the first time in the history of the
department, the goods and labor of the Chachapoyas region were "free"to participate in markets
of more national scope, while food and manufactured goods of all kinds from outside the region
could likewise participate in the formerly limited, regional markets of Chachapoyas. People were
increasingly drawn into a national, exchange based economy.

Now to answer the question; by including the people (incl. indigenous) into the political and
nation building process, it didn’t matter that the people who held the power were Spanish
descendants, because the natives also benefitted as well.

Friday, January 28, 2011


MILITARISM (1968-1980)

In the context of a national economic crisis, a military reform government led by


Juan Velasco Alvadaro took over the reigns.

In 1975, a military junta led by Francisco Moralez Bermuda took over.

The structure of power that military junta tried to enforce in many rural
communities resembled a pre-1930 casta rule. Under the new regime, a prefect,
appointed by the leader, was given control over the entire political apparatus,
therefore undoing half a century’s worth of precedent, and starting a new phase
of state centralization.

The failure of the second phase of centralization was a result of the state’s
coercive capabilities. Rather, in both pre 1968 and post 1968 times, the use of
force had a inverse relationship with the state’s successes at centralizing.

Friday, January 28, 2011


TACTICS DEPLOYED BY
THE MILITARY JUNTA

Unlike the pre-1975 times, the military junta found no


marginalized group in the rural areas that they could make
common cause with.

Rather, this phase just threatened the configurations of


power that had emerged from 1931.

As a result, protest movements broke out and communities


rose up to protect themselves from the regime.

Friday, January 28, 2011


WHY MILITARISM FELL

In August 1975, the people of the Chachapoyas, and Peru as


a whole suffered through a dictatorship, where many of the
elected political positions were eliminated, and in 1978, the
prefecture in Lima was eliminated.

Expansion and development was a success when


central concerns complimented an important set of
emergent social relations in the region. Expansion
failed, however, when such policies could find no
such relations with which to articulate.

Friday, January 28, 2011


HOW DOES THIS RELATE
TO PERU TODAY?
After 1978, the newly restored democracy was essentially
playing catch up to its 1960s style of development.

Since then, Peru’s political scene was a hotbed for


corruption. For example, former president Alberto Fujimori
was sentenced to an additional 7.5 years of jail due to paying
the head of Peru’s intelligence service with money traced
back to the treasury.

The concerns of rural and indigenous communities people


have been dismissed in the political discourse.

Friday, January 28, 2011


PRESENT POLICY IN RELATION TO
CENTRALIZATION

The people of the Chachapoyas continue to label state centralizing policies as


“incursions” into their lives, to resist these policies, and to vigorously seek
greater recognition for what they call the autonomy of their region.

The best case to confirm the feelings of the Chachapoyas is a sentiment felt by
indigenous citizens in Bagua, when they peacefully demonstrated against free
trade policies in 2009. In response, President Alan Garcia ordered the military to
retaliate. This demonstration and the government’s reaction gained immediate
international attention because of the very nature of the demonstration.

The free trade policies that the demonstrators objected to involved exploiting
their lands for gold. This policy would also affect indigenous people living in the
Amazon, where oil is a hot commodity and a lot of mineral rich northern Peru.

Friday, January 28, 2011


THE QUESTION

If indigenous people represent half of the population, why is


it that the elected leaders do not represent the indigenous
people in terms of their heritage and political convictions?

Friday, January 28, 2011


THE ANSWER

The Peruvian indigenous movement barely exists. The low


level of organizing is ironic in contrast to their population as
a group of people.

Friday, January 28, 2011


INDIGENOUS POLITICAL
ORGANIZATIONS

Sendero Luminoso has actually effectively organized indigenous peasantry in the countryside, however the
organization rejects demands or agendas emanating from an indigenous identity.

Rondas Campesinas is an organization that has emerged. These are peasant organizations that play a role in
the adjudication and enforcement of justice as well as the oversight of public works. However, they have
remained localized in nature, and do not focus specifically on indigenous concerns.

AIDESEP is an Amazonian based indigenous interests organization that operates at the national level, but
nonetheless, it is marginalized at that level.

Friday, January 28, 2011


EMERGENCE OF INDIGENOUS MOVEMENTS
IN LATIN AMERICA

Friday, January 28, 2011


WHY ARE THESE POLITICAL
ORGANIZATIONS MARGINALIZED
FROM THE NATIONAL DISCOURSE?

Political liberalization, understood as increased freedoms of association,


expression, and the press, provided a changing political opportunity for legal
popular movement organizing in the ‘70s and ‘80s. With declining repression
and increasing respect for civil rights, organizing political movements is
encouraged and exercised in the countries listed in the table.

This goes back to the very issue of state centralization and nation building. While
these movements started to emerge in the ‘80s. The military reform government
passed land reforms and encouraged peasant organizing. However, the
subsequent junta of 1975 undermined these accomplishments in their policies.

Friday, January 28, 2011


PERU IN THE PRESENT

Ever since 1980, the Peruvian state has been hostile to


peasant demands and have attempted to localize,
disarticulate and suppress rural organizing efforts. Peru
hasn’t really established a national network.

At the peak of the violence in 2009, Alan Garcia’s job


approval numbers decreased to its lowest point; 21%. 84% of
Peruvians condemned his actions.

Friday, January 28, 2011


HOW THIS RELATES TO MY
ESSENTIAL QUESTION

The “state” and”community” represent opposite essences. The state-building is based predominately on
force because states and local communities have opposing interests, and therefore, what benefits the former
must somehow do hard to the latter. The states are most fundamentally committed to the elimination of
local and regional cultural identities, which stand in the way of state centralization by interfering with the
formation of a national conscious.

Centralization and development was a success when central concerns complimented an important set of
emergent social relations in the region. Centralization failed, however, when such policies could find no
such relations with which to articulate.

The failure of the second phase of centralization was a result of the state’s coercive capabilities. Rather, in
both pre 1968 and post 1968 times, the use of force had a inverse relationship with the state’s successes at
centralizing.

Friday, January 28, 2011


WORKS CITED

Bonilla, O. (2009, June 3). President García's popularity drops after clashes in
Peruvian Amazon. InfoSur Hoy. Retrieved January 19, 2011, from http://
infosurhoy.com/cocoon/saii/xhtml/en/features/saii/features/2009/06/23/
feature-02

Nugent, D. (1994). Building the State, Making the Nation: The Bases and Limits
of State Centralization in "Modern" Peru. American Anthropologist, 96(2),
333-369.

Yashar, D. (1998). Contesting Citizenship: Indigenous Movements and


Democracy in Latin America. Comparative Politics, 31(1), 23-42.

Friday, January 28, 2011