The Root is Maya, The practice is Plurist. Indigenous Political Mobilisation in Quetzaltenango, Guetemala

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Abstract

Since the 1990s Latin America has witnessed the emergence of ethnic, often social movement-based, political parties. Within this context Rigoberto Quemé Chay became the first indigenous mayor of Quetzaltenango, the second-largest city of Guatemala, a place that until then had been marked by indigenous political exclusion and racism. This article seeks to explain why Quemé was victorious in 1995 and also why he subsequently lost the election in 2004 through an analysis of the ideational struggle within the (indigenous) political organisation, Xel-jú, which backed Quemé's candidacy twice. I use the movements of ‘departure’, ‘manoeuvre’ and ‘arrival’ in the process of the constitution of hegemonic visions of power to analyse Xel-jú's rise to political power
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-94
JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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