Movimiento de Unidad Plurinacional Pachacutik (MUPP)

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Movimiento de Unidad Plurinacional Pachacutik (MUPP)

In 1995 indigenous leaders in Ecuador founded the Movimiento de Unidad Plurinacional Pachacutik (Pachacutik Movement for Plurinational Unity; MUPP) to campaign for political office. Emerging out of years of debate among indigenous organizations over whether to enter the electoral realm and whether to put forward their own candidates or join existing parties, Pachacutik represented a third option, in which indigenous peoples organized as equals with other popular movements. Pachacutik assumed a center-left ideology that opposed neoliberal economic policies and favored a more inclusive and participatory political system.

In its first ten years, Pachacutik had mixed success. In 1996 its leader, Luis Macas, was elected a national deputy in the national assembly, becoming the first indigenous person elected to national office. In 2002, however, he lost a race for the Andean parliament and in 2006 received barely 2 percent of the vote in a presidential bid. Pachacutik achieved more success on a local level. Activists continued to debate hotly whether social justice was best achieved by organizing as part of civil society or as an electoral movement.

See alsoIndigenous Organizations; Macas, Luis.


Collins, Jennifer. "Linking Movement and Electoral Politics: Ecuador's Indigenous Movement and the Rise of Pachakutik." In Politics in the Andes: Identity, Conflict, Reform, edited by Jo-Marie Burt and Philip Mauceri, pp. 38-57. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004.

                                      Marc Becker