The Trinity of Buen Vivir in Ecuador

The Trinity of Buen Vivir in Ecuador

By ANTONIO LUIS HIDALGO-CAPITÁN & ANA PATRICIA CUBILLO-GUEVARA

Buen Vivir, as an alternative concept to development (Acosta 2012, Cubillo-Guevara & Hidalgo-Capitán 2015a), emerged in Ecuador at the beginning of the 1990s, with the contribution of some Amazonian Kichwa intellectuals, under the name of sumak kawsay (Viteri et al. 1992, Viteri 1993, Viteri 2000, Cubillo-Guevara & Hidalgo-Capitán 2015b); however, it did not gain relevance until the 2008 Ecuadorian Constitutions included it as a principle (Vanhulst and Beling 2016).

This concept has been defined as a way of life in harmony with oneself (identity), with society (equity) and with nature (sustainability) (Cubillo-Guevara, Hidalgo-Capitán & García-Álvarez 2016). This definition was commonly accepted by the majority of intellectuals and politicians who used the term since the drafting of the 2008 Constitution; but here the consensus ended, since this way of living in harmony took on very different meanings according to the ideological position of each intellectual and politician who used the concept. Thus, there have been at least three ways of understanding Buen Vivir in Ecuador: one indigenist, another socialist and another ecologist / post-developmentalist (Le-Quang & Vercoutère 2013, Cubillo-Guevara, Hidalgo-Capitán & Domínguez-Gómez 2014, Vanhulst 2015).

Read More

Cameras to the people: Reclaiming local histories and restoring environmental justice in community based forest management through participatory video

Cameras to the people: Reclaiming local histories and restoring environmental justice in community based forest management through participatory video

 

By IOKIÑE RODRIGUEZ and MIRNA INTURIAS

Indigenous peoples’ histories and memories are almost invisible to the eyes and ears of western civilization. When we do hear about them, we generally do so through accounts and reconstructions made by naturalists, priests, explorers and more recently historians, geographers, and anthropologists – rarely from indigenous people themselves. Yet indigenous peoples in Latin America are very much aware that an important part of their struggle for cultural and physical survival involves telling the world their own histories. This post discusses how “participatory video” (PV) can help with indigenous peoples’ needs for cultural reassertion as well as with creating opportunities for restoring environmental justice in their territories

Read More

Minorities or Nations? Discourses and Policies of Recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Minorities or Nations? Discourses and Policies of Recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

By Roger Merino Acuña

Translated by Johannes Waldmüller

The definition of Indigenous peoples as either “minorities” or as “nations” has a profound impact on public policies. Indigenous people are seen as ethnic minorities and, despite enjoying special juridical protection, they cannot expect to be treated in a different way, for example as the Right to Previous Consultation suggests.

In summary, the perspectives presented here put forward the idea that if special rights are granted to Indigenous peoples it is to integrate them into Peruvian society -  not to grant them different treatment, which would affect the formal equality that the law grants to every citizen. These discourses stem from understanding Indigenous rights as ethnic minority rights, to ensure their inclusion within the political and economic framework of the state, 'tolerating' their cultural diversity.

The problem with the above comments is the understanding of Indigenous peoples as minorities and not as peoples.

Read More