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Accepted Paper:

Identity, power and territory in Central Andes of Peru. Discourses of development and political tensions amongst navinos  


Gustavo Elmer Gutiérrez Suárez (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos)

Paper short abstract:

Identity dynamics between quechuas from Peruvian Central Andes allows them to obtain political power required to sustain capitalist projects of investement in the territories of their Comunidad Campesina (Peasant Community), birthplace they left decades ago as it was related to poverty.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years, quechuas —migrants from peruvian Andes— inhabit in the capital city of Lima, have appropriated discourses of development and consumption acquired from global market. This local appropriation dinamizes their identification with their origin comunidad campesina (peasant community), birthplace they left in the mid-20th century, pursuing the dreamt progress in the metropoli. Such is the case of navinos, today successful inmigrants and businessmen inhabiting Lima. Navinos are reassessing their identification with the rural territory of their origin community, the Comunidad Campesina Santo Domingo de Nava, in central peruvian Andes: decades ago community meant backwardness and poverty, today it represents a chance for developement inside a global context. Currently, navinos from Lima are leading enterprise projects inside comunal territory, bringing urbanization to Nava. However, this capitalist investment in their original community generates a field of political tension: while navinos inhabiting Lima consider their capitalist investment in comunal territory will bring progress to Nava, the residents of the community consider this actions as an instrumental thought from global market that pursues own benefit. According to the multisited ethnography that has guided our fieldwork, identity plays a decisive role in this political dispute: it articulates socioeconomic relations with discourses of development and consumption, a main feature of current quechuas urban-rural fluxes.

Identity mediates capitalist investment in comunal territory and also allows the politic power required to sustain enterprise projects. Navinos in Lima foster an integration of their origin community to their socioeconomic sphere sustained by identity and its influence on political relations.

Panel B15
Indigenous peoples, territory and politics