Por José Marín **
If we imagine the history of Latin America seen through an European window, Europe could be recognized as a mirror in which we can identify the structure of an European state political model applied to most American countries with the same consequences in both continents: the lack of competence to respect and manage cultural and linguistic diversity of the multicultural societies, and the incapacity of this type of state model to cope with concrete historical realities, realities that leave the problems of this model uncovered in different contexts: Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador or Spain—with the emergence of the Catalan nation or the demand for autonomy of the Basque country.
Beyond the characteristics of the historical actors of the European or American societies and their historical and social contexts, there is just one state model and one political determination that influence the integration, assimilation or exclusion processes.
In history, such influence acts as a mirror that reflects our image as historical actors who belong to a single group: The human gender. From this fact a common reflection necessarily emerges on the fundamental principles of respect for pluralism and cultural diversity, which form the core of every human society, as opposed to ethnocentrism that permeates the construction of identity in every culture.
* Doctor in Anthropology from the University of Soborne, and Diploma from the Institute of Altos Studies of Latin America (IHEAL), Paris. He holds a diploma from the University Institute of Development Studies and the International Academy of Ecology, Geneva. He participated in the International University net of the University of Geneva (RUIG) in the research project "Globalization, Migrations and Human Rights". He currently participates in institutions and publications of Europe and Latin America. He collaborated in Africa with the UNESCO.
In the European context during the beginning of the XIX century and during the XX century, the Nation-State political model has caused, and still causes, a denial of the cultural and linguistic diversity. The victims were the ethnic minorities (such as the gypsies in Eastern Europe) or people (such as Basque in Spain and France) or national minorities (e.g. the Hungarian in Romania and other countries of Eastern Europe) and immigrant colonies in general (Ferrer, 1998; Pérez, 1998; Salvi, 1973; Sanguin, 1993).
In the American continent, from Canada to Chile, the ancestral rights of the different indigenous peoples have been rejected, due to the application, against their will, of the authoritarian principles of the Nation State and the denial of citizenship. Such principles leave a trace of racism, exclusion and marginalization, based on biological, cultural and legal excuses stated by eurocentrism which has invaded the colonial and neo-colonial political power discourses. In this context, churches and schools became, with the processes of evangelization and alfabetization, the preferred means of forced assimilation, promoted by the policies of "national integration" (Walsh, 2009).
The church and the school will be the ones to prohibit the languages and destroy the indigenous cultures in the name of occidental and Christian civilization. These institutions promoted the myths of Progress and Development (Burga, 1988; Flores Galindo, 1987; Montoya, 1990,1998).
In the history of the American continent, the situation of the indigenous peoples and the communities that form the multicultural American society reminds us the reality of the minorities and the immigrants of contemporary Europe. The case of Peru is a historic and a very representative case of this shared history between Europe and America.
The idea of nation emerges as a purely ideological concept and expresses the crystallization of a desire to consolidate a feeling of existence and acknowledgement as a collective identity. It is through an imaginary construction that the (national) consciousness creates the nation. In a historically given space, the repetition and diffusion of the funding myths promoted by a determined language finally allowed the creation of a state that represents a nation. The state uses the nation’s myth and discourse to reinforce its political determination of survival.
From the Middle Ages on, nations identified themselves with the languages. For example, the German nation has been formed by all the people who speak German. Later on, nations were defined by a language, a territory, an ethnic group, a religion and traditions. In Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania the idea of nation precedes the development of the state and motivates the emancipatory fights of the subjugated people to the Ottoman Empire.
The Nation-States are never limited by their geographic frontiers. Most of the times, the delimitation of a territory is carried out by the states, through an arbitrary manner which ended up fragmenting the original nations thus making the history of humanity a succession of dramas. In Africa, the rising states, using colonial delimitations, imposed unreal "nations" over different ethnic groups without shared languages. An extreme case is the one in which the idea of nation not only preceeds the formation of a state, but even the occupation of a territory, stimulating the first and then the second one, such as the case of the foundation of Israel in 1948. The case of Zionism is an example of the concretization of an identity, not only religious or enthic, but also national (Morin, 1991).
The Nation-State, as a political model, finds its origins in Europe during the second half of the XV century. The alliance between the kings of Castile and Aragon marks the beginning of the creation of the Spanish State based on the supremacy of a language (Spanish), a religious view (Catholic and roman christianism) and a connection with the Occidental world: under these conditions, the historical germ of Nation-State was born (Attali, 1991; Ferrero, 1994; Marín, 2007).
Historically, Spain was the place where the process of asserting a national identity, based on a political model of state, generated the ideological and legal instruments that led to reject the cultural and linguisitc diversity on the geographic territory that declared a new state. This principle of institutionalized rejection of distinctiveness and cultural and religious diversity is expressed by the expulsion of a considerable number of 250,000 Jews from Spain on March 31st, 1492. The same year, the Muslims were expulsed too, following their defeat in the battle of Granada, after seven centuries of occupation. The gypsies, who arrived from northern Africa some decades before the end of the XV century, were persecuted and excluded (Dominguez, 1988; Vilar, 1979).
Until the Middle Ages, the history counted on empires, cities, people and ethnic groups. The combination Nation-State, more widespread than the one of the cities, is more restricted and more unified than that of the empires, in spite of these being poly-ethnic (Morin, 1991).
The monarchical French state had developed the creation of the nation due to the slow imposition of the French language over the conquered ethnic groups. The Nation-State concept was formulated by the French romanticism against the monarchical absolutism. This revolution strengthened and prolonged with a cosmopolitan conception that goes beyond the identity based on the language (Delannoi, 1991). It is from the revolution, the nation legitimizes the state (Morin, 1991).
The Nation-State forms itself slowly, variously in France, England, Spain and Portugal, from or around the monarchial power which is transformed by itself in the formation of State-Nation.
In North America, after the emancipation of the settlers of the English colony, a federal model of Nation-State was created. Since then, based on French principles rather than American principles, the Nation-State composes an emancipating political model potentially universal. Given this fact, since the begining of the XIX century, the example of the United States encourages the uprise of white and mestizo populations, events that will cause the development of the new republics in Latin America.
In the XIX and XX centuries, the European political model of Nation-State becomes the model for the constitution of the republics born during the postcolonial period in Latin America, Asia, and Africa from the 1960’s.
But, beyond speeches, the political elite in power privileges and imposes, on behalf of Cosmopolitism, a vision of the world, a language and a dominant culture, to the detriment of the other ethnic groups, even when the group in power does not represent the majority. This is a constant fact in the history of Latin America.
The Nation-State political model conceived at the beginning of the XIX century, after the French Revolution, is based on the construction of the "Nation" as a unifying and homogenizing myth of a group of people with their different languages and cultures. These new states claim their sovereignty over the territories that they do not fully control. Despite the proclamation of the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, this model turned to be an ideological and legal instrument that generated an authoritarian policy (Salvi, 1973).
These authoritarian records linked to the foundation of the States, are the origin of the contemporary conflicts. In Mexico, for example, current drama of the indigenous peoples from Chiapas still remains despite the 1910 revolution. This revolution had as its primary goal to build an egualitarian society of social justice. A self proclaimed policy of "national integration" intended to consolidate the creation of a Mexican "nation" through the alphabetization by means of the Spanish language; but in reality, this process degenerated into a process of forced assimilation.
Nowadays, given the differences between the state and the society, Colombia, a pluriethnic and multicultural country, gives us an example of a failed Nation-State. As a political model, it is not able to react to the deep social crisis and political violence that divide the society and makes it bleed over its land.
The consequences of establishing this type of political model in contexts where there is an important cultural, linguistic and religious diversity may cause real ethnocides and genocides, from Canada to present-day Chile. There are eloquent examples of these such as: the loss of territory and the misery of the indigenous peoples in the United States of America, Chiapas’ and Guerrero conflicts in Mexico, the recent genocide of 250,000 indigenous in Guatemala and the displacement and genocide of indigenous population caused by the political violence and by favoring the interests of mutinational companies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Chile, just to name a few. Of the almost 70,000 victims of political violence reported in the year 2004 by the Truth Comission in Peru, more than the 80% were from indigenous origin.
Despite the "Decade Declaration on Indigenous Peoples" () decreed by the United Nations in 1992, this contemporary drama of economic and social marginalization, racial discrimination and the systematic rejection of the multicultural character of the Latin American societies, constituted, at the beginning of this century, a challenge to be taken particularly in the American continent. (Deroche, 2008). The following terms are used in this text interchangeably: indigenous people, autochthonous or native communities, to refer to the same population, according to the context without considering or perceiving it as something negative.___________________
"The Nation-State is both creation and creature of modern Europe"
Edgard Morin, 1991, p. 319
The AIDESEP is also supported by several indigenous organizations and progressive political and intellectual sectors. Internationally, it is related to the Amazon Confederation of Indigenous Organizations (COICA) which represents all the indigenous peoples from the Amazon basin of South America. This organization is related to several institutions linked to the UN and other international institutions and foundations.The consolidation of Amazon indigenous organizations such as the (Council of development of nationalities of the Peruvian Amazon) Consejo de Desarrollo de las Nacionalidades de la Amazonia Peruana (CONAP) and the (Interethnic Association of the Peruvian Jungle Development) Asociacion Interetnica del Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP) created in 1980. Today, they lead the opposition to the neoliberal policy of the government and the defense of their territories—themes that accentuate the conflict between the state and the indigenous peoples.
According to the Office of People’s Advocate, this system is making difficult the access to education for the indigenous peoples and it does not consider the indigenous capabilities under in cultural or linguistic terms which are the basis for this training. Equally, there are not teachers specially trained to manage the languages and cultures of the children and teenagers of the almost 71 ethnic groups existing in the country.On April 5th, 2010, the Cusco congressman, Victor Mayorga Miranda, presented in the Congress the bill 3494, which proposes to abolish the Supreme Decree 006-2007 ED
Since the year 2007, this decree has paralyzed many Superior Pedagogical Institutes, including FORMABIAP. Today, these Institutes are developing some training activities while they wait to recover their original statute. There is a national mobilization against this arbitrary measure since it was a demagogic decision to disarticulate many programs and institutions of pedagogic training which are not controlled by the government.
The development of educational programs that take into consideration their mother tongue and the visions of their own cultures and the world allowed these peoples to reinforce their identities and recover the cohesion of their organizations.
Even though the present organizations do not correspond to traditional organizations and caciquism and even though they were adapted to the rules imposed by the state, they are the only legal vehicle that makes possible the defense of their rights. The indigenous organizations in the Amazon have been created under the legal frame imposed by the Law of Native (autochthonous, indigenous) Communities enacted by the military government in 1974. Their leaders know how to read and write in Spanish.
Today, we witness the development of a new generation of indigenous professionals who are reinforcing their organizations and creating new programs and institutions adapted to the new socioeconomic conditions.
We could point certain characteristics of the current indigenous organizations, which were perceived by Richard Chase Smith as it follows: "They are alliances built by voluntary decision of the autonomous local communities. The leaders, who represent them, are elected and, in theory, must answer to the will of the members: an organization which associates the political functions of representation of the technical functions (projects), a federation that finds its unity through a particular cultural identity, and above all, a federation that seeks to maintain its autonomy in front of the state, the church and the political parties". (Chase Smith, 1982).
These are the three institutions that generated the triple authoritarian tradition which marked the history of the social, political and cultural relations in the Peruvian society. This secular authoritarism, with some shades, is valid until today.
The great challenge today, which is present in the indigenous organizations, is to accomplish an autonomous organization that represents the Amazon or Andean indigenous populations as a whole to avoid competition and fragmentation suffered by the peasant movements of the Andean and the coastal regions during Fujimori’s government (1990-2000). As well as the attacks they have suffered over the last years, these populations also had to bear the political violence, which caused 70 thousand victims from whom 80% were from indigenous populations according to the report of the Truth Commission.
Between 1990 and 1998, the beginning of Alberto Fujimori’s presidential period was marked by the implementation of a neoliberal political program that brought to discussion the ancestral property of the indigenous communities’ lands, particularly in the Amazon region, rich in natural resources such as gold, petroleum, gas, fine woods, which are valuable resources in which multinational companies are interested in. This economic policy still continues, and it has widened at present. (chirif, 2010; Montoya, 2010; Varese, 2009).
In the coastal and Andean regions, the privatization of the agro industrial complexes, which were part of the state in 1968, was produced. In this period, socially speaking, we witnessed the dismantling of the social, medical and educational services and the destruction of the labor market due to the economic restructuration imposed by the neoliberal programs.
This process was the cause of the explosion of the unemployment and precarization rates of the poor and middle sectors. The development of a neoliberal policy produces and emphasizes the authoritarian character of the Nation-State, which, as a political model, enters in this perspective. The reduction of a big amount of the democratic spaces is inherent and the criminalization by the central Government of the popular and indigenous opposition characterizes this process.
8. Nation-State and multiculturality: between rhetoric and reality
Between the years 2000 and 2001, during the transitional government of Valentin Paniagua, Supreme Decree 015 based on the dialogue between the state and the Amazon indigenous peoples was enacted; and at the beginning of the government of Toledo, Supreme Decree 111 which created the Discussion Board and the National Commission of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples (CONAPA) was issued; this decree was presided by the president’s wife, the anthropologist Eliane Karp.
The subscription of the three last international statements carried out in Macchu Picchu, Santiago - Chile and during the Meeting of Rio Group in the year 2001, was added to the above mentioned decrees. We must add the Democratic Letter Signing in the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS) to those agreements,. We can highlight some of the commissions’ agreements from these different events:
To end the legalization of the indigenous territories
To examine the problem of the Amazonian reservation and the pacification in the central zone (conflictive area where some armed groups of Sendero Luminoso linked to drug dealers are still active).
To develop bilingual and intercultural education
To develop a plan for the Amazon
To institutionalize the state at a regional level considering the indigenous problems.
All these political statements and the symbolic use of indigenous issues at the service of political demagogy did not crystallize in the daily reality of the Peruvian society (Montoya, 2001a, 2001c).
The use of the ethnic factor by political parties in Peru is represented in several episodes. Since the first half of the XX century it was represented by the indigenism, developed by the erudite paternalists, in which natives are not present as historical subjects.
After the recovery of the indigenous issues by the state policies, as it was the case, during the government of Augusto B. Leguia and others, in the same period. Later, the APRA party got back some indigenous signs to use them as the emblem of their political discourse. Between 1990 and 2000, during the Fujimori’s government, we witnessed the demagogic usage of the ethnic factor for political purposes. In the year 2001, Possible Peru Party, which took Alejandro Toledo to the presidency, employed a considerable amount of indigenous symbols during the election campaign and also in the presidential investiture ceremony in Macchu Picchu on July 28th, 2001. The official investiture ceremony was transmitted internationally, and it was carried out in the framework of an indigenous religious ceremony, and during its course Apus were invoked (indigenous religion Gods). Also, offerings to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) were presented. These historical facts have been the basis upon which Toledo announced his intention to make his mandate a government of "all bloods". This metaphor, allusive to a government for all Peruvians without considering their origins, belongs to Jose Maria Arguedas, as the title of his novel "Todas las Sangres" ("All Bloods") published in 1964. He was a Peruvian writer and anthropologist and one of the first in questioning about the multicultural and plurilingual character of the Peruvian society (Arquedas, 1977; Marin, 2002, Montoya, 2001b, 2001c).
It was the same Arguedas, who, in the speech "I am not an acultured" pronounced during the ceremony of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega award, to which he was nominated in the year 1968, pointed out that some day in Peru it would be possible and necessary to express the different faces of the cultures and languages, without causing conflicts. He wished a country in which the different national and ethnic identities coexisted, to feel as a Peruvian citizen and, at the same time, to affirm to be a Quechua, Aymara or Amazon. (Marin, 2002)
In Arguedas’ reflection about Peru, the seed of interculturality was sown as the starting point of a future political project.
However, it is convenient to wonder about the current perspective of the indigenous peoples:
What are the real chances to cross the boundaries between the simple political discourse and the complex reality?
What are the real possibilities to create the political spaces in which the different peoples from Peru may express themselves?
Is it possible to imagine the respect for the autochthonous peoples in the modern political context?
Taking into consideration the multicultural character of the current Peruvian Society, What is the model of constitution needed by Peru to assume this reality?
What are real possibilities to respect the cultural diversity of the autochthonous peoples, taking into account the interests of the different political movements and the different economic sectors?
9. Recent history about the relations of the Nation-State and the multicultural society.
Considering the Andean region, the First special Congress of Quechua Peoples in Peru, with participants and guests from Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador took place in Cuzco between November 5th and 9th, 2001.
Among the most important agreements there was a need to develop a constitutional reform that creates a multicultural and plurinational state. This proposal becomes true between the years 2008 and 2010, with a deep change in the political Constitution experienced by Bolivia and Ecuador in which the decolonization and the re-foundation of the state were suggested in order to give place to the foundation of a Plurinational State as a political, social and cultural space in which the multiculturality, that characterizes the societies, could live. (Montoya, 2001c; Suarez, 2008; Walsh, 2009).
In this meeting in Cuzco, the Quechua peoples demanded political and economical projects that apply to national interests without being subjected to foreign interests and to defend the interests of the country against international organizations as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
They also proposed the creation of a office considering the diversity of the different cultures that live in the Peruvian territory, an action that allows the development of a government of "all bloods" in relation to president Toledo’s statements who ruled from 2001 to 2006 (Marin, 2002).
On October 28th, 2007, Alan Garcia, president of Peru, publishes an article called "Orchard dog syndrome" where he points out that some native communities of Peru keep their lands without production, thus opposing to progress. This publication was considered as an attack to the Amazon peoples (Manrique, 2009).
In December 2007, The Congress gives powers to the Executive branch of the govermment to legislate on matters regarding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States of America. Within the legislation for the FTA, the Executive issues decrees about the indigenous peoples of Peru.
In August, 2008, Alberto Pizango, President of AIDESEP supported the manifestations of Amazon indigenous groups against oil companies that invaded and contaminated their land. According to the director of NGO Survival International, Stephen Corry, "the indigenous Peruvians are being forced to adopt desperate measures to try to save their lands which during five centuries have been stolen."http://Servindi.org/actualidad/25334.morer-25334[aceedeed
Protests ended when Alberto Pizango and the AIDESEP received the support from the Peruvian Congress.
On August 20th, 2008, the Peruvian Congress approves the request of the National Commission of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples to abolish the legislative decrees 1015 and 1073. These decrees make easier the sale of indigenous territories to private companies and open the access of oil, mining and agro industrial companies to the Amazon.
In September 2008, the government did not enact the derogation of the decrees. When the deadline was due, the President of the Congress abolished them as stipulated in the Peruvian Constitution. On September 2nd, the laws 1015 and 1073 were revoked, re-establishing the articles 10 to 11 of the Law 26505, about the use of the land of native communities.
In March 2009, the Congress forms a commission to study the other decrees, particularly the points that come into conflict with the Constitution and has relation with the violation of the agreement 169 of the ILO.
On April 9th, since there was no answer, the Amazon strike began, demanding the abolition of other six decrees considered unconstitutional by the Constitutional Commission of the Peruvian Congress, which allowed 60% of the Amazon old-growth forests to be sold to transnational companies for exploitation of hydrocarbons or for growing bio fuels.
In May, since the new commission was not established in the congress, the manifestations extended to the entire Amazon and became more radical with the occupation of some oil facilities, the highway blockade and other actions.
The Peoples Advocacy acted as a mediator and the president of the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues (UNFPII) expressed his concern.
The Constitutional Commission of Congress declared unconstitutional the Law Decree 1090 (Forest and Wild Life Law) leaving for discussion at the plenary session of congress.
On May 20th, under a Supreme Decree, the
On May 31st, Alberto Pizango declares in the closing ceremony of the "IV Continental Summit of the Indigenous Peoples" in Puno that the measures will become more radical seeking to abolish the decrees "to defend the indigenous peoples" and decides not to participate in the Discussion Board anymore and demands an audience with the president Alan Garcia. Announcing also that he will ask the Constitutional Court to declare those decrees unconstitutional, and warns if his demands were not accepted, he would bring a lawsuit in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. On June 3rd, he called for a national strike. On June 4th, the Peoples Advocacy brought a lawsuit of unconstitutionality against the Law Decree 1064 in the Constitutional Court as it considered that this Decree violates the land property rights and the one of previous consultation to the native people.
On June 5th, the result of the intervention of security forces in Bagua, ordered by the government, resulted fatal. After a year from this tragedy, 23 dead policemen and 10 dead civilians have been identified. These numbers are corroborated by the Peoples Advocacy and some Catholic organizations.
On June 8th, Carmen Viloso Chirinos, leader of the Women and Social Development Ministry, resigned her position as a way to protest against a video that was transmitted by the Peruvian Government on the local television, in which native people are shown as responsible of the violence. A few days earlier, Alberto Pizango, AIDESEP president had been requested by the prosecutor to be investigated for crimes of murder and sedition, accusing him of being responsible for the death of the police officers. This situation forced him to ask for political asylum in Nicaragua Embassy. Country where he stayed until he went back to Peru in May, 2010.
On June 11th, a national protest was carried out, to demand the abolition of the legislative decrees 1090 and 1064. Several
On June 15th, the government proposes the derogation of only two of the seven legislative decrees questioned: the 1090 and the 1064. On June 18th, the Congress abolished the two mentioned decrees with a vote in opposition from the Christian Popular Party.
On June 30th, after having questioned the president of the Cabinet, Yehude Simon, and the Secretary of Home Affairs, Mercedes Cabanillas, the Congress decided not to condemn them. Few weeks later, the Prime minister will resign his position and the Ministry of Home Affairs will be changed for another person.
At the end of the first semester of 2010 there haven’t been substantial changes so tension prevailed. The government is reluctant to fulfil the agreements to respect the ILO Convention 169.
We witness in modern Peru, a new chapter of the long history of internal colonization with the burden of racist discrimination and the repetition of the colonial tendency in perceiving the indigenous people as an obstacle for the progress and for the access of the Peruvian nation to the capitalist occidental modernity. (Chirif, Levano, 2010; 2009, 2010; Montoya; 2010, Varese, 2009).
When President Garcia makes reference to the metaphor "orchard dog", we remember the debate carried out at Colegio San Gregorio de Valladolid (1550.1551) in which the thesis of the Priest Dominico Bartolome de las Casas, who defends the humanity of the indigenous peoples, against the theologian Juan Gines de Sepulveda, who insists in referring to the indigenous peoples as animals to justify the exploitation and genocide suffered in the colonial society (Hanke & Giménes Fernandez, 1954).
Alan Garcia defines the indigenous peoples as second class citizens and describes them as an obstacle to the transnational privatization of the Amazon indigenous land.
The Peruvian government, by enacting against the Constitution, the 10 Law Decrees, within the framework of the FTA Peru-USA failed to fulfil the ILO Convention 169, to which it is obligated, for Peru being a signatory country. Likewise, these Decrees do not comply with the UN Declaration for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly with the articles 26, 29 and 32 among others, and with the jurisprudence of Inter-American Court of Human Rights, about the land right of the indigenous peoples.
As an example, we could mention the Legislative Decree 1090, enacted by the Executive Power on behalf of the Congress, which deals with the provisions of the forest areas for timber purposes. The problem of this norm is that it violates the Peruvian Magna Carta which gives special protection to the Amazon for the preservation of all the natural resources, considering that any disposition about the exploitation and use of natural resources must be enacted by the Organic Law. Another constitutional precept indicates the desvinculation of the Executive Power is not possible; thus, the enactment through Legislative Decree is unconstitutional.
The ILO Convention 169, states that the native peoples must be consulted about the laws as far as they are concerned. The norms enacted by Alan Garcia’s Government go against the Public international Law. The ILO convention which refers to the indigenous and tribal communities orders the signatory States (Peru has signed an agreement) to listen and specify the opinions of the native peoples that could be affected by any law.
The article 6 stipulates:
In applying the provisions of the following Convention, the governments must:
a) Ask the interested peoples through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions whenever consideration is being given to legislative or administrative measures which might affect them directly.
b) The queries carried out in the application of this Convention must be made in good faith and in an appropriate way according to the circumstances, with the purpose of get to an agreement or achieve the consent about the proposed measures (ILO Convention 169, June 27, 1989).
At the end of the first half of 2010, the indigenous organizations formed mainly in CONAP and AIDESEP, continue their fight with the complete support of many sectors and are reinforcing their organizations. At the same time, they focus the protest against the governmental decrees enacted by the government of Alan Garcia in the framework of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. This agreement makes easy the privatization of large geographic areas and lets multinational companies exploit the natural resources, particularly the concessions, allowing them to make use of the petroleum, gas, wood and the agro-industrial exploitation.
10. What is the future of the multicultural society and its democratic integration?
The integration is the result of respect for plurality, it is the implementation of democracy from the moment when everybody is guaranteed equal conditions to coexist and participate in the decision making process that determine the fate of a society.
The current question is:
Are we able to open up ourselves to the multiplicity of perceptions and views considered valid and accepted by others? If we accept do we also expect to receive the same respect back?
How can we imagine the possibility in making alive the cultural diversity and the plurality?
Tolerance must be based on reciprocity—if we are tolerant with others, we expect to be tolerated the same way which implies certain acceptance and the opportunity to share with others. All these premises allow us to establish relationships with community members, which is the basis for the implementation of the relationship of the individuals with the reciprocity. The group of communities forms the civil society and allows us to imagine a political space that goes beyond the authoritarism and mutations and gaps among individuals and also between the state and society (Sartori, 1994; Touraine, 1997).
The integration implies a process that involves multiple dimensions and can be associated to a political model of State.
The state is intended to represent the society, which must create the conditions for the citizens to participate in the principal decisions.
The integration involves the freedom and respect for the rights of the individual and for all the involved groups.
In a multicultural and plurilingual society, as it is the type of societies existing in both Europe and in the American continent, the state would have to guarantee the respect for the cultural and linguistic diversity. From this point of view, the education—in a broad sense and in its different forms—is the privileged vehicle to carry out the transmission of world’s viewpoints, values, norms and references values and finally knowledge that support a feasible society project.
Managing the cultural diversity and the plurality seems to me, the most important challenge for the contemporary societies. The current political model of Nation-State shows itself as incapable of assuming this multicultural reality that characterizes our American and European societies.
From these premises, in the case of multicultural and plurilingual societies, could we imagine a type of state able to assume the formulation and application of an intercultural policy that satisfies the demands we showed up?
Would a model of confederated state—able to respect the cultural and linguistic diversity— be able of assuming the democratic administration of the multicultural Peruvian society?
Peru, in the current political context, is unable to offer the needed conditions for the socio-economic integration, and to respect the cultural diversity that permeates its society.3.06.2010]) The development of initiatives and the development of a training program of bilingual and intercultural education for teachers (FORMABIAP).The legal acknowledgement of its territories as material basis for the preservation of their cultures. Rights, currently discussed by the law decrees created by Alan Garcia’s government, that break national and international agreements. . (An educated Indian is an incarnated devil and an instructed Indian is a lost devil)
From our historical perception, we can notice that integration is impregnated of multiple dimensions: political, economical, social and cultural. Our reflection perceives the integration as a real possibility in participating on equal conditions in all the decision of a determined community or society.
The political and economical participation in the society, school and everyday life are, among others, the spaces where integration must be carried out. The respect for plurarity is essential—all authoritarism or implicit or declared arbitrariness produces a subtle or forced assimilation. The democracy, as the principle of justice and equality, is only possible if it is capable of integrating all its members. The assimilation and segregation, in all their forms— constitute the contrary of integration and also the following such as otherness, difference and plurality are the opposite of integration.
The integration of the indigenous peoples of America after the colonial conquest until our days has been reduced to a policy statement called "national integration". This policy was intended to "integrate" the indigenous as "inferiors" under subjugated conditions. This ideological discourse wrongly hides a terrible assimilation.
Brief history of the Nation-State of the multicultural society and the political integration in Peru.
At the beginning of the XVI century, the Inca State was in control of a vast territory that covered the south of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, a large portion of Bolivia, one third of Chilean territory and the north of Argentina. The Inca power was based on the economic control, tax payment and the political control of the dominated populations—this systems, the Incas managed with the help of the elites’ of the different ethnic groups. Even though the Quechua was imposed as the official language, the State allowed the survival of a hundred of indigenous languages, respecting the cultural and religious practices of the dominated people (Rostworoski, 1988; Espinoza, 1986, 1990, 1997).
The colonial period from the XVI century to the XIX century was characterized by a forced assimilation policy, through the evangelization of the indigenous peoples. The Holy Inquisition took over the suppression of all the religious and cultural manifestations that differed from the official. (Duviols, 1986; Roth, 1989, Zapata, 1990). In the framework of the Princes’ School, the official education destined to the settlers opened a space for the sons of the indigenous leaders those who collaborated with the colonization. This official education, in Spanish, only promoted the dominant culture.
As an answer to this process of domination, a cultural opposition was organized against the colonization of the so called indigenous which was promoted by the oral culture that found support on the preservation of myths and traditions.
Between 1742 and 1781 important indigenous rebellions were developed such as Juan Santos Atahualpa, which started in Los Andes and finished in the Gran Pajonal in the Amazon without being suppressed, another example could be Tupac Amaru and Tupac Katari carried out in the Andes region.
At the end of the XVIII century, following the bloody repression of the indigenous rebellions, access to schools for the natives were forbidden due to the formation offered to the main indigenous leaders at the Princes’ Schools.
From this period there is a saying that goes:
In 1821, the Republic of Peru was founded over the political model of Nation-State and citizenship developed by the French Revolution. Between the years 1823 and 1825, this nation was built by a group of Creole elite descendants from the settlers who rejected their political dependence from Spain, but neither the exploitation of the territories, or the domination of the indigenous peoples who lived in the land declared as a new state. The natives will be the only ones to economically contribute to this new policy which, in the framework of an inner colonialism, will deny them all rights to political and social participation (Arguedas, 1977; Burga, 1988, Flores Galindo, 1987, Marín, 1985, Marín 1990).
In a republican state, being a citizen means: to know how to read, write and be an individual owner. These are essential conditions for the integration to the new republic. However, for the indigenous peoples, these conditions are unattainable. After the end of the rebellions of the XVIII century, the schools were almost unreachable and the indigenous territories were considered collective properties.
In the year 1856, the Republic established the abolition of the traffic of African slaves. The Peruvian population of African origin represents a minority group, in contrast to Brazil, Colombia, Cuba or the Caribbean (Freire, 1974; Guanche, 1983; Romero, 1987). After this prohibition, the traffic of people from southern Asia began. They were mainly Chinese people, who belonged to the Cantonese region, brought with the help of Portuguese traders established in Macao Island. In the year 1986, official immigration of Japanese workers began. (Morimoto, 1979, Rodriguez, 1989; Trazegnies, 1994).
After the foundation of the Republic and during most of the XX century, the natives were the only ones who paid taxes and worked for a state that excluded them.
During the 1920s, the creation of an intellectual movement for the defense of the indigenous peoples urged the government to create an Indigenous Affairs Office and the Patronage of the indigenous race chaired by the Archbishop of Lima which turned out to be the first space where the natives could express themselves. This century was characterized by the continuation of an assimilation, segregation and racial discrimination policy which impregnated all the institutions and everyday life of the Peruvian society (Marín, 1985; Portocarrero, 1993).
Evangelization, alphabetization and assimilation
In the mid XX century, the religious missions of the North American Protestant Fundamentalism arrived to Peru, under the academic support of the SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) linked to some North American universities. Those universities were financed by several religious institutions, private companies and programs of the Department of State of the USA.
En 1952, by means of a government decree, the bilingual alphabetization of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon was entrusted to the SIL. The interest of the Peruvian State is to assimilate the indigenous peoples through the alphabetization programs in Spanish, using this language as the basis for the National Integration program. For the missionaries, this program was limited to the translation of their religious texts into indigenous languages (Marín, 1992; Marín & Dasen, 2007).
The military revolution in 1968 carried out by a military revolutionary government took the power of the state and ordered an Agrarian Reform, considered as the most radical reform in the history of Latin America. This law commanded the conversion of large industrial agricultural properties to rural cooperatives. This military government conceived the integration as the participation of all the Peruvian society sectors in the political and economic decisions and recognized the multicultural and multilingual character of the Peruvian society. The Quechua and other indigenous languages were recognized as official languages, and the government even proposed to include the study of Quechua in school and university programs.
An education reform that follows the previous approaches was trying to consolidate the aforementioned decisions.
Another decree law agreed the participation of the illiterate people in the political elections—very important disposition since a large group of the population was under this category.
These measures were taken in 1974 under the law decree 20653, known as the Law of Native Communities and the Agrarian Development of Jungle. This decree opened the possibilities to recognize the territorial rights of these communities. In 1975, the government wanted the expulsion of the SIL.
All these political measures that created a great expectation of openness and political will, to deeply change the structures of the Peruvian society were thwarted by a military coup led by General Morales Bermudez in 1975. This new power rejected all the economic, political, social and cultural measures that had been enacted, restoring the old neocolonial order.
Under this government and those who followed, the indigenous peoples continued to face constant assaults on their territories caused by the incursion of multinational companies of gas and petroleum and the lawless illegal chaotic exploitation extended to the entire Amazon mining area eroding and contaminating their ecosystems.
Peru experienced the emergence of a huge political violence between 1982 and 1997, which was an expression of an unresolved social conflict, caused by economic exploitation, racial discrimination and the marginalization of predominant sectors of the Peruvian society.
The insurrection of armed groups began in the poorest areas with a high density of indigenous population. According to the Truth Commission Report, the indigenous peoples represented the four fifths of the 70,000 victims of this conflict.
Integration is the result of respect for plurality, it is the implementation of democracy from the moment the equality of conditions is guaranteed for everybody to cohabit and participate in taking decisions that determine the destiny of a society.
The actual question is:
Are we able to open ourselves to the multiplicity of perceptions and points of view considered as valid and accepted by others?
If we accept, then we also hope to receive the same respect back from others.
How can we imagine the possibility of making the cultural diversity and plurality alive? Tolerance must be based on reciprocity. If we are tolerant to others, we expect to be tolerated at the same time. This implies certain level of acceptance in order to share with others properly. These premises allow us to establish relationship with the members of the community which is the basis for the functioning of the individuals’ relations and reciprocity. A group of communities’ forms the civil society which allows us to imagine a political space that goes beyond the authoritarianism, the mutations and the differences among the individuals and between the state and the society (Sartori, 1994).
The integration implies a process that involves multiple dimensions and can be associated to a State political model.
The state is supposed to represent the society creating the conditions for the citizens to participate in making the fundamental decisions.
The integration implies the freedom and the respect for the rights of the individuals of all the groups involved.
In a multicultural and plurilingual society, as the type of societies existing in both Europe and the American continent, the state would have to guarantee the respect for the cultural and linguistic diversity. From this point of view, the education—in a broad sense and in all its forms—is a privileged vehicle to carry out the transmission of the world viewpoints , the system of values, norms and references and finally, the knowledge that supports a feasible society project.
Administering the cultural diversity and the plurality, it seems to be from my perspective, the most important challenge for contemporary societies. The current political model of Nation-State shows itself as incapable of assuming this multicultural reality that characterizes our American societies.
From these premises, in the case of multicultural and plurilingual societies, could we imagine a type of state capable of assuming the formulation and application of an intercultural policy that could meet the requirements, that we have just provided in evidence?
Our main question is whether a model of confederated state capable of respecting the cultural and linguistic diversity would be able to assume the democratic management of the multicultural Peruvian society?
Multicultural society, integration, languages and cultures
One of the vital tasks, to make the democratic integration come true, must be assumed by the education, which has to promote the respect for cultural and linguistic plurality that characterizes Peru and some other countries in America (Marín, 2005, 2005a).
There are about 50 languages in Peru. The Castilian, wrongly called Spanish, is the official dominant language, followed in importance by Quechua and Aymara in the Andes region, with different dialect variations. In the Amazon region, which is more than half the territory of Peru, about 40 languages are spoken and they belong to 16 linguistic families such as: Arabela, Arahuaca, Bora, Cahuapana, Cantdoshi, Shapra, Harakmbut, Huitot, Jibaro, Pano, Yagua, Simaco, Takana, Ticuna, Tucano, Tupi-Guarani and Zaparo which are spoken in the region of Peruvian amazonic.
In Peru, the descendants from African origin, who came from the traffic of slaves, lost their languages and a considerable part of their cultures due to the hard living conditions. During last years, they have become more active, creating organizations that bring together Afro-Peruvians who participate in the National Commission of Andean, Amazon and Afro-Peruvian organizations (Cuche, 1981; Romero, 1987).
To this context of cultural diversity, it has to be added Japanese and Cantonese ,spoken by the Asian, Japanese and Chinese immigrants who live in Peru from the XVIII century. The Korean immigration is recent and it represents a minority. Other cultures and spoken languages also belong to this multicultural and plurilingual environment such as German, Spanish, Italian, English and others from European origin to which we could add small communities such as Slavonic, Jewish and Middle East (Bonfiglio, 2001; Morimoto, 1979, Rodriguez, 1989; Trasegnies, 1994).
Given the reality of this enormous cultural and linguistic diversity, how can we figure out the integration if the state, through the official schooling, admits and privileges Spanish in its official program, thus imposing a monocultural and occidental vision of the world arbitrarily?
Nation State and multicultural society: Amazon case.
Among the achievements obtained by the indigenous initiatives, facing a Nation State model incapable of managing a democratic government we could mention:
This program proposes a project of revalorization of the indigenous languages and cultures. The respect of those peoples to keep their own languages and cultures has been the starting point for the democratic and intercultural integration inside the multicultural Peruvian society.
At the same time, these features characterize several societies in Latin America (Lopes & Moya, 1989; Montoya, 1990).
The participation of the indigenous organizations in these programs has allowed the debate about the problem of the ownership of territories—without which it is impossible to conceive the development. Without territory, there is no way of preserving the culture and neither could one imagine the continuity of the societies.
According to the indigenous perception, there is no culture without a territory—culture is built from nature since it is not an abstract conception. The nature and culture axis cannot be divided. This philosophical approach has fed the ecologist way of thinking and its action over the occidental society. Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine an economic project that does not consider the ecology as the real basis of the statement sustainable development (Gasche, 1989, 1998; Narby, 1990, 1995, 2005).
The central question would be: What is the place of indigenous peoples in the present and future of the economic, social and cultural development of these countries?
This doubt remains as the most important question to answer in every project. This crucial question makes us understand the importance of the political dimension that impregnates education, which acts as the mediator between the society and the state in every integration project (Marin & Dasen, 2007; Walsh, 2009).
In 1988, the first training program of bilingual and intercultural education for teachers (FORMABIAP) was founded in Iquitos capital city of Loreto District in Amazon Peru by AIDESEP with the help of the Instituto Superior Pedagogico Loreto and the support of the International Cooperation and other private institutions (GASHE, 1989; Montoya, 1990; Marín, 2005).
The fundamental principles of the teacher training program of bilingual and intercultural education of Zungarocoha, a town near Iquitos, are the following:
Association between the traditional and occidental education.
Rejection to a single system of schooling.
Rejection to an opposition of the traditional education with the "modern" school (official school).
Rejection to an
Rejection to a mere conversion of the occidental culture in the framework of a bilingual education.
Approval of an intercultural bilingual education.
Approval of Spanish learning as a second language.
Approval of an education linked to ecology.
Approval of an education associated with the socioeconomic, political and cultural reality.
Today, this program is blocked by the Supreme Decree 006-2007 ED enacted by the government in the year 2007, through the Education Department. This Decree fixes the grade (14 over 20) of average as condition to allow applicants apply for the Superior Pedagogical Institutes. Among these we can find the different programs of bilingual and intercultural education, which reduces considerably the option of the young natives to begin a pedagogic training.
5. Multiculturalism and Integration
This global approach to history allows us to associate Europe and Latin America over the last two centuries, Latin America is considered to be a political laboratory of the colonial and post-colonial Europe.