'It is indispensable that Ecuador has peace, but to have peace you need freedom and to have freedom you need justice. And the Indian population needs justice.'-President Gustavo Noboa, January 23, 2000 For five centuries, the Indians had very little voice in Ecuador. Now they are major protagonists who seek more acceptable terms in which to coexist in a society with two vastly different world views and cultures-that of Indians and that of the descendants of Europeans. Their recent political uprising has become the most powerful and influential indigeus movement in Latin America. Author Allen Gerlach details the origins and evolution of the Indian rebellion, focusing on the key period of the last thirty years. He infuses his text with an abundant supply of quotations from participants in the rise in ethnic politics, bringing Ecuador's history and the Indians' opposition to the country's government to life. This valuable case study of the politics of ethnicity will become increasingly useful for those interested in Latin American politics.
Allen Gerlach has written primarily on Latin America for newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. He is currently an attorney.