Beyond Rainforests: Urbanisation and Emigration among Lowland Indigenous Societies in Latin America

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Abstract

Indigenous societies across lowland Latin America have recently made impressive political and territorial gains by emphasising their stewardship of and attachment to particular rural landscapes. But surprising new censal and microdemographic evidence shows that these groups have simultaneously been developing a presence in domestic and foreign metropolises. Cities offer employment and advanced education opportunities as well as escape from rural conflicts. We suggest that the dynamics and outcomes of these migrations are distinct from those of other rural Latin Americans. By outlining specific areas in which migration, politics, and territory appear to be interlinked, we seek to stimulate research that engages with these processes and their implications for indigenous advocacy and migration theory.

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