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The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

Kichwa Migrations Across the Atlantic Border Regime: Transterritorial Practices of Identity and Rights within a Postcolonial Frame

Authors

  • Liliana Suárez-Navaz


Resúmen

En este trabajo analizo el proceso migratorio de comuneros indígenas de la parroquia de Calderón (Pichincha), que ahora residen en la Comunidad de Madrid. Me centro en el modo en que sus experiencias en territorio europeo incorporan y redefinen su memoria histórica, las fronteras comunitarias, socioespaciales, nacionales, y etnoraciales y cómo éstas son reproducidas en el espacio migratorio trasnacional. Basado en un trabajo etnográfico multilocal se analizan las experiencias de las familias de la Comuna de Jatum Pamba en el espacio jurídico, socioespacial, y político en España y el impacto de esta emigración en la redefinición de la Comuna, como espacio público y contexto identitario. Mientras los emigrantes residentes en España aseguran su presencia en la Comuna a través de inversiones estratégicas en terrenos y vivienda, se han creado unas “migraciones encadenadas” que, con nuevos inmigrantes no indígenas que ocupan espacios marginales en la misma, transforman dramáticamente el paisaje étnico de la Comuna.

Abstract

This article analyzes the migratory process of members of an indigenous commune1 from Calderón parish (Pichincha, Ecuador) now residing in Madrid (Spain). It focuses on the ways in which their pioneering experiences in European territory incorporate and redefine their historical memory of communal, national, and ethnoracial boundaries; it also looks at the ways these boundaries are reproduced in the transnational migratory space. Based upon multi-sited ethnographic work carried out in Ecuador and Spain over the last decade, the article incorporates the experiences of the families of the Jatun Pamba commune in accessing legal and political spaces in Spain, as well as the impact of their emigration upon the commune as a public space and context for identity. While the emigrants in Spain maintain their presence in the commune through strategic investments in land and housing, “chain migrations” have arisen in the commune which changed its ethnic landscape and social stratification, with new Afro-Ecuadorian immigrants occupying marginal spaces within it. The transterritorial practices of indigenous mobility between Ecuador and Spain seem to reinscribe neocolonial markers and structures of inequality, configuring a symbolic multiculturalism that scarcely goes beyond recognition of difference.

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