Get access
American Ethnologist

"Don't be lazy, don't lie, don't steal": Community justice in the neoliberal Andes



Two processes have reshaped many Latin American indigenous societies: the rise of native movements and the transnationalization of rural economies. Although the connections between these two processes remain sharply debated, both critics and defenders of indigenous movements assume that ethnic unity and economic differentiation must work against each other. I argue otherwise, demonstrating that the territorial consequences of economic change'due chiefly to migration, stratification, and consumerism'invigorate local indigenous politics even as they fragment cultural values. By examining community justice in Otavalo, Ecuador, I show how indigenous people create politically effective unities while they simultaneously produce hierarchical relationships among places and cultural orientations through their activism. [indigenous peoples, grassroots politics, economic change, community justice, Andes, Ecuador]

Get access to the full text of this article