Artículo

THE CONTRADICTIONS OF INTERCULTURAL STATES: INDIGENOUS RECOGNITION AND LEGAL RACISM AGAINST INDIGENOUS ANDEAN GROUPS IN RIOBAMBA, ECUADOR

This presentation analyzes the practices and interpretations of the law that judicial officers of the Ecuadorian state produce in their relationships with indigenous peoples in the Andes. It is based on fieldwork conducted in Riobamba, Ecuador. I argue that even though there have been important achievements in terms of the recognition of indigenous rights, obtained after the deep struggles of indigenous groups in this country (the ratification of Ecuador as multicultural and pluriethnic in the constitution of 1998; the ratification of the country as intercultural, plurinational; and the recognition of indigenous justice in the constitution of 2008), racism persists in daily interactions between indigenous groups and judicial officers of the State. This situation becomes problematic as it influences the way in which officers interpret laws and conduct criminal processes against indigenous people. Through ethnographic work, I want to show how the accomplishment of indigenous claims in terms of rights can be limited through the racist practices of judicial officers and their interpretations of the law. In order to do this, I will analyze the legal concept of 'rustic' as a way of understanding how judicial officers re-signify colonial concepts still valid in the Ecuadorian laws, as a mechanism to legalize racism within the Ecuadorian Intercultural state.
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