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Demanding Human Rights In A Violent Democracy: Indigenous Participation In El Consejo De Comunidades Étnicas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter documents the first case study, detailing the historical development of the indigenous human rights organisation El Consejo de Comunidades ÉTnicas?Runujel Junam (CERJ). It outlines the evolution of CERJ?s political platforms, identity, objectives, political strategies and structure within the context of the Guatemalan process of democratisation and within the theoretical framework previously presented. The chapter examines the social movement in light of the three factors that have played a major role in shaping the development of Guatemala?s indigenous movement: the historical context of the organisation?s evolution; the particular concept of rights that it articulated; and its interpretation of the class/ethnicity dichotomy within its political platforms. CERJ?s main political platform, however, called for State recognition of the voluntary nature of the Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil (PAC).

Keywords: CERJ; democratisation; Guatemala; human rights; indigenous movement; Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil (PAC); social movement



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