This paper aims to show how, until 1980, an enormous proportion of people in Peru was disenfranchised, particularly in the periphery of the Highlands and the Rain Forest, where most indigenous people lived. Migration, the end of the estate system and the introduction of universal suffrage have progressively closed the gap in electoral participation in the country and \"new\" people, rarely found in the political arena before, are present today, mainly at the local government level. However, these changes have been very limited. Indigenous people feel alienated from political power and persistent and deep inequalities between indigenous and non-indigenous have no outlet. The appearance of Ayaipomas, Arpasis and Carhuaricras in key parts of the state administration does not appear to have been sufficient to modify the pronounced horizontal inequalities observable throughout the Peruvian data or to put this issue on the public policy agenda. This paper attempts to shed light on the mechanisms which may have prevented indigenous people from finding channels of political representation, beyond voting rights.
CRISE Working Paper 33, 31 pp.