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date: 24 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the three largest insurgencies with majority Indigenous participation in Mesoamerica in the twentieth century and the ensuing trajectories of native peoples' movements in these uprisings' aftermath. It reviews the 1932 peasant uprising in El Salvador, the Guatemalan insurgency from the 1970s to the 1990s, and the 1994 Chiapas rebellion in southern Mexico and the subsequent movement it generated. The essay examines why Indigenous peoples engaged at times in radical and revolutionary tactics in collective action efforts to defend their rights, while in the contemporary period we observe less violent and confrontational agendas and strategies. Furthermore, the chapter analyzes political opportunities and various forms of threat (including state repression) so as to understand the divergent framing of Indigenous demands and forms of struggle over time and across cases. The state's actions are a crucial dimension in defining what type of strategies these movements are likely to employ.

Keywords: collective action, insurgencies, political opportunities, threat repression, Indigenous peoples El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico

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