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Civil Society and the Indigenous Movement in Colombia

The Consejo Regional Indigena del Cauca

Joanne Rappaport

The membership of Colombian indigenous organizations in civil society has been under debate for the past decade. Indigenous organizations themselves have held various positions with respect to their place in civil society, at times opting for armed struggle and at other times for alliances with popular organizations negotiating with the state. What this implies is that we must trace changing indigenous discourses over time to understand how the movement has both distanced itself from and moved closer to the middle-class organizations and institutions of civil society. This article looks at changing alignments with civil society by the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) over the past three decades.