"There is no way back, this is our time, the awakening of the indigenous people. We'll keep fighting till the end. Brother Evo Morales still has lots to do, one cannot think that four years are enough after 500 years of submission and oppression,” said Fidel Surco, a prominent indigenous leader, reflecting on Bolivia’s first indigenous president entering his second term (Carroll & Schipani 2009).

The Andean region is particularly appropriate for examining indigenous political rights because 34-40 million indigenous people reside mostly in this region. The actualization of human rights for Andean indigenous groups is an inherently complex issue, especially in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, which have similar colonial legacies and have developed along comparable political and economic trajectories. Indigenous communities need political access in order to fight for their rights and to hold their governments accountable. The key to the actualization of human rights for indigenous peoples lies within their greater political inclusion.

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