14 June, 2021

CHIRAPAQ concerned about continued use of racial hate speech during Peruvian elections

Chirapaq demanded that the State act in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Foto: Agencia Andina

In a statement issued today, the indigenous association CHIRAPAQ pointed out that the questioning of the legality of the electoral records of various indigenous areas of the Andes and the Amazon, is part of a racist reasoning.

For Sylvia Falcón Rojas, soprano, anthropologist, and spokesperson for CHIRAPAQ, the hate speech that has been encouraged against indigenous peoples responds to the fear of a sector “questioned in its vision of development and fearful of an indigenous presence with equal representation and political decision”.

In its statement, CHIRAPAQ explained the substantial difference in votes between urban and rural areas should not be attributed to possible criminal acts and patterns. “Indigenous organizations have clearly explained our systems of community decision-making based on the notion of the common good, which explains the substantial difference in votes,” its statement said.

Thus, CHIRAPAQ joins the voices of protest from various indigenous organizations and communities of the Andean and Amazonian regions of Peru who point out that the questions about the electoral process in this country are based on racial prejudice.

Falcón remarked that CHIRAPAQ does not intervene with party politics, but that it must make a statement for its constant work of monitoring and analyzing the situation and evolution of racism and racial discrimination in our country. This, in accordance with its struggle for the recognition and defense of the fundamental rights of indigenous cultures.

CHIRAPAQ also condemned the fact that “several citizens dissatisfied with the electoral process hide behind their Andean family origin to proclaim their own racist speech by appropriating indigenous signs and symbols”. According to Falcón, both in social networks and traditional media, multiple occurrences of cultural appropriation and attempts to arrogate indigenous voices have been registered.

Falcón also explained that the Peruvian State can and must act against this racial hate speech in accordance with the commitments adopted in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and act through the corresponding channels to condemn and punish these acts.

Finally, he called on the entire Peruvian society and the international community to publicly reject this racist and discriminatory speech, thus contributing to the promotion of a culture of respect and harmonious coexistence in societies with cultural and social diversity.

Sylvia Falcón Rojas is a lyrical singer, associate member of CHIRAPAQ and of the National Cultural Advisory Commission. Thanks to her wide vocal range and performance quality, Sylvia has gained recognition as one of the most beautiful voices in Peru and in the Andean world. During her studies in anthropology, she became particularly interested in performing the melodies of the Peruvian Andes. She also stands out as a person involved in social projects that promote the strengthening of cultural identity through music.

CHIRAPAQ, Center for Indigenous Cultures of Peru, is an indigenous association with consultative status with the UN. For more than 35 years CHIRAPAQ has been promoting the affirmation of identity and the recognition of indigenous rights, with a special commitment to indigenous children, youth, and women.

Download our statement here.